Task Performance with List-Mode Data

Luca Caucci
The University of Arizona
The University of Arizona, 2012


   title={Task Performance with List-Mode Data},

   author={Caucci, L.},


   publisher={The University of Arizona}


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This dissertation investigates the application of list-mode data to detection, estimation, and image reconstruction problems, with an emphasis on emission tomography in medical imaging. We begin by introducing a theoretical framework for list-mode data and we use it to define two observers that operate on list-mode data. These observers are applied to the problem of detecting a signal (known in shape and location) buried in a random lumpy background. We then consider maximum-likelihood methods for the estimation of numerical parameters from list-mode data, and we characterize the performance of these estimators via the so-called Fisher information matrix. Reconstruction from PET list-mode data is then considered. In a process we called "double maximum-likelihood" reconstruction, we consider a simple PET imaging system and we use maximum-likelihood methods to first estimate a parameter vector for each pair of gamma-ray photons that is detected by the hardware. The collection of these parameter vectors forms a list, which is then fed to another maximum-likelihood algorithm for volumetric reconstruction over a grid of voxels. Efficient parallel implementation of the algorithms discussed above is then presented. In this work, we take advantage of two low-cost, mass-produced computing platforms that have recently appeared on the market, and we provide some details on implementing our algorithms on these devices. We conclude this dissertation work by elaborating on a possible application of list-mode data to X-ray digital mammography. We argue that today’s CMOS detectors and computing platforms have become fast enough to make X-ray digital mammography list-mode data acquisition and processing feasible.
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