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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Estimating view parameters from random projections for Tomography using spherical MDS

Yi Fang1*, Sundar Murugappan1 and Karthik Ramani12

Author Affiliations

1 School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA

2 School of Electrical Computer Engineering (by courtesy), Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA

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BMC Medical Imaging 2010, 10:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-10-12

Published: 18 June 2010



During the past decade, the computed tomography has been successfully applied to various fields especially in medicine. The estimation of view angles for projections is necessary in some special applications of tomography, for example, the structuring of viruses using electron microscopy and the compensation of the patient's motion over long scanning period.


This work introduces a novel approach, based on the spherical multidimensional scaling (sMDS), which transforms the problem of the angle estimation to a sphere constrained embedding problem. The proposed approach views each projection as a high dimensional vector with dimensionality equal to the number of sampling points on the projection. By using SMDS, then each projection vector is embedded onto a 1D sphere which parameterizes the projection with respect to view angles in a globally consistent manner. The parameterized projections are used for the final reconstruction of the image through the inverse radon transform. The entire reconstruction process is non-iterative and computationally efficient.


The effectiveness of the sMDS is verified with various experiments, including the evaluation of the reconstruction quality from different number of projections and resistance to different noise levels. The experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method.


Our study provides an effective technique for the solution of 2D tomography with unknown acquisition view angles. The proposed method will be extended to three dimensional reconstructions in our future work. All materials, including source code and demos, are available on webcite.