Traditional machine learning for limited angle tomography

  • Yixing HuangEmail author
  • Yanye LuEmail author
  • Oliver Taubmann
  • Guenter Lauritsch
  • Andreas Maier
Original Article



The application of traditional machine learning techniques, in the form of regression models based on conventional, “hand-crafted” features, to artifact reduction in limited angle tomography is investigated.


Mean-variation-median (MVM), Laplacian, Hessian, and shift-variant data loss (SVDL) features are extracted from the images reconstructed from limited angle data. The regression models linear regression (LR), multilayer perceptron (MLP), and reduced-error pruning tree (REPTree) are applied to predict artifact images.


REPTree learns artifacts best and reaches the smallest root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 29 HU for the Shepp–Logan phantom in a parallel-beam study. Further experiments demonstrate that the MVM and Hessian features complement each other, whereas the Laplacian feature is redundant in the presence of MVM. In fan-beam, the SVDL features are also beneficial. A preliminary experiment on clinical data in a fan-beam study demonstrates that REPTree can reduce some artifacts for clinical data. However, it is not sufficient as a lot of incorrect pixel intensities still remain in the estimated reconstruction images.


REPTree has the best performance on learning artifacts in limited angle tomography compared with LR and MLP. The features of MVM, Hessian, and SVDL are beneficial for artifact prediction in limited angle tomography. Preliminary experiments on clinical data suggest that the investigation on more features is necessary for clinical applications of REPTree.


Machine learning Limited angle tomography Decision tree 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Oliver Taubmann and Guenter Lauritsch are with Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Forchheim, Germany. Yixing Huang is supported by Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Forchheim, Germany.

Ethical approval

All data shared in the challenge were fully anonymized. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

The clinical data in this paper are from the library of the Low Dose CT Grand Challenge [31]. The library was HIPAAcompliant and built with waiver of informed consent.


The concepts and information presented in this paper are based on research and are not commercially available.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pattern Recognition LabFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT)Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Siemens Healthcare GmbHForchheimGermany

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