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18 May 2017 Segmented targeted least squares estimator for material decomposition in multibin photon-counting detectors
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We present a fast, noise-efficient, and accurate estimator for material separation using photon-counting x-ray detectors (PCXDs) with multiple energy bin capability. The proposed targeted least squares estimator (TLSE) is an improvement of a previously described A-table method by incorporating dynamic weighting that allows the variance to be closer to the Cramér–Rao lower bound (CRLB) throughout the operating range. We explore Cartesian and average-energy segmentation of the basis material space for TLSE and show that, compared with Cartesian segmentation, the average-energy method requires fewer segments to achieve similar performance. We compare the average-energy TLSE to other proposed estimators—including the gold standard maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) and the A-table—in terms of variance, bias, and computational efficiency. The variance and bias were simulated in the range of 0 to 6 cm of aluminum and 0 to 50 cm of water with Monte Carlo methods. The Average-energy TLSE achieves an average variance within 2% of the CRLB and mean absolute error of 3.68±0.06×106  cm. Using the same protocol, the MLE showed variance within 1.9% of the CRLB ratio and average absolute error of 3.10±0.06×106  cm but was 50 times slower in our implementations. Compared with the A-table method, TLSE gives a more homogenously optimal variance-to-CRLB ratio in the operating region. We show that variance in basis material estimates for TLSE is lower than that of the A-table method by as much as 36% in the peripheral region of operating range (thin or thick objects). The TLSE is a computationally efficient and fast method for material separation with PCXDs, with accuracy and precision comparable to the MLE.
© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 2329-4302/2017/$25.00 © 2017 SPIE
Paurakh L. Rajbhandary, Scott S. Hsieh, and Norbert J. Pelc "Segmented targeted least squares estimator for material decomposition in multibin photon-counting detectors," Journal of Medical Imaging 4(2), 023503 (18 May 2017).
Received: 23 January 2017; Accepted: 25 April 2017; Published: 18 May 2017

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