Finsler geometry on higher order tensor fields and applications to high angular resolution diffusion imaging

L.J. Astola, L.M.J. Florack

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We study 3D-multidirectional images, using Finsler geometry. The application considered here is in medical image analysis, specifically in High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging (HARDI) [24] of the brain. The goal is to reveal the architecture of the neural fibers in brain white matter. To the variety of existing techniques, we wish to add novel approaches that exploit differential geometry and tensor calculus. In Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), the diffusion of water is modeled by a symmetric positive definite second order tensor, leading naturally to a Riemannian geometric framework. A limitation is that it is based on the assumption that there exists a single dominant direction of fibers restricting the thermal motion of water molecules. Using HARDI data and higher order tensor models, we can extract multiple relevant directions, and Finsler geometry provides the natural geometric generalization appropriate for multi-fiber analysis. In this paper we provide an exact criterion to determine whether a spherical function satisfies the strong convexity criterion essential for a Finsler norm. We also show a novel fiber tracking method in Finsler setting. Our model incorporates a scale parameter, which can be beneficial in view of the noisy nature of the data. We demonstrate our methods on analytic as well as simulated and real HARDI data.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0926-4507


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