A Progressive Approach for Uncertainty Visualization in Diffusion Tensor Imaging

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Abstract

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is a non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging technique that, combined with fiber tracking algorithms, allows the characterization and visualization of white matter structures in the brain. The resulting fiber tracts are used, for example, in tumor surgery to evaluate the potential brain functional damage due to tumor resection. The DTI processing pipeline from image acquisition to the final visualization is rather complex generating undesirable uncertainties in the final results. Most DTI visualization techniques do not provide any information regarding the presence of uncertainty. When planning surgery, a fixed safety margin around the fiber tracts is often used; however, it cannot capture local variability and distribution of the uncertainty, thereby limiting the informed decision-making process. Stochastic techniques are a possibility to estimate uncertainty for the DTI pipeline. However, it has high computational and memory requirements that make it infeasible in a clinical setting. The delay in the visualization of the results adds hindrance to the workflow. We propose a progressive approach that relies on a combination of wild-bootstrapping and fiber tracking to be used within the progressive visual analytics paradigm. We present a local bootstrapping strategy, which reduces the computational and memory costs, and provides fiber-tracking results in a progressive manner. We have also implemented a progressive aggregation technique that computes the distances in the fiber ensemble during progressive bootstrap computations. We present experiments with different scenarios to highlight the benefits of using our progressive visual analytic pipeline in a clinical workflow along with a use case and analysis obtained by discussions with our collaborators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-422
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Human-centered computing
  • Visual analytics
  • Scientific visualization

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