Learning contrast-invariant contextual local descriptors and similarity metrics for multi-modal image registration

Project: DFG ProjectsDFG Individual Projects

Project Details


Deformable image registration is a key component for clinical imaging applications involving multi-modal image fusion, estimation of local deformations and image-guided interventions. A particular challenge for establishing correspondences between scans from different modalities: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT) or ultrasound, is the definition of image similarity. Relying directly on intensity differences is not sufficient for most clinical images, which exhibit non-uniform changes in contrast, image noise, intensity distortions, artefacts, and globally non-linear intensity relations (for different modalities).In this project algorithms with increased robustness for medical image registration will be developed. We will improve on current state-of-the-art similarity measures by combining a larger number of versatile image features using simple local patch or histogram distances. Contrast-invariance and strong discrimination between corresponding and non-matching regions will be reached by capturing contextual information through pair-wise comparisons within an extended spatial neighbourhood of each voxel. Recent advances in machine learning will be used to learn problem-specific binary descriptors in a semi-supervised manner that can improve upon hand-crafted features by including a priori knowledge. Metric learning and higher-order mutual information will be employed for finding mappings between feature vectors across scans in order to reveal new relations among feature dimensions. Employing binary descriptors and sparse feature selection will improve computational efficiency (because it enables the use of the Hamming distance), while maintaining the robustness of the proposed methods.A deeper understanding of models for image similarity will be reached during the course of this project. The development of new methods for currently challenging (multi-modal) medical image registration problems will open new perspectives of computer-aided applications in clinical practice, including multi-modal diagnosis, modality synthesis, and image-guided interventions or radiotherapy.
Effective start/end date01.01.1631.12.21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 409-05 Interactive and Intelligent Systems, Image and Language Processing, Computer Graphics and Visualisation
  • 205-01 Epidemiology, Medical Biometrics/Statistics