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Title: Statistical analysis on diffusion tensor estimation
Author: Yan, Jiajia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 3396
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2017
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Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a relatively new technology of magnetic resonance imaging, which enables us to observe the insight structure of the human body in vivo and non-invasively. It displays water molecule movement by a 3×3 diffusion tensor at each voxel. Tensor field processing, visualisation and tractography are all based on the diffusion tensors. The accuracy of estimating diffusion tensor is essential in DTI. This research focuses on exploring the potential improvements at the tensor estimation of DTI. We analyse the noise arising in the measurement of diffusion signals. We present robust methods, least median squares (LMS) and least trimmed squares (LTS) regressions, with forward search algorithm that reduce or eliminate outliers to the desired level. An investigation of the criterion to detect outliers is provided in theory and practice. We compare the results with the generalised non-robust models in simulation studies and applicants and also validated various regressions in terms of FA, MD and orientations. We show that the robust methods can handle the data with up to 50% corruption. The robust regressions have better estimations than generalised models in the presence of outliers. We also consider the multiple tensors problems. We review the recent techniques of multiple tensor problems. Then we provide a new model considering neighbours' information, the Bayesian single and double tensor models using neighbouring tensors as priors, which can identify the double tensors effectively. We design a framework to estimate the diffusion tensor field with detecting whether it is a single tensor model or multiple tensor model. An output of this framework is the Bayesian neighbour (BN) algorithm that improves the accuracy at the intersection of multiple fibres. We examine the dependence of the estimators on the FA and MD and angle between two principal diffusion orientations and the goodness of fit. The Bayesian models are applied to the real data with validation. We show that the double tensors model is more accurate on distinct fibre orientations, more anisotropic or similar mean diffusivity tensors. The final contribution of this research is in covariance tensor estimation. We define the median covariance matrix in terms of Euclidean and various non-Euclidean metrics taking its symmetric semi-positive definiteness into account. We compare with estimation methods, Euclidean, power Euclidean, square root Euclidean, log-Euclidean, Riemannian Euclidean and Procrustes median tensors. We provide an analysis of the different metric between different median covariance tensors. We also provide the weighting functions and define the weighted non-Euclidean covariance tensors. We finish with manifold-valued data applications that improve the illustration of DTI images in tensor field processing with defined non-weighted and weighted median tensors. The validation of non-Euclidean methods is studied in the tensor field processing. We show that the root square median estimator is preferable in general, which can effectively exclude outliers and clearly shows the important structures of the brain. The power Euclidean median estimator is recommended when producing FA map.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DTI ; tensor estimation ; robust ; Bayesian ; non-Euclidean