On the local minima in phase reconstruction algorithms


  • Tommaso Isernia,

  • Francesco Soldovieri,

  • Giovanni Leone,

  • Rocco Pierri


Signal reconstruction from phaseless data occurs in electromagnetics both in the diagnostics of large reflector antennas and in the near-field testing of microwave and millimeter wave antennas. The main difficulty in solving such problems arises from its inherent nonlinearity. Because of the latter, in fact, the solution procedure can converge to a function which has nothing to deal with the actual solution. In this paper we review and summarize the properties of a recently proposed approach to phase retrieval problems which allows to understand and possibly avoid the false solution problem. To this end, ill-posedness of the problem is briefly recalled, and a convenient generalized solution is introduced as the global minimum of a proper functional whose local minima are indeed the false solutions of the problem. Then the geometrical meaning of such a functional is considered, and properties of the solution are discussed according to the formulation of the problem as a quadratic inverse one. In particular, the relevance of using nonredundant representations for the unknown of the problem and as many independent data as possible are discussed in full detail from both a theoretical and a numerical point of view. Finally, it is shown how the proposed solution procedure, descending from the adopted formulation based on a weaker nonlinearity with respect to the other ones, has indeed a better behavior as far as local minima problem is concerned.