Technical Note: Convergence analysis of a polyenergetic SART algorithm




The authors analyze a recently proposed polyenergetic version of the simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique (SART). This algorithm, denoted polyenergetic SART (pSART), replaces the monoenergetic forward projection operation used by SART with a postlog, polyenergetic forward projection, while leaving the rest of the algorithm unchanged. While the proposed algorithm provides good results empirically, convergence of the algorithm was not established mathematically in the original paper.


The authors analyze pSART as a nonlinear fixed point iteration by explicitly computing the Jacobian of the iteration. A necessary condition for convergence is that the spectral radius of the Jacobian, evaluated at the fixed point, is less than one. A short proof of convergence for SART is also provided as a basis for comparison.


The authors show that the pSART algorithm is not guaranteed to converge, in general. The Jacobian of the iteration depends on several factors, including the system matrix and how one models the energy dependence of the linear attenuation coefficient. The authors provide a simple numerical example that shows that the spectral radius of the Jacobian matrix is not guaranteed to be less than one. A second set of numerical experiments using realistic CT system matrices, however, indicates that conditions for convergence are likely to be satisfied in practice.


Although pSART is not mathematically guaranteed to converge, their numerical experiments indicate that it will tend to converge at roughly the same rate as SART for system matrices of the type encountered in CT imaging. Thus, the authors conclude that the algorithm is still a useful method for reconstruction of polyenergetic CT data.