Bayesian Experimental Design of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Sequences

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)

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Hannes Nickisch, Rolf Pohmann, Bernhard Schölkopf, Matthias Seeger


We show how improved sequences for magnetic resonance imaging can be found through automated optimization of Bayesian design scores. Combining recent advances in approximate Bayesian inference and natural image statistics with high-performance numerical computation, we propose the first scalable Bayesian experimental design framework for this problem of high relevance to clinical and brain research. Our solution requires approximate inference for dense, non-Gaussian models on a scale seldom addressed before. We propose a novel scalable variational inference algorithm, and show how powerful methods of numerical mathematics can be modified to compute primitives in our framework. Our approach is evaluated on a realistic setup with raw data from a 3T MR scanner.