Discrete Tomography and its applications
Joost Batenburg
CWI and University Leiden


Since its inception in the 1970s, tomography has become a widely used tool in medical imaging. Besides medical imaging tomography has many applications in industry (quality control, reverse engineering), materials science (electron tomography) and other fields.
Several algorithms are available to compute high quality reconstructions from projection data, e.g., filtered backprojection, ART, etc. Such algorithms typically require a large number of projections to obtain reconstructions of sufficient quality.
Over the past ten years the new subject of discrete tomography has received considerable interest. Discrete tomography can be applied if it is known in advance that the object of interest consists of only a few different materials, each having a constant gray value in the reconstruction. By using this information as prior knowledge in the reconstruction algorithm it is often possible to vastly reduce the number of required projections. In some cases four or five projections are already sufficient to obtain a high quality reconstruction.
In this talk I will introduce the subject of discrete tomography and describe several applications, ranging from medical imaging to the 3D reconstruction of nanocrystals at atomic resolution.

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