Deep learning based classification of dynamic processes in time-resolved X-ray tomographic microscopy

Published in Scientific Reports on 17 December 2021.

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Time-resolved X-ray tomographic microscopy is an invaluable technique to investigate dynamic processes in 3D for extended time periods. Because of the limited signal-to-noise ratio caused by the short exposure times and sparse angular sampling frequency, obtaining quantitative information through post-processing remains challenging and requires intensive manual labor. This severely limits the accessible experimental parameter space and so, prevents fully exploiting the capabilities of the dedicated time-resolved X-ray tomographic stations. Though automatic approaches, often exploiting iterative reconstruction methods, are currently being developed, the required computational costs typically remain high. Here, we propose a highly efficient reconstruction and classification pipeline (SIRT-FBP-MS-D-DIFF) that combines an algebraic filter approximation and machine learning to significantly reduce the computational time. The dynamic features are reconstructed by standard filtered back-projection with an algebraic filter to approximate iterative reconstruction quality in a computationally efficient manner. The raw reconstructions are post-processed with a trained convolutional neural network to extract the dynamic features from the low signal-to-noise ratio reconstructions in a fully automatic manner. The capabilities of the proposed pipeline are demonstrated on three different dynamic fuel cell datasets, one exploited for training and two for testing without network retraining. The proposed approach enables automatic processing of several hundreds of datasets in a single day on a single GPU node readily available at most institutions, so extending the possibilities in future dynamic X-ray tomographic investigations.


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  author          = {Bührer, Minna and Xu, Hong and Hendriksen, Allard A. and
                  Büchi, Felix N. and Eller, Jens and Stampanoni, Marco and
                  Marone, Federica},
  title           = {Deep learning based classification of dynamic processes in
                  time-resolved X-ray tomographic microscopy},
  year            = 2021,
  volume          = 11,
  number          = 1,
  month           = {Dec},
  issn            = {2045-2322},
  doi             = {10.1038/s41598-021-03546-8},
  url             = {},
  journal         = {Scientific Reports},
  publisher       = {Springer Science and Business Media LLC}