Intelligent Parameter Tuning in Optimization-Based Iterative CT Reconstruction via Deep Reinforcement Learning

Chenyang Shen, Yesenia Gonzalez, Liyuan Chen, Steve B. Jiang, Xun Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


A number of image-processing problems can be formulated as optimization problems. The objective function typically contains several terms specifically designed for different purposes. Parameters in front of these terms are used to control the relative importance among them. It is of critical importance to adjust these parameters, as quality of the solution depends on their values. Tuning parameters are a relatively straight forward task for a human, as one can intuitively determine the direction of parameter adjustment based on the solution quality. Yet manual parameter tuning is not only tedious in many cases, but also becomes impractical when a number of parameters exist in a problem. Aiming at solving this problem, this paper proposes an approach that employs deep reinforcement learning to train a system that can automatically adjust parameters in a human-like manner. We demonstrate our idea in an example problem of optimization-based iterative computed tomography (CT) reconstruction with a pixel-wise total-variation regularization term. We set up a parameter-tuning policy network (PTPN), which maps a CT image patch to an output that specifies the direction and amplitude by which the parameter at the patch center is adjusted. We train the PTPN via an end-to-end reinforcement learning procedure. We demonstrate that under the guidance of the trained PTPN, reconstructed CT images attain quality similar or better than those reconstructed with manually tuned parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1430-1439
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Image reconstruction - iterative methods
  • computed tomography
  • inverse methods
  • machine learning
  • x-ray imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Intelligent Parameter Tuning in Optimization-Based Iterative CT Reconstruction via Deep Reinforcement Learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this