Fiber orientation estimation guided by a deep network

Chuyang Ye, Jerry L. Prince

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) is currently the only tool for noninvasively imaging the brain’s white matter tracts. The fiber orientation (FO) is a key feature computed from dMRI for fiber tract reconstruction. Because the number of FOs in a voxel is usually small, dictionary-based sparse reconstruction has been used to estimate FOs with a relatively small number of diffusion gradients. However, accurate FO estimation in regions with complex FO configurations in the presence of noise can still be challenging. In this work we explore the use of a deep network for FO estimation in a dictionary-based framework and propose an algorithm named Fiber Orientation Reconstruction guided by a Deep Network (FORDN). FORDN consists of two steps. First, we use a smaller dictionary encoding coarse basis FOs to represent the diffusion signals. To estimate the mixture fractions of the dictionary atoms (and thus coarse FOs), a deep network is designed specifically for solving the sparse reconstruction problem. Here, the smaller dictionary is used to reduce the computational cost of training. Second, the coarse FOs inform the final FO estimation, where a larger dictionary encoding dense basis FOs is used and a weighted `1-norm regularized least squares problem is solved to encourage FOs that are consistent with the network output. FORDN was evaluated and compared with state-of-the-art algorithms that estimate FOs using sparse reconstruction on simulated and real dMRI data, and the results demonstrate the benefit of using a deep network for FO estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - May 19 2017


  • Deep network
  • Diffusion MRI
  • Fiber orientation estimation
  • Sparse reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Fiber orientation estimation guided by a deep network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this