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Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld
Orlando, Florida, United States
11 - 16 February 2017
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USCT Data Challenge 2017

USCT Data Challenge 2017

Ultrasound Computer Tomography
is an exciting new technology mostly aimed at breast cancer imaging. Due to the complex interaction of ultrasound with human tissue, the large amount of raw data, and large imaged volumes, image reconstruction is challenging both from the physical and the computational point of view. Many different image reconstruction methods can be applied, ranging from simple ray based methods to full inversion of the acoustic wave equation. While the ray algorithms offer fast reconstruction the inversion algorithms promise high image quality and resolution.

In recent years various groups have proposed a number of different approaches for image reconstruction. Direct comparison and analysis of the algorithms is difficult as they are usually applied to simulated data or – if available – to real data acquired with very different measurement setups. The relatively few experimental data sets are usually not commonly available. Even if they would be readily available the different experimental setups require usually massive adaptations for data handling and system modeling for the reconstruction algorithms.

To mend this gap within the US(C)T community a long term aim is to establish user friendly and easy to use interfaces between available reconstruction algorithms and raw data of different USCT devices. Also a reference database with freely available and open licensed USCT data for comparison of reconstruction algorithms should be established, maintained and updated. This should provide a tool for direct comparability of the algorithms using the same data for reconstruction. Additionally, the feedback about data and system architecture of the scientists working on reconstruction could help to drive further development of measurement setups.

This challenge aims on applying available image reconstruction algorithms on provided USCT data in order to establish a first intercommunication and open data interface specifications.

Feedback in form of field reports will be collected, evaluated and summarized. Reconstructed images will be presented and compared. A poster session and panel discussion will provide time and space to develop a first specification of appropriate interfaces for the future.

Important dates:
- Release of data sets: 20 Oct 2016
- Submission date for results: 15 Jan 2017
- Panel discussion: 14 Feb 2017
- Poster session: 12-16 Feb 2017

Long term goals

- Build up a free and open licensed reference USCT data base, freely available for the whole community. Enabling reproducible comparison of image reconstruction algorithms and USCT systems. 
- Establish user friendly and easy to use interfaces, standards and data formats between the different USCT systems and their reconstruction algorithms, software and data formats. 
- Identify properties of systems, experimental setups, data, and algorithms towards optimal images. 

Aim of this challenge

- Apply your existing image reconstruction algorithms to real 2D and 3D USCT data! The aim is to identify best practices, to establish specifications for interfaces and a first comparison of reconstructed images. 

Provided data and format

- 2D and 3D data of multiple material phantoms  
- Data comes with interface software (MATLAB) to retrieve A-scans, emitter and receiver positions, and additional meta data as e.g. ultrasound pulse information, temperature distribution in water. Also an empty measurement will be provided.
- The interface software will be available via GitHub download, the data can be accessed via FTP.
- Online support for participants will be available by a forum within the GITHub framework 


- Material will be provided using a free and open license, i.e. the BSD 2-clause license for code and data, allowing free use and publication of results. 
- After the challenge the data sets may remain with the participants, can be used for additional research and other purposes. Further publication and results should follow good academic attribution  practices and cite a later follow up paper as e.g. “Nicole V. Ruiter, Michael Zapf, Torsten Hopp, Koen van Dongen: USCT data challenge, in Medical Imaging 2017: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography,  Proceedings of SPIE (in press)” 
- Participants are encouraged to a submit field report, used methods and results at deadline: Filled out form of the provided field report template, algorithm identification (e.g. citation of paper), and – if   available – reconstructed images and performance results. 
- Participants agree that their participation and their results may be published in connection with their names and affiliations, also under a free and open license and open access standards
Data and code access

For this challenge we provide two types of data and code:
 3D KIT USCT data with data access interface software. 
 2D TU Delft USCT data with data access interface software. 
Results to be submitted

- Field report on the experience of the use of the data. A template can be downloaded here 
- If available: 
o Analysis of causes for failure (e.g. SNR of data, applied high frequencies, 3D setup, sparseness of system, etc.) 
o Reconstructed images (reflectivity, speed of sound and / or attenuation) of data set(s) 
o Algorithm description 
o Performance results: duration of reconstruction including preprocessing, hardware used for reconstruction, memory requirements 

Collection, evaluation and publication of results

- Participants are invited to share their results, feedback and suggestions at the poster session of the SPIE Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography conference. 
- A special session of the 2017 SPIE Medical Imaging Symposium will focus on the USCT Data Challenge. An open panel discussion with an initial overview of submitted feedback and results will be held with the aim to collect information for a common interface and identify future directions towards the proposed long term goals 
- Possible conclusive paper of results, e.g. Journal of Medical Imaging, inclusion as coauthor(s) 

For more information please see the USCT Data Challenge Website

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