Efficient computation of the elastography inverse problem by combining variational mesh adaption and a clustering technique


This paper is concerned with an efficient implementation suitable for the elastography inverse problem. More precisely, the novel algorithm allows us to compute the unknown stiffness distribution in soft tissue by means of the measured displacement field by considerably reducing the numerical cost compared to previous approaches. This is realized by combining and further elaborating variational mesh adaption with a clustering technique similar to those known from digital image compression. Within the variational mesh adaption, the underlying finite element discretization is only locally refined if this leads to a considerable improvement of the numerical solution. Additionally, the numerical complexity is reduced by the aforementioned clustering technique, in which the parameters describing the stiffness of the respective soft tissue are sorted according to a predefined number of intervals. By doing so, the number of unknowns associated with the elastography inverse problem can be chosen explicitly. A positive side effect of this method is the reduction of artificial noise in the data (smoothing of the solution). The performance and the rate of convergence of the resulting numerical formulation are critically analyzed by numerical examples.
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