Figures of merit for detectors in digital radiography. II. Finite number of secondaries and structured backgrounds

Angel R. Pineda, Harrison H. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The current paradigm for evaluating detectors in digital radiography relies on Fourier methods. Fourier methods rely on a shift-invariant and statistically stationary description of the imaging system. The theoretical justification for the use of Fourier methods is based on a uniform background fluence and an infinite detector. In practice, the background fluence is not uniform and detector size is finite. We study the effect of stochastic blurring and structured backgrounds on the correlation between Fourier-based figures of merit and Hotelling detectability. A stochastic model of the blurring leads to behavior similar to what is observed by adding electronic noise to the deterministic blurring model. Background structure does away with the shift invariance. Anatomical variation makes the covariance matrix of the data less amenable to Fourier methods by introducing long-range correlations. It is desirable to have figures of merit that can account for all the sources of variation, some of which are not stationary. For such cases, we show that the commonly used figures of merit based on the discrete Fourier transform can provide an inaccurate estimate of Hotelling detectability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • DQE
  • Digital radiography
  • Image quality
  • Lumpy background
  • NEQ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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