Abstract

Numerical observers are investigated for predicting the outcome of a free-response human observer study involving the detection of simulated pulmonary nodules in images reconstructed from low-dose computed tomography projection data by use of several reconstruction algorithms. A new way of calculating the figure of merit of a numerical observer is proposed wherein the detectability of signals in a particular image depends on the noise properties associated with that image and not the other images in the data set. The resulting variants of numerical observers are found to perform better than their traditional counterparts. In particular, the imagewise variant of the region-of-interest observer is found to predict best the rank ordering of algorithms by human observers for the free-response task.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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