We describe a noniterative method for recovering optical absorption coefficient distribution from the absorbed energy map reconstructed using simulated and noisy boundary pressure measurements. The source reconstruction problem is first solved for the absorbed energy map corresponding to single- and multiple-source illuminations from the side of the imaging plane. It is shown that the absorbed energy map and the absorption coefficient distribution, recovered from the single-source illumination with a large variation in photon flux distribution, have signal-to-noise ratios comparable to those of the reconstructed parameters from a more uniform photon density distribution corresponding to multiple-source illuminations. The absorbed energy map is input as absorption coefficient times photon flux in the time-independent diffusion equation (DE) governing photon transport to recover the photon flux in a single step. The recovered photon flux is used to compute the optical absorption coefficient distribution from the absorbed energy map. In the absence of experimental data, we obtain the boundary measurements through Monte Carlo simulations, and we attempt to address the possible limitations of the DE model in the overall reconstruction procedure.
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