An ideal observer approach to beamforming

Craig K. Abbey, Nghia Nguyen, Michael Insana

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Many signal processing issues in ultrasonic imaging can be viewed as attempts to focus signal energy while preserving the diagnostic information they contain. We have been developing a task-based ideal-observer approach to signal processing with the goal of better understanding the factors that influence the transfer of diagnostic information and improving signal processing algorithms for optimal transfer. We treat the scattering medium as a Gaussian random field with non-uniform variance that encodes the properties necessary for accurate task performance. Using measured pointspread functions for a given system we propagate the scattering statistics through to various stages of the acquisition process along with acquisition noise. In this work we focus on the role of beamforming in this process. We consider the efficiency of information transfer by analyzing the ideal observer acting on individual receive elements and then considering different strategies for preserving diagnostic information in beamformed echo signals. Optimal beamforming strategies suggested by the analysis are approximated by applying spatial filtering techniques to fixedfocus echo data. These results are compared with a standard delay-and-sum beamformer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2008
Subtitle of host publicationUltrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing
StatePublished - 2008
EventMedical Imaging 2008: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 17 2008Feb 18 2008

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2008: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Beamforming
  • Breast imaging
  • Ideal observer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An ideal observer approach to beamforming'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this