Darlan M. N. de Araujo

Darlan M. N. de Araujo

Sao Paulo State University, Brazil

Title: Denoising digital breast tomosynthesis projections using deep learning with synthetic data as training set


Purpose: Image denoising based on deep neural networks (DNN) needs a big data set containing digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) projections acquired in different radiation doses to be trained, which is impracticable. Therefore, we propose extensively investigating the use of synthetic data generated by software for training DNNs to denoise DBT real data.

Approach: The approach consists of generating a synthetic dataset representative of the DBT sample space by software, containing noisy and original images. Synthetic data were generated in two different ways: (a) virtual DBT projections generated by OpenVCT and (b) noisy images synthesized from photography regarding noise models used in DBT (e.g., Poisson–Gaussian noise). Then, DNN-based denoising techniques were trained using a synthetic dataset and tested for denoising physical DBT data. Results were evaluated in quantitative (PSNR and SSIM measures) and qualitative (visual analysis) terms. Furthermore, a dimensionality reduction technique (t-SNE) was used for visualization of sample spaces of synthetic and real datasets.

Results: The experiments showed that training DNN models with synthetic data could denoise DBT real data, achieving competitive results to traditional methods in quantitative terms but showing a better balance between noise filtering and detail preservation in a visual analysis. T-SNE enables us to visualize if synthetic and real noises are in the same sample space.

Conclusion: We propose a solution for the lack of suitable training data to train DNN models for denoising DBT projections, showing that we just need the synthesized noise to be in the same sample space as the target image.


Darlan M. N. de Araujo received his master’s degree in 2021 and his computer science degree from the Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) in 2019. He has experience in the area of computer science, with emphasis on pattern recognition, digital image processing, computational vision and deep learning, working mainly in the following subjects: image noise filtering, medical imaging, and digital breast tomosynthesis.