# Chapter 2

Mathematical Fundamentals
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to
treat everything as ifit were a nail.
Abraham Maslow
This chapter reviews some mathematical concepts essential for understanding
MRI principles. We will begin with a brief description of vector quantities and
then review the definitions of some commonly used mathematical functions and
two integral transforms: the Fourier transform and the Radon transform.
Before we proceed, a word on the notation is in order. Throughout this
text, we will use f(x),g(x), h(x), and so on, to represent continuous-variable
functions, and f[n], g[n], h[n], or In, gn, h
n
, and the like to represent discrete-
variable functions (or sequences) with the understanding that n is an integer vari-
able. In many situations when there is no confusion, we will also use f[n] or fn
to represent data samples from f(x) such that i« = f[n] = f(ndx) for some
dx. Multivariable functions are sometimes expressed in vector notation such that
f(r) may refer to f(x, y) or f(x, y, z), depending on the context.
2.1 Vectors
Many physical quantities, such as velocity, magnetic field, and angular momen-
tum, have both magnitude and direction. These quantities, called vectors, are
represented in this book by two types of symbols: symbols with an overhead ar-
row such as A(called explicit vector notations) and boldface symbols such as A
(called implicit vector notations). To understand the subtle difference between
13
14 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
these two notations, consider a three-dimensional vector Xshown in Fig. 2.1. In
explicit form,
(2.1)
and in implicit form
(2.2)
(2.3)
where Ax, A
y
, and A
z
are the X-, y-, and z-components of 1, and i, ], and
k are the unit directional vectors along the X-, y-, and z-axes, respectively. By
definition,
{
(1,0,0)
j rv (0,1,0)
k
rv
(O,O, l )
Within a single reference frame, both types of notations uniquely specify a vector,
and we will use them interchangeably when there is no confusion. However,
when multiple reference frames are used, as is often the case in describing MRI
techniques, it is important to know which reference frame is used for vectors in
the implicit notation.
z
" y
. ,,'
,
...... ,
Ax
x
Figure 2.1 Graphical representation of a vector.
The magnitude and direction of A are represented by IAI and ILA' respec-
tively, such that
(2.4)
where ILA is the unit directional vector of A. IAI and ILA can be determined from
the components of A using the following formulas:
IAI = JA; + +
(2.5)
Section 2.1 Vectors
and
15
1
itA = (Ax, A
y
, A
z)
(2.6)
-/A2 +A2 +A2
V x v z
Alternatively, p,A can be expressed in terms of the polar and azimuthal angles as
follows:
where
and
itA = (sinOcos</>, sin osin </>, cosO)
qS =arctan
(2.7)
(2.8)
(2.9)
For planar vectors, a complex notation is often used in the MR literature.
Specifically, let A = (Ax, Ay). We regard A as equivalent to A if A is con-
structed as
A £ Ax + iA
y
(2.10)
where i £ yCI. In the polar (or exponential) form, A can be expressed as
A =IAle
i
4> =IAI(cos</> + i sin </» (2.11)
where IAI = .J Ai + A;, and qS is given in Eq. (2.9). Geometrically, qS is the
smaller angle between A and the z-axis (real axis).
The exponential form in Eq. (2.11) is used frequently at various places in
this book. A special example is
(2.12)
which represents a vector of length A
o
rotating counterclockwise at an angular
speed W00
Vector quantities can be used in various operations. The simplest one is
vector addition, which is defined as follows:
(2.13)
Vector addition can be performed graphically using the so-called parallelogram
rule shown in Fig. 2.2. It is obvious that vector addition obeys the commutative
and associative laws:
Commutative law:
Associative law:
1+B=B+1
1 + (B + C) =(1 + B) + C
(2.14a)
(2.14b)
16 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
Figure 2.2 Parallelogram rule for vectoraddition.
Vector multiplication exists in two forms: scalar (or dot) product and vector
(or cross) product. 1 The dot product of two vectors 1 and B, denoted by A· B, is
a scalar that is equal to the product of the magnitudes of Aand :8 and the cosine
of the (smaller) angle between them. Let <P AB be the smaller angle between A
and B. Then,
A. B IAIIBICOS<PAB
It is easy to see that the dot product is commutative and distributive:
(2.15)
Commutative law:
Distributive law:
1.:8=:8.1
A· (13 + C) = A· B + A· C
(2.16a)
(2.16b)
The associative law, however, does not apply to the dot product. Using the dis-
tributive property, one can show that
A· B = AxB
x
+ AyBy + AzB
z
The cross product of two vectors, 1 and :8, is defined by
(2.17)
(2.18)
where ilAB is determined according to the right-hand rule. That is, ilAB takes
the direction of the thumb of the right hand when the fingers rotate from Ato B
through the angle </JAB, as shown in Fig. 2.3.
The cross product obeys the distributive law:
However,
Ax:8= -B x 1
(2.19)
(2.20)
1It is importantto note that whileadditionof planar vectorsis equivalent to additionof the corre-
spondingcomplexnumbers, vector multiplication (dot or cross product)does not correspond to com-
plexmultiplication. Therefore, the complex notationof planar vectorsshouldbe usedwithcaution.
Section 2.2 Basic Concepts of Matrix Algebra
and
17
Ax (B x C) # (A x B) x C (2.21)
Therefore, the cross product is neither commutative nor associative.
Based on the distributive property, one can show that
Ax B = (AyB
z
- AzBy)i+ (AzB
x
- AxBz)J+ (AxBy - AyBx)k (2.22)
or in determinant form
......
AxB
i J k
Ax A
y
A
z
s, By s,
(2.23)
(a)
...
B
,
: IBIsin", AD ., ., , ,
I '
I ",
(b)
...
B
(2.24a)
(2.24b)
(2.24c)
Figure 2.3 (a) Ax :8, and (b) the right-hand rule. Note that #JAB is orthogonal to the
plane containing Aand jj.
The following identities for the unit directional vectors of the X-, y- and z-
axes directly follow from the definition of dot and cross products:
i.i=J.J=k
ek=l
ixi=JxJ=kxk=O
i x ; = k; J x k = i; k x i =J
2.2 Basic Concepts of Matrix Algebra
The (implicit) vector notation is often used to represent one-dimensional data
sequences. Specifically, a column vector containing N elements is denoted as
(2.25)
18 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
Similarly, a row vector of size N is denoted as
v [Vl,V2,···,VN]
A column vector of size N is also called an N x 1 vector and is written as
v ={V
n}NXl
Likewise, a row vector of size N is called a 1 x N vector and written as
v = {V
n
} I XN
(2.26)
(2.27)
(2.28)
Two-dimensional data sequences can be represented by matrices, which are
represented by boldface Roman symbols. A matrix of size M x N has M rows
and N columns and is written as
W = {Wmn}MxN =
(2.29)
WMI WM2 WMN
Some basic matrix definitions are summarized as follows:
• Identity matrix: I = - n)}MxM
• Determinant: /WI = l{wmn}MxMI
• Inverse, W-
1
: W-
1W
= WW-
1
= I
• Transpose: W = {Wmn}MxN ---+ W
T
= {Wnm}NxM
• Complex conjugate: W = {Wmn}MxN ---+ W· =
• Hermitian: W = {Wmn}MxN W
H
=
• Matrix addition: A + B £ {amn + bmn}MxN
• Scalar multiplication: cW = {cw
mn
} M x N
• Matrix multiplication: CMxN £ AMxLBLxN Cmn = 2:;=1 amlbln
• Eigenvalues, A:
• Eigenvectors, v:
• Orthogonal matrix:
• Unitary matrix:
Roots of IW- All
Nonzero solutions of Wv = AV
W-
1
=W
H
orWW
H
=WHW=I
Section 2.3 Some Commonly Used Functions
2.3 Some Commonly Used Functions
This sectionreviewsthe definitionsof several commonlyused functions.
2.3.1 Unit Step Function
The unit step function, denoted by u(·), is definedby
x>O
x<o
2.3.2 SignumFunction
The signumfunction, denoted by sgnt-},is definedby
A{l x>O
sgn(x) = -1 x < 0
It can be expressedin terms of the unit step function as
sgn(x) =2u(x) - 1
19
(2.30)
(2.31)
(2.32)
2.3.3 Rectangular WindowFunction
The unit-widthrectangular windowfunction, denoted as TI(·), is definedby
TI(x) {I Ixl <
o otherwise
Clearly,
TI(x) =u (x + - u(x -
2.3.4 Triangle WindowFunction
The unit triangle windowfunction, denoted by A(·), is definedby

o otherwise
2.3.5 Hamming WindowFunction
The Hamming windowfunctionis a raised cosine functiondefinedby
(2.33)
(2.34)
(2.35)
H(x) {0.54 + O.46cos(211"x) Ixl::; 1./2 (2.36)
o otherwise
20 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
2.3.6 Gaussian Function
The Gaussian window function is defined as
1
G(p"a,x) tn= e" 2<7
v21T'a
(2.37)
where p, and a are the mean and standard deviation of the Gaussian distribution
because of the following properties:
Il =r: xG(Il,O',x)dx
and
2.3.7 Dirac Delta Function
(2.38)
(2.39)
The Dirac delta function or impulse function, denoted by is a mathematical
abstraction for pulses that are so brief and intense that making them any briefer
and more intense does not matter as long as their integral stays the same. Mathe-
matically, is a generalized function because we cannot define its value point
by point as with ordinary functions. A formal definition of (x) is based on the
distribution theory. In this definition, (x) is a functional such that
r:
(2.40)
for any cp(x) that is continuous at the origin. The definition above implies the
following properties:
(a)
(b) is unbounded at x =0
(c) = 1
Pictorially, fJ (x) is represented by an upward arrow at the origin, as shown
in Fig. 2.4, which signifies a pulse at the origin with an unbounded amplitude and
zero duration.
In practice, fJ (x) is taken to be the limit of a function sequence gn (x) :
provided that
fJ(x) = lim gn(x)
n-too
(2.41)
(2.42)
Section 2.3 Some Commonly Used Functions
o(x)
x
Figure 2.4 Pictorial representation of the deltafunction.
21
Many sequences with this property are available. Four well-known examples are
as follows:
8(x) = lim Al n (AX )
l1X-+O uX uX
8(x) = lim Al sine (:X)
l1x-+O uX uX
8(x) = lim Al A (AX )
l1x-+O uX uX
(2.43a)
(2.43b)
(2.43c)
1 2
t5(x) = lim (2.43d)
l1x-+O
The impulse function t5 (x) and the unit step function u(x) are closely related
to each other by
du(x) = 8(x) (2.44)
dx
This relationship can be proved from the distribution definition of d(x) by noting
that
1
00 dUd(x) <p(x)dx = -1
00
u(x)d<Pd(X) dx
-00 X 00 -00 X
= <p(oo) - [<p(oo) - <p(O)] =<p(O)
The following properties of the impulse function d(X) immediately follow
from the defining integral:
(a) Scaling property:
1
8(ax) = a#O (2.45)
22
(b) Sampling property:
Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
c,o(x)<5(x - xo) = c,o(xo)<5(x - xo)
i:cp(x)l5(x - xo)dx = cp(xo)
(2.46a)
(2.46b)
(2.48)
(c) Derivative property:
2.3.8 Kronecker Delta Function
The discrete counterpart of the Dirac delta function is the Kronecker delta func-
tion, written as <5[n] or simply <5
n
. Mathematically, it is defined as
<5[) {I n =0
n = 0 otherwise
Note that <5[n] is not a generalized function, but it has similar effects on dis-
crete functions as <5 (x) does on continuous functions. For example, similarly
to Eqs. (2.44) and (2.46), we have
<5[n] = urn] - urn - 1]
and
00
L c,o[n]<5[n - no] = c,o[nol
n=-oo
2.3.9 Comb Function
(2.49)
(2.50)
The comb function is a periodic function consisting of a sequence of equally
spaced Dirac delta functions. A formal definition of comb(x) is
00
comb(x) = L <5(x - n)
n=-oo
It is easy to show that
00
L = ;xcomb(;x)
n=-oo
(2.51)
(2.52)
Section 2.3 Some Commonly Used Functions
2.3.10 Sinc Function
The sine function is defined by
. () sin(x)
Slnc x =--
x
23
(2.53)
This function is rather popular in the imaging literature because it is directly tied
to the Fourier transform of a rectangular window function, as discussed in Sec-
tion 2.5. Inspection of both Eq. (2.53) and the plot in Fig. 2.5 reveals the following
properties of the sine function:
(a) It is an even function.
(b) It has a peak value 1 at x = 0 by the L'Hopital rule.
(c) Its zero crossings are located at ±n7r. The region between x = -7r and
x = 7r is called the main lobe, and the regions between x = -(n + 1)7r and
x = -avn or between x = n7r and x = (n + 1)7r for n > 1 are called the
side lobes.
(d) Since sinc(x) is the product of an oscillating sin(x) and a monotonically
decreasing function 1/x, sinc( x) exhibits sinusoidal oscillations of period
211", with amplitude decreasing continuously as 1/x,
sinc(x)
x
Figure 2.5 Pictorial representation of the sinefunction.
2.3.11 Dirichlet Function
The Dirichlet function is defined as
D
· (N ) = sin(Nx)
rr ,x . ( )
SIn x
(2.54)
It is easy to show that Dir( N, x) is a periodic function of period 7r for N odd but
27r for N even. Within the region -11"/2 < x < 7r /2, Dir(N, x) looks like a sine
24 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
function in the sense that it has a main lobe spanning over the region between
x =-rr/ N and x =rr/ N and a sequenceof side lobesspanningover the regions
between x = -(n + l}rr/N and x = -nrr/N or between x = nrr/N and
x =(n + l}rr/N. Twoexamplesof Dir(N, x) are shownin Fig. 2.6.
Dir(16,x)
x
(a)
Dir(l7,x)
x
(b)
Figure 2.6 Plots of Dir(N, x) for (a) N =16 and (b) N =17, respectively.
2.3.12 Bessel Functions
Bessel functions ofthe first kind of integer order n, denotedby I
n
(x), are useful
for describingsomeimagingeffects. One definition of In(x) is givenin terms of
the following integral:
(2.55)
Section 2.3 Some Commonly Used Functions 25
A special case is the zero-order Bessel function of the first kind, which, according
to Eq. (2.55), is defined by
Equivalently, we have
Jo(x) = I" eixsin8d()
271" J-1<
(2.56)
Jo(x) = r e-ixsin8d() = r e
i x
cos 8d() = r e-ixcos8d()
271" J-1< 271" J-1< 271" J-1<
(2.57)
Some useful relations of In(x) are summarized below.
In(-x) =(-ItJn(x)
J-n(x) =(-ItIn(x)
00
eixsin8 = L I
n
(x)e
i n 8
n=-oo
00
e
ix
cos 8 = L inI
n
(x)e
i n8
n=-oo
00
cos(xsin9) =Jo(x) + 2 L hn(X) cos2n()
n=l
00
sin(x sin ()) =2 L J
2n
+d x) sin(2n + I)()
n=l
(2.58a)
(2.58b)
(2.58c)
(2.58d)
(2.58e)
(2.58t)
Plots of Jo(x), J
1(x),
and J
2(x)
are given in Fig. 2.7. As can be seen,
the Bessel functions oscillate (but are not exactly periodic), and their amplitudes
Figure2.7 Plots of Bessel functions Jo(x) , J
1
(x). and h(x).
26 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
2.4 Convolution
Convolution is an important mathematical operation between two functions. For
two continuous-variable functions g(x) and h(x), their convolution is defined as
f(x) =i:g(r)h(x - r)dr = i:g(x - r)h(r)dr (2.59)
Symbolically, Eq. (2.59) is often written as
f(x) =g(x) * h(x)
(2.60)
For discrete-variable functions (or data sequences), the integration in Eq. (2.59)
is replaced by a summation such that
00
f[n] =g[n] *h[n] = L g[m]h[n - m]
m=-oo
The following is a summary of some useful properties of convolution:
(a) Commutativity:
(b) Associativity:
(c) Distributivity:
(d) Differentiation property:
For continuous convolution, it is easy to show that
(2.61)
(2.62)
(2.63)
(2.64)
d dg dh
- (g *h) = - *h =9 * -
dx dx dx
(e) Shifting property:
If 9 * h = f, then
(2.65)
g(x - xo) *h(x) =g(x) *h(x - xo) = f(x - xo) (2.66)
(f) Width property:
If g(x) and hex) are functions of finite widths W
g
and Wh, respectively, then
g(x) * h(x) is another finite duration function with width W
g
+ Who
The width property can be extended to discrete convolution, but it takes
a slightly different form. Suppose that g[n] and h[n] are sequences of finite
widths N
g
and N
h
, respectively; then g[n] * h[n] is another finite duration
Section 2.4 Convolution 27
sequence with width Ny + N
h
-1. This property can be understood by con-
sidering the simple example, where gIn] = h[n] = {I, 1, I} are sequences
of width 3, while gIn] *h[n] = {I, 2, 3, 2,1} is a sequence of width 5.
Theorem 2.1 (Central Limit Theorem) When a function h(x) is convolved
with itself n times, in the limit n -+ 00, the convolution product is a Gaussian
function with a variance that is n times the variance of h( x), provided the area,
mean, and variance of h( x) are finite.
One may have seen this theorem in the statistical literature. It can be inter-
preted here as saying that convolution is a smoothing process. Therefore, it is
often appropriate to say that an image obtained from a practical imaging system
is a smoothed version of the true image function .
x

x
=
x
Figure 2.8 Convolution of two exponential functions.
28 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
. -; .:"
,;' "
:!. <..: -.: " '"', .' "'y;
== .!I{x
. "Then,.'
.... d
f
x

. ..", _ ,: " . ' , _ . . . • "._. _ " , " _ : .: .. ,. ::- _;..   " • ' ", ".,V,·: .'''' _ ,; ,>-:
which is atriangular.pulse.vas shownin.Fig:2.9, ':Note tillit
triangular pulse is wider arid smoother than the'rectangular pulse: This'result.".';
, is tobeexpected-from     .> ' :,' "
. . . . - '
......; .. .
· 112 112
JC

·112 112
JC
=
-t
JC
Figure 2.9 Convolution of twoidentical rectangular pulses yieldsa triangular pulse.
2.5 The Fourier Transform
The Fourier transform is of fundamental importance in MRI as will become ev-
ident in the subsequent chapters. This section reviews its definition and some of
its properties relevant to MRI. A number of excellent books provide in-depth dis-
cussions of the theory and applications of the Fourier transform. For engineering
students, Bracewell [6] and Papoulis [51] are especially suitable.
Section 2.5 The Fourier Transform 29
2.5.1 Definition
The Fouriertransformof a spatial functionp(x), denotedby:F{p(x)}, or {:Fp}(k),
or simply S (k), is definedas
S(k) =F{p(x)} =Fp =i:p(x)e-
i 21r
k:J: dx (2.67)
where k is a spatial frequencyvariablehavingthe unit of cycles per unit distance.
In signal processing, S (k) is called thefrequency spectrum of p(x). In gen-
eral, S(k) is a complex-valued function of k and is often conveniently written
as
S(k) = IS(k)lei«P(k) (2.68)
where IS(k)1 is the magnitudespectrumand ep(k) is the phase spectrum. In MRI;
S(k) are the experimental data measured in the Fourier space (often called k-
space), while p(x) is the desired image function representing, for example, the
spin density function. Variables x and k are termed conjugate variables of the
Fourier transform. Another pair of conjugate variables frequently mentioned in
the MRI literatureconsists of time t and spectral frequencyf.
Given S(k), we can recover p(x) using the inverse Fourier transform:
(2.69)
The functions p(x) and S (k) are said to constitute a Fourier transformpair.
Ashorthandnotation"+--+" is often used to signifythis pairingrelationshipsuch
that
p(x) ?t S(k) or simply p(x) S(k) (2.70)
The definitions abovecan be extendedto higher dimensions. In vector nota-
tion, the forwardand inverseFourier transformscan be written as
and
S(k) = i:'" i:p(r)e-
i 21r1c·t'dr
(2.71)
p(r) =i:'" i: S(k)e
i 21r1c·t'dk
(2.72)
These formulas apply to functions of any dimensionality if k and r are defined
appropriately. For instance, in twodimensions, k =(k
x
, k
y
) and r = (x, y); then
s»: ky) =i:l.: p(x, y)e-
i 21r(k
lOz+k"y)dxdy
(2.73)
and
30 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
An important property of higher-dimensional Fourier transforms is that they
can be expressed as sequential one-dimensional transforms along each dimension.
For example, the two-dimensional forward Fourier transform can be written as
(2.75)
This property makes it possible to treat higher-dimensional Fourier transform
imaging problems in the one-dimensional setting. In general, the following re-
cursive relationship exists for expressing the n-dimensional Fourier transform in
terms of lower-dimensional transforms:
(2.76)
where F
n
is the n-dimensional Fourier transform operator. As an example, we
have F4 =F
3F1
= F
2
F
2
= F
1
F
1
;:i F
1
, which means that the four-dimensional
Fourier transform can be decomposed into one three-dimensional transform cas-
transforms, or into four cascaded one-dimensional transforms.
2.5.2 Properties
Some properties of the Fourier transform relevant to MRI are summarized below
for easy reference. For notational simplicity, we assume p(x) ?t S(k) when-
ever appropriate. All the formulas listed are based on the one-dimensional Fourier
transform; extension to higher dimensions is in most cases straightforward and
(a) Uniqueness:
(2.77)
(b) Linearity:
(c) Shifting theorem:
p(x - xo) +----+ S(k)e-i21rkxo
(d) Modulation:
p(x) cos(21rkox) +---+ !fS(k + k
o)
+ S(k - k
o)]
p(x)sin(21rk
ox)
+ k
o)
- S(k - k
o)]
(2.78)
(2.79a)
(2.79b)
(2.80a)
(2.80b)
Section 2.5 The Fourier Transform
(e) Conjugate symmetry:
p*(x) 8*( -k)
31
(2.81)
Specifically, if p(x) is a real-valued function, that is, p(x) = p*(x), then
S(k) =S*(-k).
(t) Scaling property:
(g) Parseval'sformula:
p(ax) +-+ S
(2.82)
(2.84)
i:PI(x)p;(x)dx =i:Sl(k)S2(k)dk (2.83)
Setting Pl(X) =P2(X) =p(x) yields
i:Ip(x)1
2
dx =i:IS(k)1
2dk
which states that energy is conserved in both the space and frequency do-
mains.
(h) Derivative property:
(i) Convolution theorem:
PI(x) * P2(X) +---t 8
1
(k)S2(k)
Pl(X)p2(X) SI(k) * S2(k)
(2.85a)
(2.85b)
(2.86)
(2.87)
0) Analyticity:
Functions that we deal with in imaging applications have nonzero values
only in a finite spatial region. Functions of this type are called spatially
support-limited, and their Fourier transform are analytic over the entire k-
space. In the one-dimensional case, this property states that
exists for all nand k
(k) Asymptotic property:
If p(x) and all of its derivatives up to order n exist and are bounded, then
S(k) decays as fast as l/k
n
+
l
as Ikl --+ 00.
32
2.5.3 Examples
Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
This section presents several examples of Fourier transform calculations based on
the definition or properties.
Section 2.5 The Fourier Transform
33
34 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
Section 2.5 The Fourier Transform 35
Lcomb{ix)
(I)
comb(ir)
(M)
---'---...L.---1--l---L..-_k
FIgure 2.10 TheFourier transform of a deltafunction train.
(2.99)
36 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
The Radon transform is known as the mathematical basis for tomographic imag-
ing from projection (line, plane, or hyperplane integral) data. Unlike the case
of the Fourier transform, the popularity and growth of the Radon transform have
been closely tied to tomographic imaging [16, 32]. In fact, the basic Radon trans-
form theory was ignored for nearly half a century following its invention in 1917
until its first successful use for generating X-ray tomographic images in 1972. For
this reason, this transform has been reinvented several times in different forms and
in different areas. In this section, we first present its mathematical definition and
then discuss some of its fundamental properties. To bring out the concept, we
begin with the definition of the two-dimensional Radon transform. Then we will
nally, we describe the projection-slice theorem and other properties of the Radon
transform. The inverse Radon transform is discussed in Chapter 6 in the context
of image reconstruction from projection data.
The two-dimensional Radon transform is simply a line integral, as shown in
Fig. 2.11. More specifically, for an arbitrary function p(x, y), its Radon trans-
form, denoted as R{p(x, y)}, or {Rp }(p, </», or simply P(p, </», is the integration
of p(x, y) along a line (ray) L,
P(p,O) = 'R{p(x, y)} = l p(x, y)dl
where the integral path L is defined by
x cos </> + y sin </> = p
(2.100)
(2.101)
In some medical imaging literature, {np} (p, ¢) is called a raysum since the
line integral is accomplished physically by passing a ray through an object. For
a fixed ¢, {np }(p, ¢), as a function of p, is a projection of p(x, y) along L, and
¢ is referred to as the projection angle. It is important to note, however, that the
projection angle is defined as the angle between the x-axis and the line normal to
the ray path (not the orientation angle of the ray path itself).
Mathematically, 'R.{p( x, y)} can be written in several equivalent forms. For
example, the line integral in Eq. (2.99) can be converted to a one-dimensional
integration as
{'Rp}(p, ¢) = i:p(p cos¢ - qsin¢,psin¢ + qcos¢)dq
Equation (2.101) is obtained by transforming the (x, y) coordinate system to the
rotated coordinate system (p, q), shown in Fig. 2.12. The required transformation
Section 2.6 The Radon Transform 37
p
Figure 2.11 Two-dimensional Radon transform as line integrals.
y
:;;t-- - -x
Figure 2.12 Ray path L relative to the original and rotated coordinates .
is given by
{
p =xcos¢+ ysin¢
q =- x sin¢ + Ycos¢
or
{
X =pcos¢ - qsin¢
y = p sin e + qcos¢
(2.102)
Another more convenient form of the two-dimensional Radon transform is
{Rp}(p, ¢) =i:i:p(x, y)8(x cos¢ + ysin¢ - p)dxdy
(2.103)
38 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
The equivalence between Eqs. (2.101) and (2.103) can be justified using the co-
ordinate transformation defined in Eq. (2.102) . Specifically, upon performing the
variable substitution
{
X = pcos¢ - ijsin¢
y =psin¢+ijcos¢
(2.104)
Eq. (2.103) becomes
{np}(p,¢) =IIp(pcos¢-ijsin¢,psin¢+ijcos¢)tS(p-p)IJldpdij (2.105)
Equation (2.101) immediately follows by making use of the property of the delta
function and noting that
ox ox
IJI=
op oij
=1
cos¢ -sin¢
1=1
oy oy
sin¢ cos¢
op oij
. '= bII ,(E) "
: , a '
(2.106)
The Radon transform of higher-dimensional functions can be defined by extend-
ing Eq. (2.103) to higher dimensions. First, we rewrite Eq. (2.103) in vector form
Section 2.6 The Radon Transform 39
with the dimension of the transform operator and the vector variables being made
explicit:
fR'2P}(P,JL2) = { p(r2)d(p - JL2 • r2) dr2 (2.107)
JR2
where Jl2 =(cos 4>, sin 4», r2 =(x, y), and dr2 =dxdy. Extending Eq. (2.107)
to n dimensions gives
(2.108)
which is called the nth-dimensional Radon transform of p(r
n
) .
To gain a better understanding ofEq. (2.108), consider the three-dimensional
case. In the spherical coordinate system,
and
Jl3 = (sin () cos 4>, sin 0sin 4>, cos ()) (2.109)
1'3 • r3 = x sin 0 cos 4> + y sin () sin 4> + z cos () (2.110)
where () and 4> are the polar and azimuthal angles, respectively. Substituting
Eq. (2.110) into Eq. (2.108) yields
f
R
3PHp, JL3) =!!! p(x, y, Z )d(Xsin (J cos </J+y sin (J sin </J+Z cos (J-p )dxdydz
(2.111)
Noting that
x sin ()cos 4> + y sin () sin 4> + z cos () = p (2.112)
defines a plane as shown in Fig. 2.13, it is clear that Eq. (2.111) is a plane integral
in contrast to the line integral given by Eq. (2.103) for the two-dimensional case.
For n > 3, it is convenient to employ the hyperspherical polar coordinates
(T, 0
1
, · .. , 4» with
T1 = T cos 0
1
T2 = T sin ()1 cos O
2
T
n
- 2 = T sin 0
1
•.• sin On-3 cos (}n-2
T
n-1
=T sin (}1 ... sin On-2 cos 4>
rn = r sin 0
1
••• sin On-2 sin 4>
(2.113)
for 0 ()£ n, 0 4> 211", and r O. The unit vector in Eq. (2.108) is now
given by
JL
n
= (cos 0
1
, sin 0
1
cos O
2
, ... , sin 0
1
..• sin 0n-2 sin 4»
and the volume element is
(2.114)
(2.115)
40 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
z
p
Figure 2.13 Three-dimensional Radontransform as planeintegrals.
For functions of more than two dimensions. it is sometimes useful to define a
partial Radon transform. which is the mathematical foundation for the multistage
projection reconstruction algorithm to be described in Chapter 6. Before intro-
ducing the general definition. let us first consider the three-dimensional Radon
transform. From Eq. (2.111). we have
'R
3
P=IIIp(x, y, z)<5(x cos ¢>sin 0 + ysin ¢>sinO + zcosO - p)dxdydz
= IIIp(x, y, z)8[(x cos¢> + y sin ¢» sinO+ z cos 0 - p]dxdydz
=II!! p(x,y, z)<5(qsinO + zcosO - p)
8(x cos ¢> + ysin¢>- q)dqdxdydz
=!! [!! p(x, y, z)8(x cos ¢> + ysin¢>- q)dXdY]
8(qsin 0 + zcosO - p)dqdz (2.116)
The double integral inside the brackets is a line integral in the (x, y)-plane. Treat-
ing p(x, y, z) as a function of x and y with z being a free parameter. the bracketed
double integral can be viewed as a two-dimensional Radon transform and written
(2.117)
as
fR.2P}(q, tP; z) =IIp(x, y, z)8(x cos tP + ysin tP - q)dxdy
where 1-&2 = (cos 4>, sin 4». Substituting Eq. (2.117) into Eq. (2.116) yields
41
(2.118)
{1?3P}(P,tP,O) =II1?2P(q,tPj z)8(qsinO + zcosO - p)dqdz
We refer to {n
2
P}(q, 4>; z) as a partial Radon transform of p(x, y, z) because the
function is only partially transformed (along the x- and y-directions). As with
Eq. (2.117), we also have other partial transforms such as and
{R
2
P}(q, 4>; y), as well as those not in the cardinal directions. In general, we
define a partial Radon transform as a lower-dimensional transform of a higher-
dimensional function. A more formal definition is as follows.
Definition 2.1 For an n-dimensional function p( r), its m-dimensional partial
Radon transform along the first m cardinal directions Tl, T2, ..• , Tm with m :S n
is defined as
1?mp(p, Pm; T
m
+1 , " " Tn) = { p(rm;T
m
+1 " ' " T
n
)8(p - Pm • rm)drm
JRm
(2.119)
where r m = (Tl' T2, ••• , Tm) and Pm is a unit directional vector in jRm defining
the projection direction.
It is clear from this definition and from Fig. 2.14 that a notable distinction
between partial and full Radon transforms is that, for a given projection angle,
the Radon transform reduces a function p(r) to a one-dimensional projection
profile, while the partial Radon transforms are planar or hyperplanar projections
of p(r ). Specifically, for an n-dimensional function, its m-dimensional partial
Radon transform has (n - m) untransformed spatial dimensions which, combined
with distributions along the p-axis, form an (n - m + 1)-dimensional projection
of the function for 2 m ::; n. For the special case m = n, the partial Radon
transform becomes the (full) Radon transform.
Similarly to the Fourier transform, a higher-dimensional Radon transform
is demonstrated by Eq. (2.118), in which the three-dimensional Radon transform
is equivalent to two cascaded two-dimensional Radon transforms. It is also easy
to visualize that a four-dimensional Radon transform can be expressed as three
transform followed by a three-dimensional Radon transform, or vice versa. In
general, the following recursive relationship exists for the partial Radon transform
operator:
2:Sm:Sn-landn>2 (2.120)
42 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
z
Figure2.14 Graphical representation of two-dimensional partial Radon transforms of a
three-dimensional object.
where R
n
represents the n-dimensional (partial) Radon transform operator. To
prove the decomposition in Eq. (2.120), we rewrite Eq. (2.108) as
{RnP}(p, J-L
n)
= r p(T
n)t5(p-
J-L:" 'T
m
- 'Tn-m)dTmdTn-m (2.121)
JRn
where it is assumed that
J-L:" =
(J.llt J.l2, ... 'J.lm)
T
m
=
(rl' r2,'" ,rm)
-/
(J.lmH, J.lm+2,· · . ,J.ln)
J-Ln-m
=
Tn-m
=
(rm+I' r
m+2,
. .. , rn)
(2. 122a)
(2.122b)
(2.l22c)
(2.122d)
such that
(2.123a)
(2. 123b)
The prime superscripts on J-L:" and are used to indicate that they are not
unit vectors. Let q = . T
m
. Then
IP;"I
(2.124)
Section 2.6 The Radon Transform 43
Equation (2.120) immediately follows from Eq. (2.124) by noting that I:b is a
unit directional vector in jRm and forms a unit directional vector
in jRn-m+l.
2.6.4 Basic Properties
The Radon transform possesses many useful properties. Some of the straight-
forward ones for the two-dimensional case are listed below; others are discussed
subsequently in detail. Most of them can be extended to higher dimensions. For
notational simplicity, we assume that p(x, y) A P(p, 1».
(a) Linearity:
(b) Symmetry:
P(p, </» = P( -p, 4> ± 11")
(c) Periodicity:
(2.125)
(2.126)
P{p, 4» =P(p,4> + 2n1l") for integer n (2.127)
(d) Shifting property:
p(x - xo, y - Yo) f---t P(p - Xocoscf> - Yo sin</>, </»
(e) Rotation by <Po:
(2.128)
p(x cos 4>0 - y sin cf>o, x sin cf>o + y cos 4>0) f----+ P(p,4> + 4>0) (2.129)
(f) Scaling property:
1
p(ax,ay) f---7
(g) Energy conservation
I:I:p(x,y)dxdy = I:P(p,rf»dp
(2.130)
(2.131)
2.6.5 Sinogram
The two-dimensional Radon transform maps the spatial domain (x, y) to the
Radon domain (p,4». This mapping exhibits some interesting properties. For
example, each point in the Radon space corresponds to a straight line in the spa-
tial domain; in other words, the data value at a particular point in the Radon space
receives contributions from data points along a line in the spatial domain. On the
44 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
other hand. a point in the spatial domain is mapped to a sinusoid in the Radon
space. The first point is clear fromthe definition of the Radon transform. The lat-
ter point can be understood by consideringa point source locatedat ro =(xo, Yo)
'R.{Ac5(r - ro}} =L: L: Ac5(r - ro)c5(p - J.L' r)dr
=Ac5(p - J.L • ro)
=Ac5(xo cos ¢> + Yo sin¢> - p)
(2.132)
which is a sheet of impulses supported on a sinusoidal curve in the (p, ¢>)-plane.
as shownin Fig. 2.15. definedby
p =Xo cos¢> + Yo sin¢> =TO cos(¢> - ¢>o)
(2.133)
where TO = + Y5 and ¢>o = arctan(yo/xo) . For this reason. the two-
dimensionalfunctionformedby stacking up all the projectionstaken sequentially
along the angular directionis called a sinogram.
P<t,y)
x
(a)
o
(b)
1t
Figure2.15 Sinograms of (a) a point source and (b)a rectangular function,
Section 2.6 The Radon Transform 4S
For an arbitrary function p(x, y), the sinogram may be more complicated.
Based on the sampling property of the delta function, we can rewrite p(x, y) as
p(x, y) =i:i:p(xo, Yo)8(x - xo, y - yo)dxodyo
(2.134)
Since the Radon transform operation is linear, by superposition the sinogram for
p(x, y) is a continuous sum of sinusoidal sheets with intensity p(xo, Yo), ampli-
tude TO = + and initial phase cPo = arctan(yo/xo).
2.6.6 The Projection-Slice Theorem
The Radon transform is closely related to the Fourier transform by the famous
projection-slice theorem, which is the theoretical basis for several image recon-
struction algorithms. This theorem actually exists in two forms, although only the
first form is popularly known. We will describe them both here. The first form
of this theorem is for the (full) Radon transform, which relates a one-dimensional
projection to a line of data in k-space, while the second form is for the partial
Radon transform, which connects planar or hyperplanar projections to the k-space
data.
Theorem 2.2 (Projection-Slice Theorem) For an n-dimensionalfunction p(r ),
the one-dimensional Fourier transform of{Rp} (p, p,) along the p-axis for a fixed
projection angle p, is identical to the n-dimensional Fourier transform of p(r )
evaluated along a line passing through the origin with the same orientation angle
in the Fourier space. Mathematically, this theorem can expressed as
Fp{{Rp}(p,p,)} = {Fp}(kp,)
where F
p
represents one-dimensional Fourier transform along the p-axis.
This theorem can be proven easily from the definition as follows:
(2.135)
.rp{{'Rp}(p, J&)} =i:{'Rp}(P, J&)e-
i21rA:
P
dp
=JOO [1 p(r)t5(p - p,. r)dr] e-i21rkPdp
-00 rER"
=1 p(r) [jOO 8(p - J&. r)e-i2dPdP] dr
rER" -00
=1 p(r)e-
i21rkp..rdr
rER"
= {Fp}(kp,)
46 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
For a better appreciation of the theorem, we take a closer look at it for the
two- and three-dimensional cases. In two dimensions, we have J.l. = (cos ¢, sin ¢)
and, consequently,
Fp{{np}(p,¢)} ={Fp}(kcos¢,ksin¢) (2.136)
which is depicted in Fig. 2.16. It is clear from this example that projections of
p(x, y) correspond to slices of its Fourier transform {Fp}(k"" k
y
), thus the name
projection-slice theorem.
In three dimensions, J.l. = (sin ()cos ¢, sin ()sin ¢, cos ()) and the projection-
slice theorem states that
F
1
{{np}(p, ¢, ())) ={Fp}(k sin ()cos ¢, ksin ()sin ¢, kcos ())
Note that
{
k", =k sin ()cos ¢
k
y
=ksin()sin¢
k
z
=kcos ()
or equivalently,
k", ky k
z
sin ()cos ¢ = sin ()sin ¢ = cos ()
defines a line along the direction of J.l. in the three-dimensional k-space.
(2.137)
(2.138)
(2.139)
'1"2
---
Figure 2.16 Pictorial representation of the projection-slice theorem in twodimensions.
Section 2.6 The Radon Transform 47
x
Figure2.17 Graphical representation of p(x , y).
48 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
Section 2.6 The Radon Transform 49
Figure 2.18 Projection of a square object.
p
Theorem 2.3 (Generalized Projection-Slice Theorem) For an n-dimensional
function p( r}. the Fourier transform of its partial Radon transform 'R-mP is re-
lated to its Fourier transform :FP by the following relationship:
where it is understood that 'R-mp is a function of(p, I'mj XmH, . . . , X
n
) such that
p and k, and (XmH, . . . , x
n
) and (k
mH
, . .. , k
n
) are conjugate variable pairs of
:F
n
-
mH
. Thefunction on the right-hand side ofEq. (2.140) should be interpreted
as {:F
n
P}{k
ll
k
2
, .•• ! k
n}
evaluated at (k
1
! k
2
, •• • , k
m)
=kl'm'
We call Eq. (2.140) the generalized projection-slice theorem because it in-
cludes the basic projection-slice theorem as a special case with m = n. This
theorem can be proven following the same procedure used to prove the basic
projection-slice theorem as follows.
50 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
{Fn-m+lRmp}(k, km+t, . .. ,k
n)
= r (>0 [r p(rm;Xm+l"" ,x
n
)c5(p - JLm' rm)dr
m]
JRn-m t.: JRm
e-i21rkpe-i21r(km+lXm+l+··+knXn)dpdXm+t . .. dX
n
-1 p(r . x x )e-
i21r(kl£m
.rm+km+lXm+l+···+knxn)
- m, m+ll" " n
Rn
drmdXm+l .. . dX
n
2.6.7 Convolution Theorem
Another useful relationship associated with the Radon transform is the convolu-
tion theorem. which states that the Radon transform of the convolution of two
functions pt(r) and P2(r) is equal to the one-dimensional convolution of their
Section 2.6 The Radon Transform 51
Equation (2.141)canbeobtained directly from the definition of convolution
n{Pl * P2}(p,lt) =kn [kn pl(r)P2(r - r)dr] l5(p - It· r)dr
=In pl(r) P2(r - r)I5(p - It· r)dr] dr
= ( pl(r) [{ {J2(rl)I5[(p - It· r) - It· rlJdr
l]
df
,JJRn JR.n
= ( pl(r){np2}(p - It· r,lt)dr
JRn
=In pl(r) [L
OO
{np2}(p - q,It)I5(q - It· r)d
q]
dr
=L
oo
{np2}(p - q,JL) [/R" pl(r)I5(q - JL. r)dr] dq
=L
oo
{npt}(q,lt){np2}(p - q,lt)dq
52
Exercises
Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
2.1 Let v = (1, -2,3). Determine Ivl and Il
v
' and graph v.
2.2 Let A =(1, 1,0) and B =(1,2, -2).
(a) Graph A and B.
(b) Evaluate and graph A + B, A· B, and A x B.
(c) Determine the angle between A and B.
2.3 Derive Eq. (2.17) from Eq. (2.15).
2.4 Derive Eq. (2.22) from Eq. (2.18).
2.5 Consider the following two matrices:
1[1 1]
WI = v'2 1 -1 [
v'2 i ]
and W
2
= -i v'2
(a) Determine if they are orthogonal or unitary matrices.
(b) Evaluate W
1W2

(c) Determine W
I
1
and W
2
1
.
2.6 Sketch the following functions:
(a)

(b) II(2x - 10)
(c)
A(2x + 5)
(d) A(-2x + 5)
(e) sinc( x
2
3)
(f)
sine( )rr( )
(g) n
2{u[n]
- urn - 4]}
(h)
urn+ 3] - urn - 5]
(i) u[-n + 5]u[n + 3]
G)
u[-n]u[n - 1]
Exercises
2.7 For the Gaussian function defined in Eq. (2.37), show that
JL =i:xG(JL,O',x)dx
and
Hint:
53
2.8 Prove the following properties of the Dirichlet function Dir(N, x) defined
in Eq. (2.54):
(a) Dir(N, x) is a periodic function of period 1r for N odd but 21r for N
even.
(b)
N-l
L e
i2nx
= Dir(N, x)ei(N-l)x
n=O
(c)

{21r
Dir(N,x)dx =
0
2.9 Use the distribution definition to show that
Nodd
Neven
i:<p(x)8'(x)dx =-<p'(O)
2.10 Justify the formula given in Eq. (2.43a).
2.11 Show that

1
d(x cos </J + Ysin </J )d</J = --===
o Jx
2
+ y2
Hint: x cos </J+ysin</J = Jx
2
+ y2 cos(t/J-</Jo) wheree-, = arctan(y/x).
2.12 Based on Eq. (2.55), show that

In(x) = - . cos(nO - xsinO)dO
1r 0
54
2.13 Show that
Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
Jo(x) = 2- /tr e-ixsin(}dO = 2- /tr eixcos(JdO = 2- /tr e-ixcos(JdO
21r -tr 21r -tr 21r -tr
2.14 Show that
00 00
eixsin(J = J
o
(x )+2L J
2n
(X) cos(2nO)+i2L J2n-l(X) sin[(2n-l)O]
n=1 n=1
2.15 Show that lx comb( x j is a comb function of periodicity namely,
1 00
Ax comb(xjAx) = L o(x - nAx)
n=-oo
2.16 Calculate the following convolutions and sketch the resulting functions:
(a) II(xja) *II(xjb)
(b) II (x / a) * A(x j b)
(c) ! * !
x x
(d) G(J-tl, 0"1, x) * G(J-t2, 0"2, x)
(e) {... , 0, 0.5, 0,1,0,0.5,0,···} *{!' 1,!}
2.17 Show that
fl(t)e-i2trfot * f2(t)e-i2trfot = [fl(t) * f2(t)]e-i2trfot
2.18 Let S(k) = F{p(x)}. Prove the following properties:
(a) Hermitiansymmetry:
If p(x) is a real function, then S(k) = S*( -k)
(b) Modulationproperty:
1
F{p(x) cos(21rkox)} = 2[S(k + k
o)
+ S(k - k
o)]
2.19 Prove the convolution theorem, namely,
2.20 Calculate :F{sinc
2
(1rax)} based on the convolution theorem.
Exercises 55
2.21 Calculate the Fourier transform of the trapezoidal pulse in the following
figure using the derivative and shift theorems.
P(x)
-b -a
a b x
2.22 Calculate the Fourier transform of the following functions using the prop-
erties:
(a) II( t-::/2 )e-
i21r
lot
(b) II( t-::/2 )e-i21rlo(t-to/2)
(c) sinc[7rfw(t - to)]e-i21rlot
(d) sincl-r fw(t - to)]e-
i21r
lo(t-to)
2.23 Show that any periodic function f (t) of period T can be written as
f(t) =h(t) * fcomb )
where fT(t) is a period of f(t).
2.24 Show the following Fourier transform relationship:
2.25 Calculate the following convolution:
sinc(1ral x) * sinc(1ra2x) * · . · * sinc( 1ra
nx)
where it is assumed that 0 < at < a2 < ... < an.
2.26 Afunction p(x) can be expressed as a sum of its even and odd components
as p(x) = Pe(x) + Po(x).
(a) If p(x) is a real function, show that
Pe(x)
Po(x)
56 Chapter 2 Mathematical Fundamentals
(b) Verify the result in (a) with p(x) = e-Xu(x).
2.27 Let S(k) be the Fourier transform of a real function p(x) with Sr and Si
being the real and imaginary parts of S, respectively. Find ;:-1{s,(k)}
and ;:-1{Si (k )} and express the results in terms of p(x).
2.28 Let p(x, y) be a circularly symmetric function and let S(k
x
, k
y
) be its
Fourier transform. Show that
S(kcos¢,ksin¢) = 211" 1
00
p(rcos¢, r sin ¢) Jo(211"kr)rdr
2.29 Given that
L-
OO
e-",2dx = .[if
find the Radon transform of e-
1r
(x
2+y2).
2.30 Calculate the partial Radon transform {R
2
P}(p, <P; z) for the following
function:
p(x, y, z) = {z x
2
+ 1 and Izl 1
o otherwise
2.31 Prove the properties of the Radon transform listed in Section 2.6.4.
2.32 Let S(k
x,
k
y
) be the two-dimensional Fourier transform of p(x, y) and
S(k) be a one-dimensional obtained from it by setting k
x
= k cos <Po and
ky = k sin <Po + ko. Namely, S(k) is the value of S(kx,k y) evaluated
along the line k
y
= tan <Pokx + k
o
in the two-dimensional k-space, as
shown in the following figure. Find ;:-1{§ (k)} and express the result in
terms of p(x, y).