Deriving and Visualizing Uncertainty in Kinetic PET Modeling

Proceedings of the EG Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine, page 107--114 - 2012
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Kinetic modeling is the tool of choice when developing new positron emission tomography (PET) tracers for quantitative functional analysis. Several approaches are widely used to facilitate this process. While all these approaches are inherently different, they are still subject to uncertainty arising from various stages of the modeling process. In this paper we propose a novel approach for deriving and visualizing uncertainty in kinetic PET modeling. We distinguish between intra- and inter-model uncertainties. While intra-model uncertainty allows us to derive uncertainty based on a single modeling approach, inter-model uncertainty arises from the differences of the results of different approaches. To derive intra-model uncertainty we exploit the covariance matrix analysis. The inter-model uncertainty is derived by comparing the outcome of three standard kinetic PET modeling approaches. We derive and visualize this uncertainty to exploit it as a basis for changing model input parameters with the ultimate goal to reduce the modeling uncertainty and thus obtain a more realistic model of the tracer under investigation. To support this uncertainty reduction process, we visually link abstract and spatial data by introducing a novel visualization approach based on the ThemeRiver metaphor, which has been modified to support the uncertainty-aware visualization of parameter changes between spatial locations. We have investigated the benefits of the presented concepts by conducting an evaluation with domain experts.

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BibTex references

@inproceedings{NBYR12,
  author       = {Nguyen, Khoa Tan and Bock, Alexander and Ynnerman, Anders and Ropinski, Timo},
  title        = {{Deriving and Visualizing Uncertainty in Kinetic PET Modeling}},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the EG Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine},
  pages        = {107--114},
  year         = {2012}
}

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