Google Research

Accelerating MRI Reconstruction on TPUs

  • Chao Ma
  • Thibault Marin
  • TJ Lu
  • Yi-fan Chen
  • Yue Zhuo
IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference, IEEE (2020)


The advanced magnetic resonance (MR) image reconstructions such as the compressed sensing and subspace-based imaging are considered as large-scale, iterative, optimization problems. Given the large number of reconstructions required by the practical clinical usage, the computation time of these advanced reconstruction methods is often unacceptable. In this work, we propose using Google's Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) to accelerate the MR image reconstruction. TPU is an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for machine learning applications, which has recently been used to solve large-scale scientific computing problems. As proof-of-concept, we implement the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) in TensorFlow to reconstruct images on TPUs. The reconstruction is based on multi-channel, sparsely sampled, and radial-trajectory $k$-space data with sparsity constraints. The forward and inverse non-uniform Fourier transform operations are formulated in terms of matrix multiplications as in the discrete Fourier transform. The sparsifying transform and its adjoint operations are formulated as convolutions. The data decomposition is applied to the measured $k$-space data such that the aforementioned tensor operations are localized within individual TPU cores. The data decomposition and the inter-core communication strategy are designed in accordance with the TPU interconnect network topology in order to minimize the communication time. The accuracy and the high parallel efficiency of the proposed TPU-based image reconstruction method are demonstrated through numerical examples.

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