Overview

A brief analysis of the litterature in the field of ultrasound plane wave imaging led to the following remarks :

- an important part of the contributions done in our field is computational research

- there are many algorithms/methods developed for image construction/beamforming especially for high frame rate plane wave imaging

- currently there are no means to compare them all in a fair manner, i.e. same configurations, simulations, experiments, metrics, optimal tuning of each method etc...

In response to these observations and inspired by what is already done for other medical imaging modalities in other conferences, we propose to organize a challenge on plane wave imaging. The challenge will be supported by a web platform. It will be presented at the next IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium 2016 in Tours (France).

Some datasets consisting of the pre-beamformed single element signals for several angles of insonnification (simulations and experiments) will be provided to the challengers. They will have to construct/beamform images at a specific grid imposed by the organizers and upload their final envelope image on the platform. The datasets will be designed to enable the evaluation of the following two image quality metrics: resolution, contrast. These datasets will also be used to ensure that no geometric distortion is introduced during image construction and to ensure that speckle is preserved.

A competition will be organized in order to motivate participants. For each participant, the results for the different metrics will be used to allocate points. These points will serve to classify and rank the challengers and designate a winner. Several  categories will be organized. In three categories the maximum number of angles will be imposed (low medium and high number of angles) and only the image quality metrics will be used for attributing points and make the ranking. In a last category, challengers will be free to use the number of angles they want and this number will be included as a correction factor for the attribution of the number of points.

The aim of the challenge goes much beyond the simple designation of a winner. The aim is also to analyse more finelly the different methods.