EstimationThis core concentrates on algorithms and software for the estimation of biomedically meaningful parameters and values that are either outputs of the other CIBC Technology Research and Development Cores or are needed as inputs or parameters for those Cores. It includes both direct estimation from data and "indirect" estimation via solutions to inverse problems. The CIBC's overall goal is to increase the ability of biomedical researchers to extract meaningful quantitative results from solutions to a variety of imaging problems. In some aspects of the collaborations in which CIBC participates, this can be achieved directly by image-based modeling or simulation of mechanistic processes or visualization of those models or simulation results. In these situations the connection between the computational output and the underlying biomedical problem is so direct that the required information can be extracted implicitly, e.g. by user observation or simple computation using pre-set thresholds.
In other aspects of the Center's work, though, we need to deal more explicitly with a variety of kinds of uncertainty in developing computational tools. For example, when designing models for bioelectric simulations there is a feedback loop between choosing the parameters of the physical model and the output of the resulting simulations, requiring development of computational tools to evaluate the simulation outputs and guide optimization of the models that produce them. In other Driving Biological Projects (DBPs) we need to explicitly solve inverse problems, i.e. using geometric models and simulation algorithms to determine underlying parameters of clinical or scientific interest. For instance, in our DBP collaboration with Dr. Tucker, we plan to use voltage and current measurements from external electrodes on the scalp to solve an electrical impedance tomography (EIT) problem to estimate internal conductivities.
All of these problems have a broad range of uncertainties that require the use of estimation-based algorithms that are designed to provide a reasonable degree of robustness. The CIBC Estimation Core includes various kinds of estimation under a single framework, all in the context of computations based on the assumption of uncertainty in our measurements and modeling. The Estimation Core helps to bind the other Research Cores together, as well as uniting the biomedical user community with imaging results, furthering enabling translational biomedical advances.