Accelerating iterative coordinate descent using a stored system matrix

Scott S. Hsieh, John M. Hoffman, Frederic Noo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The computational burden associated with model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) is still a practical limitation. Iterative coordinate descent (ICD) is an optimization approach for MBIR that has sometimes been thought to be incompatible with modern computing architectures, especially graphics processing units (GPUs). The purpose of this work is to accelerate the previously released open-source FreeCT_ICD to include GPU acceleration and to demonstrate computational performance with ICD that is comparable with simultaneous update approaches. Methods: FreeCT_ICD uses a stored system matrix (SSM), which precalculates the forward projector in the form of a sparse matrix and then reconstructs on a rotating coordinate grid to exploit helical symmetry. In our GPU ICD implementation, we shuffle the sinogram memory ordering such that data access in the sinogram coalesce into fewer transactions. We also update NS voxels in the xy-plane simultaneously to improve occupancy. Conventional ICD updates voxels sequentially (NS = 1). Using NS > 1 eliminates existing convergence guarantees. Convergence behavior in a clinical dataset was therefore studied empirically. Results: On a pediatric dataset with sinogram size of 736 × 16 × 13860 reconstructed to a matrix size of 512 × 512 × 128, our code requires about 20 s per iteration on a single GPU compared to 2300 s per iteration for a 6-core CPU using FreeCT_ICD. After 400 iterations, the proposed and reference codes converge within 2 HU RMS difference (RMSD). Using a wFBP initialization, convergence within 10 HU RMSD is achieved within 4 min. Convergence is similar with NS values between 1 and 256, and NS = 16 was sufficient to achieve maximum performance. Divergence was not observed until NS > 1024. Conclusions: With appropriate modifications, ICD may be able to achieve computational performance competitive with simultaneous update algorithms currently used for MBIR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e801-e809
JournalMedical physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • GPU acceleration
  • iterative coordinate descent
  • iterative reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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