HARDI reconstruction challenge 2013


Validation is the bottleneck for the diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) community.

Diffusion MRI is a powerful imaging modality which is sensitive to the random movement of the water molecules in biological tissues. By studying the anisotropy of this diffusion process in white matter it is possible to highlight structures otherwise invisible with other imaging modalities and to infer the neuronal wiring of the brain. The study of this connectivity is of major importance in a clinical perspective, with particular emphasis on neurological disorders which, nowadays, affect up to one billion people worldwide.

In the last few years a multitude of new reconstruction approaches have been proposed to recover the local intra-voxel fiber structure. Some of them aim at improving the quality of the reconstructions while others focus on reducing the acquisition time. However, when a new algorithm is proposed, the performances are normally assessed with ad-hoc synthetic data and evaluation criteria, and comparing different approaches can be difficult. In a clinical perspective this aspect is crucial, as the availability of a comprehensive comparison of available reconstruction methods, highlighting strengths and weaknesses of each approach, might help clinicians in the choice of the most adequate diffusion MRI technique for a specific clinical application.

The high angular resolution diffusion MRI reconstruction challenge is organized with the aim to provide all researchers in this field with a common framework to assess the performances of their own local reconstruction schemes and fairly compare their results against other approaches under controlled conditions. The main goal of this contest is to investigate not only the local accuracy in the estimation of the intra-voxel fiber configuration of each algorithm, but also the effect of the local reconstruction accuracy on subsequent global connectivity analyses.

This challenge will be hosted in the workshops and tutorials special session of the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2013) conference, which will be held in San Francisco (USA) from 7 to 11 April 2013.

Organizing committee

Alessandro Daducci École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Emmanuel Caruyer Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
Maxime Descoteaux Sherbrooke Connectivity Imaging Lab (SCIL), Université de Sherbrooke (Canada)
Jean-Christophe Houde Sherbrooke Connectivity Imaging Lab (SCIL), Université de Sherbrooke (Canada)
Jean-Philippe Thiran École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne & University of Lausanne (Switzerland)

Important dates

November 20, 2012 Official announcement of the challenge
January 28, 2013 Training data released
January 31, 2013 Deadline for teams’ pre-registration
March 1, 2013 Testing Data released
March 22, 2013 Deadline for submitting the reconstructions and the 1-page abstract
March 27, 2013 Final participants list and tentative workshop agenda are now online
April 7, 2013 Workshop at ISBI 2013 in San Francisco, USA