The Insight ToolKit image registration framework

Front Neuroinform. 2014 Apr 28;8:44. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2014.00044. eCollection 2014.


Publicly available scientific resources help establish evaluation standards, provide a platform for teaching and improve reproducibility. Version 4 of the Insight ToolKit (ITK(4)) seeks to establish new standards in publicly available image registration methodology. ITK(4) makes several advances in comparison to previous versions of ITK. ITK(4) supports both multivariate images and objective functions; it also unifies high-dimensional (deformation field) and low-dimensional (affine) transformations with metrics that are reusable across transform types and with composite transforms that allow arbitrary series of geometric mappings to be chained together seamlessly. Metrics and optimizers take advantage of multi-core resources, when available. Furthermore, ITK(4) reduces the parameter optimization burden via principled heuristics that automatically set scaling across disparate parameter types (rotations vs. translations). A related approach also constrains steps sizes for gradient-based optimizers. The result is that tuning for different metrics and/or image pairs is rarely necessary allowing the researcher to more easily focus on design/comparison of registration strategies. In total, the ITK(4) contribution is intended as a structure to support reproducible research practices, will provide a more extensive foundation against which to evaluate new work in image registration and also enable application level programmers a broad suite of tools on which to build. Finally, we contextualize this work with a reference registration evaluation study with application to pediatric brain labeling.

Keywords: MRI; brain; death; open-source; registration.