Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is a soft field tomography modality based on the application of electric current to a body and measurement of voltages through electrodes at the boundary. The interior conductivity is reconstructed on a discrete representation of the domain using a finite-element method (FEM) mesh and a parametrization of that domain. The reconstruction requires a sequence of numerically intensive calculations. There is strong interest in reducing the cost of these calculations. An improvement in the compute time for current problems would encourage further exploration of computationally challenging problems such as the incorporation of time series data, wide-spread adoption of three-dimensional simulations and correlation of other modalities such as CT and ultrasound. Multicore processors offer an opportunity to reduce EIT computation times but may require some restructuring of the underlying algorithms to maximize the use of available resources. This work profiles two EIT software packages (EIDORS and NDRM) to experimentally determine where the computational costs arise in EIT as problems scale. Sparse matrix solvers, a key component for the FEM forward problem and sensitivity estimates in the inverse problem, are shown to take a considerable portion of the total compute time in these packages. A sparse matrix solver performance measurement tool, Meagre-Crowd, is developed to interface with a variety of solvers and compare their performance over a range of two- and three-dimensional problems of increasing node density. Results show that distributed sparse matrix solvers that operate on multiple cores are advantageous up to a limit that increases as the node density increases. We recommend a selection procedure to find a solver and hardware arrangement matched to the problem and provide guidance and tools to perform that selection.

Additional Metadata
Keywords computing, distributed, electrical impedance tomography, finite-element method, sparse linear algebra
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1088/0967-3334/33/5/787
Journal Physiological Measurement
Citation
Boyle, A. (Alistair), Borsic, A. (Andrea), & Adler, A. (2012). Addressing the computational cost of large EIT solutions. Physiological Measurement, 33(5), 787–800. doi:10.1088/0967-3334/33/5/787