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Mathematics  2015 

Semidefinite relaxations in optimal experiment design with application to substrate injection for hyperpolarized MRI

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We consider the problem of optimal input design for estimating uncertain parameters in a discrete-time linear state space model, subject to simultaneous amplitude and l1/l2-norm constraints on the admissible inputs. We formulate this problem as the maximization of a (non-concave) quadratic function over the space of inputs, and use semidefinite relaxation techniques to efficiently find the global solution or to provide an upper bound. This investigation is motivated by a problem in medical imaging, specifically designing a substrate injection profile for in vivo metabolic parameter mapping using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with hyperpolarized carbon-13 pyruvate. In the l2-norm-constrained case, we show that the relaxation is tight, allowing us to efficiently compute a globally optimal injection profile. In the l1-norm-constrained case the relaxation is no longer tight, but can be used to prove that the boxcar injection currently used in practice achieves at least 98.7% of the global optimum.


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