Keywords: Computer tomography, robustness, adversarial attacks, image reconstruction
Abstract: Low dose computer tomography (CT) acquisition using reduced radiation or sparse angle measurements is recommended to decrease the harmful effects of X-ray radiation. Recent works successfully apply deep networks to the problem of low dose CT recovery on benchmark datasets. However, their robustness needs a thorough evaluation before use in clinical settings. In this work, we evaluate the robustness of different deep learning approaches and classical methods for CT recovery.We show that deep networks, including model based networks encouraging data consistency are more susceptible to untargeted attacks. Surprisingly, we observe that data consistency is not heavily affected even for these poor quality reconstructions, motivating the need for better regularization for the networks. We demonstrate the feasibility of universal attacks and study attack transferability across different methods. We analyze robustness to attacks causing localized changes in clinically relevant regions. Both classical approaches and deep networks are affected by such attacks leading to change in visual appearance of localized lesions, for extremely small perturbations. As the resulting reconstructions have high data consistency with original measurements, these localized attacks can be used to explore the solution space of CT recovery problem.