"Generalized Formulations Producing a Burr Distribution of Speckle Statistics"

March 1, 2022

A paper co-authored by PhD student Sedy Poul and Professor Kevin Parker titled "Generalized formulations producing a Burr distribution of speckle statistics" has been published in the Journal of Medical Imaging. The abstract follows; more information can be found here.

Abstract: The study of speckle from imaging systems has a rich history, and recently it was proposed that a fractal or power law distribution of scatterers in vascularized tissue will lead to a form of the Burr probability distribution functions for speckle amplitudes. This hypothesis is generalized and tested in theory, simulations, and experiments. We argue that two broadly applicable conjectures are sufficient to justify the applicability of the Burr distribution for speckle from a number of acoustical, optical, and other pulse-echo systems. The first requirement is a multiscale power law distribution of weak scatterers, and the second is a linear approximation for the increase in echo intensity with size over some range of applicability. The Burr distribution for speckle emerges under a wide variety of conditions and system parameters, and from this one can estimate the governing power law parameter, commonly in the range of 2 to 6. However, system effects including the imaging point spread function and the degree of focusing will influence the Burr parameters. A generalized pair of conditions is sufficient for producing Burr distributions across a number of imaging systems. Simulations and some theoretical considerations indicate that the estimated Burr power law parameter will increase with increasing density of scatters. For studies of speckle from living tissue or multiscale natural structures, the Burr distribution should be considered as a long tail alternative to classical distributions.