An accelerated splitting algorithm for radio-interferometric imaging: when natural and uniform weighting meet

Alexandru Onose, Arwa Dabbech, Yves Wiaux
2017 Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society  
Next generation radio-interferometers, like the Square Kilometre Array, will acquire tremendous amounts of data with the goal of improving the size and sensitivity of the reconstructed images by orders of magnitude. The efficient processing of large-scale data sets is of great importance. We propose an acceleration strategy for a recently proposed primal-dual distributed algorithm. A preconditioning approach can incorporate into the algorithmic structure both the sampling density of the
more » ... visibilities and the noise statistics. Using the sampling density information greatly accelerates the convergence speed, especially for highly non-uniform sampling patterns, while relying on the correct noise statistics optimises the sensitivity of the reconstruction. In connection to CLEAN, our approach can be seen as including in the same algorithmic structure both natural and uniform weighting, thereby simultaneously optimising both the resolution and the sensitivity. The method relies on a new non-Euclidean proximity operator for the data fidelity term, that generalises the projection onto the ℓ_2 ball where the noise lives for naturally weighted data, to the projection onto a generalised ellipsoid incorporating sampling density information through uniform weighting. Importantly, this non-Euclidean modification is only an acceleration strategy to solve the convex imaging problem with data fidelity dictated only by noise statistics. We showcase through simulations with realistic sampling patterns the acceleration obtained using the preconditioning. We also investigate the algorithm performance for the reconstruction of the 3C129 radio galaxy from real visibilities and compare with multi-scale CLEAN, showing better sensitivity and resolution. Our MATLAB code is available online on GitHub.
doi:10.1093/mnras/stx755 fatcat:lsjn5c2aibfszbfngqxlu5ivf4