Implicit Solutions of the Electrical Impedance Tomography Inverse Problem in the Continuous Domain with Deep Neural Networks

Thilo Strauss, Taufiquar Khan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is a non-invasive imaging modality used for estimating the conductivity of an object (Formula presented.) from boundary electrode measurements. In recent years, researchers achieved substantial progress in analytical and numerical methods for the EIT inverse problem. Despite the success, numerical instability is still a major hurdle due to many factors, including the discretization error of the problem. Furthermore, most algorithms with good performance are relatively time consuming and do not allow real-time applications. In our approach, the goal is to separate the unknown conductivity into two regions, namely the region of homogeneous background conductivity and the region of non-homogeneous conductivity. Therefore, we pose and solve the problem of shape reconstruction using machine learning. We propose a novel and simple jet intriguing neural network architecture capable of solving the EIT inverse problem. It addresses previous difficulties, including instability, and is easily adaptable to other ill-posed coefficient inverse problems. That is, the proposed model estimates the probability for a point of whether the conductivity belongs to the background region or to the non-homogeneous region on the continuous space (Formula presented.) with (Formula presented.). The proposed model does not make assumptions about the forward model and allows for solving the inverse problem in real time. The proposed machine learning approach for shape reconstruction is also used to improve gradient-based methods for estimating the unknown conductivity. In this paper, we propose a piece-wise constant reconstruction method that is novel in the inverse problem setting but inspired by recent approaches from the 3D vision community. We also extend this method into a novel constrained reconstruction method. We present extensive numerical experiments to show the performance of the architecture and compare the proposed method with previous analytic algorithms, mainly the monotonicity-based shape reconstruction algorithm and iteratively regularized Gauss–Newton method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number493
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • continuous domains
  • deep learning
  • electrical impedance tomography
  • implicit solutions
  • inverse problems
  • neural networks


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