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Visualizing Diffusion Tensor Imaging Data With Merging Ellipsoids

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Executive Summary

Diffusion tensor fields reveal the underlying anatomical structures in biological tissues such as neural fibers in the brain. Most current methods for visualizing the diffusion tensor field can be categorized into two classes: integral curves and glyphs. Integral curves are continuous and represent the underlying fiber structures, but are prone to integration error and loss of local information. Glyphs are useful for representing local tensor information, but do not convey the connectivity in the anatomical structures well. The paper introduces a simple yet effective visualization technique that extends the streamball method in flow visualization to tensor ellipsoids. Each tensor ellipsoid represents a local tensor, and either blends with neighboring tensors or breaks away from them depending on their orientations and anisotropies.

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