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A theoretical framework for the regularization of Poisson likelihood estimation problems

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  • Let $z=Au+\gamma$ be an ill-posed, linear operator equation. Such a model arises, for example, in both astronomical and medical imaging, in which case $\gamma$ corresponds to background, $u$ the unknown true image, $A$ the forward operator, and $z$ the data. Regularized solutions of this equation can be obtained by solving

    $R_\alpha(A,z)= arg\min_{u\geq 0} \{T_0(Au;z)+\alpha J(u)\},$

    where $T_0(Au;z)$ is the negative-log of the Poisson likelihood functional, and $\alpha>0$ and $J$ are the regularization parameter and functional, respectively. Our goal in this paper is to determine general conditions which guarantee that $R_\alpha$ defines a regularization scheme for $z=Au+\gamma$. Determining the appropriate definition for regularization scheme in this context is important: not only will it serve to unify previous theoretical arguments in this direction, it will provide a framework for future theoretical analyses. To illustrate the latter, we end the paper with an application of the general framework to a case in which an analysis has not been done.

    Mathematics Subject Classification: 65J22, 65K10, 65F22.


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