2012 Progress Report HIGHLIGHTS

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The scope of NA-MIC activities includes both highly speculative explorations of new mathematical formulations of core image analysis techniques and the ongoing effort of delivering and supporting binary distributions of software applications across a range of computing platforms. To address this continuum, NA-MIC Computer Science Core efforts are organized around two teams: Algorithms and Engineering. Their joint output is the NA-MIC Kit which embodies a comprehensive set of analysis techniques in a well architected, documented, and widely used platform as described in the following paragraphs.

Algorithms. The NA-MIC Computer Science Algorithm effort is responsible for pushing the boundaries of applied mathematical techniques in the context of the challenges of the DBPs. As such, the Algorithm activities are typically highly experimental, with a wide range of approaches that are rapidly prototyped, tested, and improved. These efforts, often undertaken by graduate students under the direction of more senior academics, generate novel approaches that can have wide applicability beyond the original motivating problems.

Engineering. The NA-MIC Computer Science Engineering effort is responsible for providing an integrated platform that supports the research requirements of the NA-MIC community. Consisting of both academic and commercial software developers, the Engineering team aims for a stable and reliable software platform with a sufficiently high level set of support to enable leading-edge clinical applications.

NA-MIC Kit. The NA-MIC Kit consists of a modular set of interoperable free open source software (FOSS) packages, managed under a collaborative, high quality software engineering methodology. These packages have been carefully architected to accommodate technology contributions from the NA-MIC Investigators, and to rapidly deploy these technologies to NAMIC and the broader biomedical imaging community. A primary motivation for the creation and use of this common infrastructure is that new concepts, emerging perhaps after a productive discussion at a computer science seminar, can be directly and efficiently deployed into the hands of a clinical researcher seeking better insight on a difficult patient case. Thus, the process of closing the gap between idea and implementation, and supporting rapid iteration as new ideas are tested and improved, lies at the core of the NA-MIC software approach.

In the following subsections we highlight the accomplishments from this reporting period for algorithms, engineering, and NA-MIC kit.