Rendering Near-Field Speckle Statistics in Scattering Media

Chen Bar, Ioannis Gkioulekas, Anat Levin. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia) 2020.


We introduce rendering algorithms for the simulation of speckle statistics observed in scattering media under coherent near-field imaging conditions. Our work is motivated by the recent proliferation of techniques that use speckle correlations for tissue imaging applications: The ability to simulate the image measurements used by these speckle imaging techniques in a physically-accurate and computationally-efficient way can facilitate the widespread adoption and improvement of these techniques. To this end, we draw inspiration from recently-introduced Monte Carlo algorithms for rendering speckle statistics under far-field conditions (collimated sensor and illumination). We derive variants of these algorithms that are better suited to the near-field conditions (focused sensor and illumination) required by tissue imaging applications. Our approach is based on using Gaussian apodization to approximate the sensor and illumination aperture, as well as von Mises-Fisher functions to approximate the phase function of the scattering material. We show that these approximations allow us to derive closed-form expressions for the focusing operations involved in simulating near-field speckle patterns. As we demonstrate in our experiments, these approximations accelerate speckle rendering simulations by a few orders of magnitude compared to previous techniques, at the cost of negligible bias. We validate the accuracy of our algorithms by reproducing ground truth speckle statistics simulated using wave-optics solvers, and real-material measurements available in the literature. Finally, we use our algorithms to simulate biomedical imaging techniques for focusing through tissue.