Parallel delay multiply and sum algorithm for microwave medical imaging using spark big data framework

Rahmat Ullah*, Tughrul Arslan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Microwave imaging systems are currently being investigated for breast cancer, brain stroke and neurodegenerative disease detection due to their low cost, portable and wearable nature. At present, commonly used radar-based algorithms for microwave imaging are based on the delay and sum algorithm. These algorithms use ultra-wideband signals to reconstruct a 2D image of the targeted object or region. Delay multiply and sum is an extended version of the delay and sum algorithm. However, it is computationally expensive and time-consuming. In this paper, the delay multiply and sum algorithm is parallelised using a big data framework. The algorithm uses the Spark MapReduce programming model to improve its efficiency. The most computational part of the algorithm is pixel value calculation, where signals need to be multiplied in pairs and summed. The proposed algorithm broadcasts the input data and executes it in parallel in a distributed manner. The Spark-based parallel algorithm is compared with sequential and Python multiprocessing library implementation. The experimental results on both a standalone machine and a high-performance cluster show that Spark significantly accelerates the image reconstruction process without affecting its accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number157
Number of pages1
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • microwave imaging
  • mapreduce
  • Medical Imaging
  • Spark framework
  • parallel algorithm
  • high-performance computing


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