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This paper presents a hierarchical Bayesian model to reconstruct sparse images when the observations are obtained from linear transformations and corrupted by an additive white Gaussian noise. Our hierarchical Bayes model is well suited to such naturally sparse image applications as it seamlessly accounts for properties such as sparsity and positivity of the image via appropriate Bayes priors. We propose a prior that is based on a weighted mixture of a positive exponential distribution and a mass at zero. The prior has hyperparameters that are tuned automatically by marginalization over the hierarchical Bayesian model. To overcome the complexity of the posterior distribution, a Gibbs sampling strategy is proposed. The Gibbs samples can be used to estimate the image to be recovered, e.g., by maximizing the estimated posterior distribution. In our fully Bayesian approach, the posteriors of all the parameters are available. Thus, our algorithm provides more information than other previously proposed sparse reconstruction methods that only give a point estimate. The performance of the proposed hierarchical Bayesian sparse reconstruction method is illustrated on synthetic data and real data collected from a tobacco virus sample using a prototype MRFM instrument.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2009