A framework for discrete integral transformations I - The pseudopolar Fourier transform

A. Averbuch, R. R. Coifman, D. L. Donoho, M. Israeli, Y. Shkolnisky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Fourier transform of a continuous function, evaluated at frequencies expressed in polar coordinates, is an important conceptual tool for understanding physical continuum phenomena. An analogous tool, suitable for computations on discrete grids, could be very useful; however, no exact analogue exists in the discrete case. In this paper we present the notion of pseudopolar grid (pp grid) and the pseudopolar Fourier transform (ppFT), which evaluates the discrete Fourier transform at points of the pp grid. The pp grid is a type of concentric-squares grid in which the radial density of squares is twice as high as usual. The pp grid consists of equally spaced samples along rays, where different rays are equally spaced in slope rather than angle. We develop a fast algorithm for the ppFT, with the same complexity order as the Cartesian fast Fourier transform; the algorithm is stable, invertible, requires only one-dimensional operations, and uses no approximate interpolations. We prove that the ppFT is invertible and develop two algorithms for its inversion: iterative and direct, both with complexity O(n2 log n), where n × n is the size of the reconstructed image. The iterative algorithm applies conjugate gradients to the Gram operator of the ppFT. Since the transform is ill-conditioned, we introduce a preconditioner, which significantly accelerates the convergence. The direct inversion algorithm utilizes the special frequency domain structure of the transform in two steps. First, it resamples the pp grid to a Cartesian frequency grid and then recovers the image from the Cartesian frequency grid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-784
Number of pages21
JournalSIAM Journal of Scientific Computing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


  • Concentric-squares grid
  • Fractional Fourier transform
  • Linogram
  • Polar Fourier transform
  • Pseudopolar Fourier transform
  • Unequally spaced FFT


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