Weak-signal extraction enabled by deep-neural-network denoising of diffraction data

Jens Oppliger, Michael M. Denner, Julia Küspert, Ruggero Frison, Qisi Wang, Alexander Morawietz, Oleh Ivashko, Ann-Christin Dippel, Martin von Zimmermann, Niels B. Christensen, Tohru Kurosawa, Naoki Momono, Migaku Oda, Fabian D. Natterer, Mark H. Fischer, Titus Neupert, Johan Chang

Removal or cancellation of noise has wide-spread applications for imaging and acoustics. In every-day-life applications, denoising may even include generative aspects which are unfaithful to the ground truth. For scientific applications, however, denoising must reproduce the ground truth accurately. Here, we show how data can be denoised via a deep convolutional neural network such that weak signals appear with quantitative accuracy. In particular, we study X-ray diffraction on crystalline materials. We demonstrate that weak signals stemming from charge ordering, insignificant in the noisy data, become visible and accurate in the denoised data. This success is enabled by supervised training of a deep neural network with pairs of measured low- and high-noise data. This way, the neural network learns about the statistical properties of the noise. We demonstrate that using artificial noise (such as Poisson and Gaussian) does not yield such quantitatively accurate results. Our approach thus illustrates a practical strategy for noise filtering that can be applied to challenging acquisition problems.

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