Open Access Research

Universal and efficient compressed sensing by spread spectrum and application to realistic Fourier imaging techniques

Gilles Puy12*, Pierre Vandergheynst1, Rémi Gribonval3 and Yves Wiaux145

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Electrical Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

2 Institute of the Physics of Biological Systems, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

3 Centre de Recherche INRIA Rennes-Bretagne Atlantique, F-35042 Rennes cedex, France

4 Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

5 Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, University of Geneva (UniGE), CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland

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EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing 2012, 2012:6  doi:10.1186/1687-6180-2012-6

Published: 12 January 2012


We advocate a compressed sensing strategy that consists of multiplying the signal of interest by a wide bandwidth modulation before projection onto randomly selected vectors of an orthonormal basis. First, in a digital setting with random modulation, considering a whole class of sensing bases including the Fourier basis, we prove that the technique is universal in the sense that the required number of measurements for accurate recovery is optimal and independent of the sparsity basis. This universality stems from a drastic decrease of coherence between the sparsity and the sensing bases, which for a Fourier sensing basis relates to a spread of the original signal spectrum by the modulation (hence the name "spread spectrum"). The approach is also efficient as sensing matrices with fast matrix multiplication algorithms can be used, in particular in the case of Fourier measurements. Second, these results are confirmed by a numerical analysis of the phase transition of the ℓ1-minimization problem. Finally, we show that the spread spectrum technique remains effective in an analog setting with chirp modulation for application to realistic Fourier imaging. We illustrate these findings in the context of radio interferometry and magnetic resonance imaging.