Benchmark problems for transcranial ultrasound simulation: Intercomparison of compressional wave models

Jean-Francois Aubry, Oscar Bates, Christian Boehm, Kim Butts Pauly, Douglas Christensen, Carlos Cueto, Pierre Gélat, Lluis Guasch, Jiri Jaros, Yun Jing, Rebecca Jones, Ningrui Li, Patrick Marty, Hazael Montanaro, Esra Neufeld, Samuel Pichardo, Gianmarco Pinton, Aki Pulkkinen, Antonio Stanziola, Axel ThielscherBradley Treeby, Elwin van 't Wout

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Computational models of acoustic wave propagation are frequently used in transcranial ultrasound therapy, for example, to calculate the intracranial pressure field or to calculate phase delays to correct for skull distortions. To allow intercomparison between the different modeling tools and techniques used by the community, an international working group was convened to formulate a set of numerical benchmarks. Here, these benchmarks are presented, along with intercomparison results. Nine different benchmarks of increasing geometric complexity are defined. These include a single-layer planar bone immersed in water, a multi-layer bone, and a whole skull. Two transducer configurations are considered (a focused bowl and a plane piston operating at 500 kHz), giving a total of 18 permutations of the benchmarks. Eleven different modeling tools are used to compute the benchmark results. The models span a wide range of numerical techniques, including the finite-difference time-domain method, angular spectrum method, pseudospectral method, boundary-element method, and spectral-element method. Good agreement is found between the models, particularly for the position, size, and magnitude of the acoustic focus within the skull. When comparing results for each model with every other model in a cross-comparison, the median values for each benchmark for the difference in focal pressure and position are less than 10% and 1 mm, respectively. The benchmark definitions, model results, and intercomparison codes are freely available to facilitate further comparisons.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1003-1019
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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