Processing tasks within the lab where this software was developed deal with multi-dimensional volumes of data such as created by Magnetic Resonance and PET scanners. Therefore, an extensive set of routines is provided to represent volumes, and to read and write volumes in the MINC format.
The basic type of a volume is Volume, which is actually a pointer to an allocated structure which contains all the information about the type of volume, number of dimensions, voxel values, etc. In order to use a volume structure, the volume must first be created, then the size of the volume set, then the large array of voxel values is allocated. Alternately, a volume may be automatically created by calling the appropriate function to read a MINC file and create a volume.
A volume has an associated number of dimensions, which must be in the range from one to five, but typically is three. The volume is thought of as a multi-dimensional array of any of a variety of types, including all sizes of integer and real types. Even though a volume may be stored in say, a 1 byte type, with values from zero to 255, there is a real value range which provides mapping a mapping from voxel values to any arbitrary real range. In this way, the real range may be any valid real interval and is independent of the particular storage type.
Since most volumes will be created by reading from a MINC file, this method will be presented first, followed by a description of how to create a volume from scratch. Finally a lower level of MINC input and output for more advanced applications will be presented.