20 March 2014 Cascaded ensemble of convolutional neural networks and handcrafted features for mitosis detection
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Breast cancer (BCa) grading plays an important role in predicting disease aggressiveness and patient outcome. A key component of BCa grade is mitotic count, which involves quantifying the number of cells in the process of dividing (i.e. undergoing mitosis) at a specific point in time. Currently mitosis counting is done manually by a pathologist looking at multiple high power fields on a glass slide under a microscope, an extremely laborious and time consuming process. The development of computerized systems for automated detection of mitotic nuclei, while highly desirable, is confounded by the highly variable shape and appearance of mitoses. Existing methods use either handcrafted features that capture certain morphological, statistical or textural attributes of mitoses or features learned with convolutional neural networks (CNN). While handcrafted features are inspired by the domain and the particular application, the data-driven CNN models tend to be domain agnostic and attempt to learn additional feature bases that cannot be represented through any of the handcrafted features. On the other hand, CNN is computationally more complex and needs a large number of labeled training instances. Since handcrafted features attempt to model domain pertinent attributes and CNN approaches are largely unsupervised feature generation methods, there is an appeal to attempting to combine these two distinct classes of feature generation strategies to create an integrated set of attributes that can potentially outperform either class of feature extraction strategies individually. In this paper, we present a cascaded approach for mitosis detection that intelligently combines a CNN model and handcrafted features (morphology, color and texture features). By employing a light CNN model, the proposed approach is far less demanding computationally, and the cascaded strategy of combining handcrafted features and CNN-derived features enables the possibility of maximizing performance by leveraging the disconnected feature sets. Evaluation on the public ICPR12 mitosis dataset that has 226 mitoses annotated on 35 High Power Fields (HPF, x400 magnification) by several pathologists and 15 testing HPFs yielded an F-measure of 0.7345. Apart from this being the second best performance ever recorded for this MITOS dataset, our approach is faster and requires fewer computing resources compared to extant methods, making this feasible for clinical use.
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Haibo Wang, Haibo Wang, Angel Cruz-Roa, Angel Cruz-Roa, Ajay Basavanhally, Ajay Basavanhally, Hannah Gilmore, Hannah Gilmore, Natalie Shih, Natalie Shih, Mike Feldman, Mike Feldman, John Tomaszewski, John Tomaszewski, Fabio Gonzalez, Fabio Gonzalez, Anant Madabhushi, Anant Madabhushi, "Cascaded ensemble of convolutional neural networks and handcrafted features for mitosis detection", Proc. SPIE 9041, Medical Imaging 2014: Digital Pathology, 90410B (20 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2043902; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2043902

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