24 March 2016 Task-based detectability comparison of exponential transformation of free-response operating characteristic (EFROC) curve and channelized Hotelling observer (CHO)
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Abstract
This study quantitatively evaluated the performance of the exponential transformation of the free-response operating characteristic curve (EFROC) metric, with the Channelized Hotelling Observer (CHO) as a reference. The CHO has been used for image quality assessment of reconstruction algorithms and imaging systems and often it is applied to study the signal-location-known cases. The CHO also requires a large set of images to estimate the covariance matrix. In terms of clinical applications, this assumption and requirement may be unrealistic. The newly developed location-unknown EFROC detectability metric is estimated from the confidence scores reported by a model observer. Unlike the CHO, EFROC does not require a channelization step and is a non-parametric detectability metric. There are few quantitative studies available on application of the EFROC metric, most of which are based on simulation data. This study investigated the EFROC metric using experimental CT data. A phantom with four low contrast objects: 3mm (14 HU), 5mm (7HU), 7mm (5 HU) and 10 mm (3 HU) was scanned at dose levels ranging from 25 mAs to 270 mAs and reconstructed using filtered backprojection. The area under the curve values for CHO (AUC) and EFROC (AFE) were plotted with respect to different dose levels. The number of images required to estimate the non-parametric AFE metric was calculated for varying tasks and found to be less than the number of images required for parametric CHO estimation. The AFE metric was found to be more sensitive to changes in dose than the CHO metric. This increased sensitivity and the assumption of unknown signal location may be useful for investigating and optimizing CT imaging methods. Future work is required to validate the AFE metric against human observers.
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P. Khobragade, P. Khobragade, Jiahua Fan, Jiahua Fan, Franco Rupcich, Franco Rupcich, Dominic J. Crotty, Dominic J. Crotty, Taly Gilat Schmidt, Taly Gilat Schmidt, "Task-based detectability comparison of exponential transformation of free-response operating characteristic (EFROC) curve and channelized Hotelling observer (CHO)", Proc. SPIE 9787, Medical Imaging 2016: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 97870C (24 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2216505; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2216505
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