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Analyzing tree-shape anatomical structures using topological descriptors of branching and ensemble of classifiers

Author(s): Angeliki Skoura | Predrag R. Bakic | Vasilis Megalooikonomou

Journal: Journal of Theoretical and Applied Computer Science
ISSN 2299-2634

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Image classification | Medical decision systems | Computer aided diagnosis | Tree-shape topology | Ensemble of classifiers

The analysis of anatomical tree-shape structures visualized in medical images provides insight into the relationship between tree topology and pathology of the corresponding organs. In this paper, we propose three methods to extract descriptive features of the branching topology; the asymmetry index, the encoding of branching patterns using a node labeling scheme and an extension of the Sholl analysis. Based on these descriptors, we present classification schemes for tree topologies with respect to the underlying pathology. Moreover, we present a classifier ensemble approach which combines the predictions of the individual classifiers to optimize the classification accuracy. We applied the proposed methodology to a dataset of x-ray galactograms, medical images which visualize the breast ductal tree, in order to recognize images with radiological findings regarding breast cancer. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework compared to state-of-the-art techniques suggesting that the proposed descriptors provide more valuable information regarding the topological patterns of ductal trees and indicating the potential of facilitating early breast cancer diagnosis.
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