The authors address the problem of transfer learning between medical images collected from different imaging scanners. First they train multiple models across different scanners then at evaluation time a weighted ensemble is constructed according to the distance between train and test images. Of the three distance methods evaluated in the paper, bag similarity had the best performance on brain tissue segmentation.
Using Bag Similarity and Transfer Learning for Improved Generalization
Post · Mar 16, 2017 22:02 · Share on Twitter
Supervised learning has been very successful for automatic segmentation of images from a single scanner. However, several papers report deteriorated performances when using classifiers trained on images from one scanner to segment images from other scanners. We propose a transfer learning classifier that adapts to differences between training and test images. This method uses a weighted ensemble of classifiers trained on individual images. The weight of each classifier is determined by the similarity between its training image and the test image. We examine three unsupervised similarity measures, which can be used in scenarios where no labeled data from a newly introduced scanner or scanning protocol is available. The measures are based on a divergence, a bag distance, and on estimating the labels with a clustering procedure. These measures are asymmetric. We study whether the asymmetry can improve classification. Out of the three similarity measures, the bag similarity measure is the most robust across different studies and achieves excellent results on four brain tissue segmentation datasets and three white matter lesion segmentation datasets, acquired at different centers and with different scanners and scanning protocols. We show that the asymmetry can indeed be informative, and that computing the similarity from the test image to the training images is more appropriate than the opposite direction.