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Abstract

A Deep Clustering Method for Analyzing Uterine Cervix Images Across Imaging Devices.


Xue Z, Guo P, Desai K, Pal A, Ajenifuja KO, Adepiti CA, Long LR, Schiffman M, Antani S

34th IEEE International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems (CBMS), June 2021, pp. 527-532, doi: 10.1109/CBMS52027.2021.00085.

Abstract:

Visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA), though error prone, has long been used for screening women and to guide management for cervical cancer. The automated visual evaluation (AVE) technique, in which deep learning is used to predict precancer based on a digital image of the acetowhitened cervix, has demonstrated its promise as a low-cost method to improve on human performance. However, there are several challenges in moving AVE beyond proof-of-concept and deploying it as a practical adjunct tool in visual screening. One of them is making AVE robust across images captured using different devices. We propose a new deep learning based clustering approach to investigate whether the images taken by three different devices (a common smartphone, a custom smartphone-based handheld device for cervical imaging, and a clinical colposcope equipped with SLR digital camera-based imaging capability) can be well distinguished from each other with respect to the visual appearance/content within their cervix regions. We argue that disparity in visual appearance of a cervix across devices could be a significant confounding factor in training and generalizing AVE performance. Our method consists of four components: cervix region detection, feature extraction, feature encoding, and clustering. Multiple experiments are conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of each component and compare alternative methods in each component. Our proposed method achieves high clustering accuracy (97%) and significantly outperforms several representative deep clustering methods on our dataset. The high clustering performance indicates the images taken from these three devices are different with respect to visual appearance. Our results and analysis establish a need for developing a method that minimizes such variance among the images acquired from different devices. It also recognizes the need for large number of training images from different sources for robust device-independent AVE performance worldwide.


Xue Z, Guo P, Desai K, Pal A, Ajenifuja KO, Adepiti CA, Long LR, Schiffman M, Antani S A Deep Clustering Method for Analyzing Uterine Cervix Images Across Imaging Devices. 
34th IEEE International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems (CBMS), June 2021, pp. 527-532, doi: 10.1109/CBMS52027.2021.00085.

URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9474734