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Proceedings Paper

Finding regions of interest in pathological images: an attentional model approach
Author(s): Francisco Gómez; Julio Villalón; Ricardo Gutierrez; Eduardo Romero
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Paper Abstract

This paper introduces an automated method for finding diagnostic regions-of-interest (RoIs) in histopathological images. This method is based on the cognitive process of visual selective attention that arises during a pathologist's image examination. Specifically, it emulates the first examination phase, which consists in a coarse search for tissue structures at a "low zoom" to separate the image into relevant regions.1 The pathologist's cognitive performance depends on inherent image visual cues - bottom-up information - and on acquired clinical medicine knowledge - top-down mechanisms -. Our pathologist's visual attention model integrates the latter two components. The selected bottom-up information includes local low level features such as intensity, color, orientation and texture information. Top-down information is related to the anatomical and pathological structures known by the expert. A coarse approximation to these structures is achieved by an oversegmentation algorithm, inspired by psychological grouping theories. The algorithm parameters are learned from an expert pathologist's segmentation. Top-down and bottom-up integration is achieved by calculating a unique index for each of the low level characteristics inside the region. Relevancy is estimated as a simple average of these indexes. Finally, a binary decision rule defines whether or not a region is interesting. The method was evaluated on a set of 49 images using a perceptually-weighted evaluation criterion, finding a quality gain of 3dB when comparing to a classical bottom-up model of attention.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 February 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7260, Medical Imaging 2009: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 72603G (27 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.811446
Show Author Affiliations
Francisco Gómez, Univ. Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)
Julio Villalón, Univ. Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)
Ricardo Gutierrez, Univ. Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)
Eduardo Romero, Univ. Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7260:
Medical Imaging 2009: Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Nico Karssemeijer; Maryellen L. Giger, Editor(s)

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