Background: Breast cancer is the leading cause of both incidence and mortality in women population. For this reason, much research effort has been devoted to develop Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) systems for early detection of the breast cancers on mammograms. In this paper, we propose a new and novel dictionary configuration underpinning sparse representation based classification (SRC). The key idea of the proposed algorithm is to improve the sparsity in terms of mass margins for the purpose of improving classification performance in CAD systems.
Methods: The aim of the proposed SRC framework is to construct separate dictionaries according to the types of mass margins. The underlying idea behind our method is that the separated dictionaries can enhance the sparsity of mass class (true-positive), leading to an improved performance for differentiating mammographic masses from normal tissues (false-positive). When a mass sample is given for classification, the sparse solutions based on corresponding dictionaries are separately solved and combined at score level. Experiments have been performed on both database (DB) named as Digital Database for Screening Mammography (DDSM) and clinical Full Field Digital Mammogram (FFDM) DBs. In our experiments, sparsity concentration in the true class (SCTC) and area under the Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) were measured for the comparison between the proposed method and a conventional single dictionary based approach. In addition, a support vector machine (SVM) was used for comparing our method with state-of-the- arts classifier extensively used for mass classification.
Results: Comparing with the conventional single dictionary configuration, the proposed approach is able to improve SCTC of up to 13.9% and 23.6% on DDSM and FFDM DBs, respectively. Moreover, the proposed method is able to improve AUC with 8.2% and 22.1% on DDSM and FFDM DBs, respectively. Comparing to SVM classifier, the proposed method improves AUC with 2.9% and 11.6% on DDSM and FFDM DBs, respectively.
Conclusions: The proposed dictionary configuration is found to well improve the sparsity of dictionaries, resulting in an enhanced classification performance. Moreover, the results show that the proposed method is better than conventional SVM classifier for classifying breast masses subject to various margins from normal tissues.