MixPatch: A New Method for Training Histopathology Image Classifiers

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CNN-based image processing has been actively applied to histopathological analysis to detect and classify cancerous tumors automatically. However, CNN-based classifiers generally predict a label with overconfidence, which becomes a serious problem in the medical domain. The objective of this study is to propose a new training method, called MixPatch, designed to improve a CNN-based classifier by specifically addressing the prediction uncertainty problem and examine its effectiveness in improving diagnosis performance in the context of histopathological image analysis. MixPatch generates and uses a new sub-training dataset, which consists of mixed-patches and their predefined ground-truth labels, for every single mini-batch. Mixed-patches are generated using a small size of clean patches confirmed by pathologists while their ground-truth labels are defined using a proportion-based soft labeling method. Our results obtained using a large histopathological image dataset shows that the proposed method performs better and alleviates overconfidence more effectively than any other method examined in the study. More specifically, our model showed 97.06% accuracy, an increase of 1.6% to 12.18%, while achieving 0.76% of expected calibration error, a decrease of 0.6% to 6.3%, over the other models. By specifically considering the mixed-region variation characteristics of histopathology images, MixPatch augments the extant mixed image methods for medical image analysis in which prediction uncertainty is a crucial issue. The proposed method provides a new way to systematically alleviate the overconfidence problem of CNN-based classifiers and improve their prediction accuracy, contributing toward more calibrated and reliable histopathology image analysis.
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DIAGNOSTICS, v.12, no.6

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IE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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