A Sneak Attack on Segmentation of Medical Images Using Deep Neural Network Classifiers

Shuyue Guan, Murray Loew

Instead of using current deep-learning segmentation models (like the UNet and variants), we approach the segmentation problem using trained Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) classifiers, which automatically extract important features from classified targets for image classification. Those extracted features can be visualized and formed heatmaps using Gradient-weighted Class Activation Mapping (Grad-CAM). This study tested whether the heatmaps could be used to segment the classified targets. We also proposed an evaluation method for the heatmaps; that is, to re-train the CNN classifier using images filtered by heatmaps and examine its performance. We used the mean-Dice coefficient to evaluate segmentation results. Results from our experiments show that heatmaps can locate and segment partial tumor areas. But only use of the heatmaps from CNN classifiers may not be an optimal approach for segmentation. In addition, we have verified that the predictions of CNN classifiers mainly depend on tumor areas, and dark regions in Grad-CAM's heatmaps also contribute to classification.

Knowledge Graph

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