A Convolutional Neural Network-Based Anthropomorphic Model Observer for Signal Detection in Breast CT Images without Human-Labeled Data

Byeongjoon Kim, Minah Han, Jongduk Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Various imaging parameters in X-ray computed tomography (CT) should be examined and optimized by task-based assessment of human observer performance. Recently, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been introduced as anthropomorphic model observers. However, when human-labeled data are not available or limited, CNNs with an existing training strategy do not produce good performance agreement with human observers. The purpose of this study is to propose new training strategies for a CNN-based anthropomorphic model observer without human-labeled data for signal-known-exactly and background-known-statistically detection tasks. We acquired cone-beam CT projection data of breast background volume and reconstructed the projection data using the Feldkamp-Davis-Kress algorithm with 12 different imaging conditions including viewing image planes. Training data for the CNN were labeled utilizing conventional model observers. We employed an early stopping rule to reflect internal noise during the CNN training. To examine the CNN performance, we used three different training-testing schemes. The performance agreement between the human and model observers was measured via a Bland-Altman plot, the root-mean-squared error (RMSE), and the Pearson's correlation coefficient ( $r$ ) of their proportion correct values. Throughout the three different training-testing schemes, CNNs with the proposed training strategies yielded narrower limits of agreements (with a bias lower than 0.03) and higher scores in both RMSE and $r$ than the conventional model observers. This indicates the proposed training strategies enable the CNN-based anthropomorphic model observer to have good performance agreement with human observers and generalize better to different imaging conditions than conventional anthropomorphic model observers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9184874
Pages (from-to)162122-162131
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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