Leukocytes classification is essential to assess their number and status since they are the body’s first defence against infection and disease. Automation of the process can reduce the laborious manual process of review and diagnosis by operators and has been the subject of study for at least two decades. Most computer-aided systems exploit convolutional neural networks for classification purposes without any intermediate step to produce an accurate classification. This work explores the current limitations of deep learning-based methods applied to medical blood smear data. In particular, we consider leukocyte analysis oriented towards leukaemia prediction as a case study. In particular, we aim to demonstrate that a single classification step can undoubtedly lead to incorrect predictions or, worse, to correct predictions obtained with wrong indicators provided by the images. By generating new synthetic leukocyte data, it is possible to demonstrate that the inclusion of a fine-grained method, such as detection or segmentation, before classification is essential to allow the network to understand the adequate information on individual white blood cells correctly. The effectiveness of this study is thoroughly analysed and quantified through a series of experiments on a public data set of blood smears taken under a microscope. Experimental results show that residual networks perform statistically better in this scenario, even though they make correct predictions with incorrect information.

On the Reliability of CNNs in Clinical Practice: A Computer-Aided Diagnosis System Case Study

Andrea Loddo
;
Lorenzo Putzu
2022-01-01

Abstract

Leukocytes classification is essential to assess their number and status since they are the body’s first defence against infection and disease. Automation of the process can reduce the laborious manual process of review and diagnosis by operators and has been the subject of study for at least two decades. Most computer-aided systems exploit convolutional neural networks for classification purposes without any intermediate step to produce an accurate classification. This work explores the current limitations of deep learning-based methods applied to medical blood smear data. In particular, we consider leukocyte analysis oriented towards leukaemia prediction as a case study. In particular, we aim to demonstrate that a single classification step can undoubtedly lead to incorrect predictions or, worse, to correct predictions obtained with wrong indicators provided by the images. By generating new synthetic leukocyte data, it is possible to demonstrate that the inclusion of a fine-grained method, such as detection or segmentation, before classification is essential to allow the network to understand the adequate information on individual white blood cells correctly. The effectiveness of this study is thoroughly analysed and quantified through a series of experiments on a public data set of blood smears taken under a microscope. Experimental results show that residual networks perform statistically better in this scenario, even though they make correct predictions with incorrect information.
convolutional neural networks; transfer learning; fine-tuning; direct classification; blood smear images; leukaemia diagnosis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/341492
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