Attribute-driven segmentation and analysis of mammograms

Sze Kwok

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] In this thesis, we introduce a mammogram analysis system developed for the automatic segmentation and analysis of mammograms. This original system has been designed to aid radiologists to detect breast cancer on mammograms. The system embodies attribute-driven segmentation in which the attributes of an image are extracted progressively in a step-by-step, hierarchical fashion. Global, low-level attributes obtained in the early stages are used to derive local, high-level attributes in later stages, leading to increasing refinement and accuracy in image segmentation and analysis. The proposed system can be characterized as: • a bootstrap engine driven by the attributes of the images; • a solid framework supporting the process of hierarchical segmentation; • a universal platform for the development and integration of segmentation and analysis techniques; and • an extensible database in which knowledge about the image is accumulated. Central to this system are three major components: 1. a series of applications for attribute acquisition; 2. a standard format for attribute normalization; and 3. a database for attribute storage and data exchange between applications. The first step of the automatic process is to segment the mammogram hierarchically into several distinctive regions that represent the anatomy of the breast. The adequacy and quality of the mammogram are then assessed using the anatomical features obtained from segmentation. Further image analysis, such as breast density classification and lesion detection, may then be carried out inside the breast region. Several domain-specific algorithms have therefore been developed for the attribute acquisition component in the system. These include: 1. automatic pectoral muscle segmentation; 2. adequacy assessment of positioning and exposure; and 3. contrast enhancement of mass lesions. An adaptive algorithm is described for automatic segmentation of the pectoral muscle on mammograms of mediolateral oblique (MLO) views
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2004

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