Early Detection Research Network

Explaining Deep Features Using Radiologist-Defined Semantic Features and Traditional Quantitative Features.

Quantitative features are generated from a tumor phenotype by various data characterization, feature-extraction approaches and have been used successfully as a biomarker. These features give us information about a nodule, for example, nodule size, pixel intensity, histogram-based information, and texture information from wavelets or a convolution kernel. Semantic features, on the other hand, can be generated by an experienced radiologist and consist of the common characteristics of a tumor, for example, location of a tumor, fissure, or pleural wall attachment, presence of fibrosis or emphysema, concave cut on nodule surface. These features have been derived for lung nodules by our group. Semantic features have also shown promise in predicting malignancy. Deep features from images are generally extracted from the last layers before the classification layer of a convolutional neural network (CNN). By training with the use of different types of images, the CNN learns to recognize various patterns and textures. But when we extract deep features, there is no specific naming approach for them, other than denoting them by the feature column number (position of a neuron in a hidden layer). In this study, we tried to relate and explain deep features with respect to traditional quantitative features and semantic features. We discovered that 26 deep features from the Vgg-S neural network and 12 deep features from our trained CNN could be explained by semantic or traditional quantitative features. From this, we concluded that those deep features can have a recognizable definition via semantic or quantitative features.

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Tomography, 2019, 5 (1)