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ATLAAS: an automatic decision tree-based learning algorithm for advanced image segmentation in positron emission tomography

Berthon, Beatrice, Marshall, Christopher ORCID:, Evans, Mererid and Spezi, Emiliano ORCID: 2016. ATLAAS: an automatic decision tree-based learning algorithm for advanced image segmentation in positron emission tomography. Physics in Medicine and Biology 61 (13) , pp. 4855-4869. 10.1088/0031-9155/61/13/4855

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Accurate and reliable tumour delineation on positron emission tomography (PET) is crucial for radiotherapy treatment planning. PET automatic segmentation (PET-AS) eliminates intra- and interobserver variability, but there is currently no consensus on the optimal method to use, as different algorithms appear to perform better for different types of tumours. This work aimed to develop a predictive segmentation model, trained to automatically select and apply the best PET-AS method, according to the tumour characteristics. ATLAAS, the automatic decision tree-based learning algorithm for advanced segmentation is based on supervised machine learning using decision trees. The model includes nine PET-AS methods and was trained on a 100 PET scans with known true contour. A decision tree was built for each PET-AS algorithm to predict its accuracy, quantified using the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC), according to the tumour volume, tumour peak to background SUV ratio and a regional texture metric. The performance of ATLAAS was evaluated for 85 PET scans obtained from fillable and printed subresolution sandwich phantoms. ATLAAS showed excellent accuracy across a wide range of phantom data and predicted the best or near-best segmentation algorithm in 93% of cases. ATLAAS outperformed all single PET-AS methods on fillable phantom data with a DSC of 0.881, while the DSC for H&N phantom data was 0.819. DSCs higher than 0.650 were achieved in all cases. ATLAAS is an advanced automatic image segmentation algorithm based on decision tree predictive modelling, which can be trained on images with known true contour, to predict the best PET-AS method when the true contour is unknown. ATLAAS provides robust and accurate image segmentation with potential applications to radiation oncology.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 28/04/2016)
Publisher: Institute of Physics
ISSN: 0031-9155
Funders: Cancer Research Wales
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 June 2016
Date of Acceptance: 27 April 2016
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 19:39

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