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Open Access Research

A supervised visual model for finding regions of interest in basal cell carcinoma images

Ricardo Gutiérrez, Francisco Gómez, Lucía Roa-Peña and Eduardo Romero*

Author affiliations

Telemedicine Centre, National University of Colombia, Carrera 30 No. 45-03, Medicine Faculty, Building 471, Bogotá, Colombia

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6:26  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-26

Published: 29 March 2011

Abstract

This paper introduces a supervised learning method for finding diagnostic regions of interest in histopathological images. The method is based on the cognitive process of visual selection of relevant regions that arises during a pathologist's image examination. The proposed strategy emulates the interaction of the visual cortex areas V1, V2 and V4, being the V1 cortex responsible for assigning local levels of relevance to visual inputs while the V2 cortex gathers together these small regions according to some weights modulated by the V4 cortex, which stores some learned rules. This novel strategy can be considered as a complex mix of "bottom-up" and "top-down" mechanisms, integrated by calculating a unique index inside each region. The method was evaluated on a set of 338 images in which an expert pathologist had drawn the Regions of Interest. The proposed method outperforms two state-of-the-art methods devised to determine Regions of Interest (RoIs) in natural images. The quality gain with respect to an adaptated Itti's model which found RoIs was 3.6 dB in average, while with respect to the Achanta's proposal was 4.9 dB.