Visual parameter optimisation for biomedical image processing

Pretorius, AJ, Zhou, Yu orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8071-6572 and Ruddle, R (2015) Visual parameter optimisation for biomedical image processing. BMC Bioinformatics, 16 (S9). pp. 1-13. ISSN 1471-2105

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Background: Biomedical image processing methods require users to optimise input parameters to ensure high quality
output. This presents two challenges. First, it is difficult to optimise multiple input parameters for multiple
input images. Second, it is difficult to achieve an understanding of underlying algorithms, in particular, relationships
between input and output.

Results: We present a visualisation method that transforms users’ ability to understand algorithm behaviour by
integrating input and output, and by supporting exploration of their relationships. We discuss its application to a
colour deconvolution technique for stained histology images and show how it enabled a domain expert to
identify suitable parameter values for the deconvolution of two types of images, and metrics to quantify
deconvolution performance. It also enabled a breakthrough in understanding by invalidating an underlying
assumption about the algorithm.

Conclusions: The visualisation method presented here provides analysis capability for multiple inputs and outputs
in biomedical image processing that is not supported by previous analysis software. The analysis supported by our
method is not feasible with conventional trial-and-error approaches.

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