Genetic programming for cephalometric landmark detection

Innes, A 2007, Genetic programming for cephalometric landmark detection, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Genetic programming for cephalometric landmark detection
Author(s) Innes, A
Year 2007
Abstract The domain of medical imaging analysis has burgeoned in recent years due to the availability and affordability of digital radiographic imaging equipment and associated algorithms and, as such, there has been significant activity in the automation of the medical diagnostic process. One such process, cephalometric analysis, is manually intensive and it can take an experienced orthodontist thirty minutes to analyse one radiology image. This thesis describes an approach, based on genetic programming, neural networks and machine learning, to automate this process. A cephalometric analysis involves locating a number of points in an X-ray and determining the linear and angular relationships between them. If the points can be located accurately enough, the rest of the analysis is straightforward.

The investigative steps undertaken were as follows: Firstly, a previously published method, which was claimed to be domain independent, was implemented and tested on a selection of landmarks, ranging from easy to very difficult. These included the menton, upper lip, incisal upper incisor, nose tip and sella landmarks. The method used pixel values, and pixel statistics (mean and standard deviation) of pre-determined regions as inputs to a genetic programming detector. This approach proved unsatisfactory and the second part of the investigation focused on alternative handcrafted features sets and fitness measures. This proved to be much more successful and the third part of the investigation involved using pulse coupled neural networks to replace the handcrafted features with learned ones. The fourth and final stage involved an analysis of the evolved programs to determine whether reasonable algorithms had been evolved and not just random artefacts learnt from the training images.

A significant finding from the investigative steps was that the new domain independent approach, using pulse coupled neural networks and genetic programming to evolve programs, was as good as or even better than one using the handcrafted features. The advantage of this finding is that little domain knowledge is required, thus obviating the requirement to manually generate handcrafted features. The investigation revealed that some of the easy landmarks could be found with 100% accuracy while the accuracy of finding the most difficult ones was around 78%.

An extensive analysis of evolved programs revealed underlying regularities that were captured during the evolutionary process. Even though the evolutionary process took different routes and a diverse range of programs was evolved, many of the programs with an acceptable detection rate implemented algorithms with similar characteristics.

The major outcome of this work is that the method described in this thesis could be used as the basis of an automated system. The orthodontist would be required to manually correct a few errors before completing the analysis.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Keyword(s) Genetic Programming
Pulse-Coupled Neural Networks
Cephalometric Analysis
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Created: Wed, 16 Feb 2011, 12:42:37 EST by Keely Chapman
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