Predicting classifier performance with limited training data: applications to computer-aided diagnosis in breast and prostate cancer.

TitlePredicting classifier performance with limited training data: applications to computer-aided diagnosis in breast and prostate cancer.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBasavanhally, A, Viswanath S, Madabhushi A
JournalPloS one
Date Published05/2015

Clinical trials increasingly employ medical imaging data in conjunction with supervised classifiers, where the latter require large amounts of training data to accurately model the system. Yet, a classifier selected at the start of the trial based on smaller and more accessible datasets may yield inaccurate and unstable classification performance. In this paper, we aim to address two common concerns in classifier selection for clinical trials: (1) predicting expected classifier performance for large datasets based on error rates calculated from smaller datasets and (2) the selection of appropriate classifiers based on expected performance for larger datasets. We present a framework for comparative evaluation of classifiers using only limited amounts of training data by using random repeated sampling (RRS) in conjunction with a cross-validation sampling strategy. Extrapolated error rates are subsequently validated via comparison with leave-one-out cross-validation performed on a larger dataset. The ability to predict error rates as dataset size increases is demonstrated on both synthetic data as well as three different computational imaging tasks: detecting cancerous image regions in prostate histopathology, differentiating high and low grade cancer in breast histopathology, and detecting cancerous metavoxels in prostate magnetic resonance spectroscopy. For each task, the relationships between 3 distinct classifiers (k-nearest neighbor, naive Bayes, Support Vector Machine) are explored. Further quantitative evaluation in terms of interquartile range (IQR) suggests that our approach consistently yields error rates with lower variability (mean IQRs of 0.0070, 0.0127, and 0.0140) than a traditional RRS approach (mean IQRs of 0.0297, 0.0779, and 0.305) that does not employ cross-validation sampling for all three datasets.

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Alternate JournalPLoS ONE

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