VoxelHop: Successive Subspace Learning for ALS Disease Classification Using Structural MRI

by   Xiaofeng Liu, et al.

Deep learning has great potential for accurate detection and classification of diseases with medical imaging data, but the performance is often limited by the number of training datasets and memory requirements. In addition, many deep learning models are considered a "black-box," thereby often limiting their adoption in clinical applications. To address this, we present a successive subspace learning model, termed VoxelHop, for accurate classification of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) using T2-weighted structural MRI data. Compared with popular convolutional neural network (CNN) architectures, VoxelHop has modular and transparent structures with fewer parameters without any backpropagation, so it is well-suited to small dataset size and 3D imaging data. Our VoxelHop has four key components, including (1) sequential expansion of near-to-far neighborhood for multi-channel 3D data; (2) subspace approximation for unsupervised dimension reduction; (3) label-assisted regression for supervised dimension reduction; and (4) concatenation of features and classification between controls and patients. Our experimental results demonstrate that our framework using a total of 20 controls and 26 patients achieves an accuracy of 93.48% and an AUC score of 0.9394 in differentiating patients from controls, even with a relatively small number of datasets, showing its robustness and effectiveness. Our thorough evaluations also show its validity and superiority to the state-of-the-art 3D CNN classification methods. Our framework can easily be generalized to other classification tasks using different imaging modalities.


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