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Breast Infrared Thermography Segmentation Based on Adaptive Tuning of a Fully Convolutional Network

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 5 ]


Mazhar Basyouni Tayel and Azza Mahmoud Elbagoury*   Pages 611 - 621 ( 11 )


Background: Accurate segmentation of Breast Infrared Thermography is an important step for early detection of breast pathological changes. Automatic segmentation of Breast Infrared Thermography is a very challenging task, as it is difficult to find an accurate breast contour and extract regions of interest from it. Although several semi-automatic methods have been proposed for segmentation, their performance often depends on hand-crafted image features, as well as preprocessing operations.

Objectives: In this work, an approach to automatic semantic segmentation of the Breast Infrared Thermography is proposed based on end-to-end fully convolutional neural networks and without any pre or post-processing.

Methods: The lack of labeled Breast Infrared Thermography data limits the complete utilization of fully convolutional neural networks. The proposed model overcomes this challenge by applying data augmentation and two-tier transfer learning from bigger datasets combined with adaptive multi-tier fine-tuning before training the fully convolutional neural networks model.

Results: Experimental results show that the proposed approach achieves better segmentation results: 97.986% accuracy; 98.36% sensitivity and 97.61% specificity compared to hand-crafted segmentation methods.

Conclusion: This work provided an end-to-end automatic semantic segmentation of Breast Infrared Thermography combined with fully convolutional networks, adaptive multi-tier fine-tuning and transfer learning. Also, this work was able to deal with challenges in applying convolutional neural networks on such data and achieving the state-of-the-art accuracy.


AlexNet, breast infrared thermography, fully convolutional networks, fine-tuning, semantic segmentation, transfer learning.


Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Department of Basic Science, Faculty of Engineering, Pharos University, Alexandria

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