Optimization of the difference-of-Gaussian channel sets for the channelized Hotelling observer

C. Balta, R. Bouwman, M. Broeders, N. Karssemeijer, W. Veldkamp, I. Sechopoulos and R. van Engen

Journal of Medical Imaging 2019;6(3):035501.

DOI PMID Cited by ~1

The channelized-Hotelling observer (CHO) was investigated as a surrogate of human observers in task-based image quality assessment. The CHO with difference-of-Gaussian (DoG) channels has shown potential for the prediction of human detection performance in digital mammography (DM) images. However, the DoG channels employ parameters that describe the shape of each channel. The selection of these parameters influences the performance of the DoG CHO and needs further investigation. The detection performance of the DoG CHO was calculated and correlated with the detection performance of three humans who evaluated DM images in 2-alternative forced-choice experiments. A set of DM images of an anthropomorphic breast phantom with and without calcification-like signals was acquired at four different dose levels. For each dose level, 200 square regions-of-interest (ROIs) with and without signal were extracted. Signal detectability was assessed on ROI basis using the CHO with various DoG channel parameters and it was compared to that of the human observers. It was found that varying these DoG parameter values affects the correlation ( r2 ) of the CHO with human observers for the detection task investigated. In conclusion, it appears that the the optimal DoG channel sets that maximize the prediction ability of the CHO might be dependent on the type of background and signal of ROIs investigated.