Uncertainty-Aware Multiple-Instance Learning for Reliable Classification: Application to Optical Coherence Tomography

C. de Vente, B. van Ginneken, C. Hoyng, C. Klaver and C. Sánchez

arXiv:2302.03116 2023.

DOI arXiv Cited by ~1

Deep learning classification models for medical image analysis often perform well on data from scanners that were used during training. However, when these models are applied to data from different vendors, their performance tends to drop substantially. Artifacts that only occur within scans from specific scanners are major causes of this poor generalizability. We aimed to improve the reliability of deep learning classification models by proposing Uncertainty-Based Instance eXclusion (UBIX). This technique, based on multiple-instance learning, reduces the effect of corrupted instances on the bag-classification by seamlessly integrating out-of-distribution (OOD) instance detection during inference. Although UBIX is generally applicable to different medical images and diverse classification tasks, we focused on staging of age-related macular degeneration in optical coherence tomography. After being trained using images from one vendor, UBIX showed a reliable behavior, with a slight decrease in performance (a decrease of the quadratic weighted kappa ($\kappa$\textsubscriptw) from 0.861 to 0.708), when applied to images from different vendors containing artifacts; while a state-of-the-art 3D neural network suffered from a significant detriment of performance ($\kappa$\textsubscriptw from 0.852 to 0.084) on the same test set. We showed that instances with unseen artifacts can be identified with OOD detection and their contribution to the bag-level predictions can be reduced, improving reliability without the need for retraining on new data. This potentially increases the applicability of artificial intelligence models to data from other scanners than the ones for which they were developed.