Optimization and FROC analysis of rule-based detection schemes using a multiobjective approach

Mark A. Anastasio, Matthew A. Kupinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computerized detection schemes have the potential of increasing diagnostic accuracy in medical imaging by alerting radiologists to lesions that they initially overlooked. These schemes typically employ multiple parameters such as threshold values or filter weights to arrive at a detection decision. In order for the system to have high performance, the values of these parameters need to be set optimally. Conventional optimization techniques are designed to optimize a scalar objective function. The task of optimizing the performance of a computerized detection scheme, however, is clearly a multiobjective problem: we wish to simultaneously improve the sensitivity and false-positive rate of the system. In this work we investigate a multiobjective approach to optimizing computerized rule-based detection schemes. In a multiobjective optimization, multiple objectives are simultaneously optimized, with the objective now being a vector-valued function. The multiobjective optimization problem admits a set of solutions, known as the Pareto-optimal set, which are equivalent in the absence of any information regarding the preferences of the objectives. The performances of the Pareto-optimal solutions can be interpreted as operating points on an optimal freeresponse receiver operating characteristic (FROC) curve, greater than or equal to the points on any possible FROC curve for a given dataset and detection scheme. It is demonstrated that generating FROC curves in this manner eliminates several known problems with conventional FROC curve generation techniques for rule-based detection schemes. We employ the multiobjective approach to optimize a rule-based scheme for clustered microcalcification detection that has been developed in our laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1093
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer-aided diagnosis
  • Free-response receiver operating characteristic (froc) analysis
  • Multiobjective optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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