RenseNet: A Deep Learning Network Incorporating Residual and Dense Blocks with Edge Conservative Module to Improve Small-Lesion Classification and Model Interpretation

Seo, HyunseokLEE SEOK JUNYun, SojinSaebom LeemSo, SeoheeHan, Deok Hyun
Issue Date
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Cancers, v.16, no.3
Deep learning has become an essential tool in medical image analysis owing to its remarkable performance. Target classification and model interpretability are key applications of deep learning in medical image analysis, and hence many deep learning-based algorithms have emerged. Many existing deep learning-based algorithms include pooling operations, which are a type of subsampling used to enlarge the receptive field. However, pooling operations degrade the image details in terms of signal processing theory, which is significantly sensitive to small objects in an image. Therefore, in this study, we designed a Rense block and edge conservative module to effectively manipulate previous feature information in the feed-forward learning process. Specifically, a Rense block, an optimal design that incorporates skip connections of residual and dense blocks, was demonstrated through mathematical analysis. Furthermore, we avoid blurring of the features in the pooling operation through a compensation path in the edge conservative module. Two independent CT datasets of kidney stones and lung tumors, in which small lesions are often included in the images, were used to verify the proposed RenseNet. The results of the classification and explanation heatmaps show that the proposed RenseNet provides the best inference and interpretation compared to current state-of-the-art methods. The proposed RenseNet can significantly contribute to efficient diagnosis and treatment because it is effective for small lesions that might be misclassified or misinterpreted.
classification; deep learning; explainable AI; heatmap; small lesion
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