A logarithmic opinion pool based STAPLE algorithm for the fusion of segmentations with associated reliability weights

Academic Article


  • Pelvic floor dysfunction is common in women after childbirth and precise segmentation of magnetic resonance images (MRI) of the pelvic floor may facilitate diagnosis and treatment of patients. However, because of the complexity of its structures, manual segmentation of the pelvic floor is challenging and suffers from high inter and intra-rater variability of expert raters. Multiple template fusion algorithms are promising segmentation techniques for these types of applications, but they have been limited by imperfections in the alignment of templates to the target, and by template segmentation errors. A number of algorithms sought to improve segmentation performance by combining image intensities and template labels as two independent sources of information, carrying out fusion through local intensity weighted voting schemes. This class of approach is a form of linear opinion pooling, and achieves unsatisfactory performance for this application. We hypothesized that better decision fusion could be achieved by assessing the contribution of each template in comparison to a reference standard segmentation of the target image and developed a novel segmentation algorithm to enable automatic segmentation of MRI of the female pelvic floor. The algorithm achieves high performance by estimating and compensating for both imperfect registration of the templates to the target image and template segmentation inaccuracies. A local image similarity measure is used to infer a local reliability weight, which contributes to the fusion through a novel logarithmic opinion pooling. We evaluated our new algorithm in comparison to nine state-of-the-art segmentation methods and demonstrated our algorithm achieves the highest performance.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Akhondi-Asl A; Hoyte L; Lockhart ME; Warfield SK
  • Start Page

  • 1997
  • End Page

  • 2009
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 10