Automatic Classification of Human Epithelial Type 2 Cell Indirect Immunofluorescence Images using Cell Pyramid Matching

This paper describes a novel system for automatic classification of images obtained from Anti-Nuclear Antibody (ANA) pathology tests on Human Epithelial type 2 (HEp-2) cells using the Indirect Immunofluorescence (IIF) protocol. The IIF protocol on HEp-2 cells has been the hallmark method to identify the presence of ANAs, due to its high sensitivity and the large range of antigens that can be detected. However, it suffers from numerous shortcomings, such as being subjective as well as time and labour intensive. Computer Aided Diagnostic (CAD) systems have been developed to address these problems, which automatically classify a HEp-2 cell image into one of its known patterns (eg. speckled, homogeneous). Most of the existing CAD systems use handpicked features to represent a HEp-2 cell image, which may only work in limited scenarios. We propose a novel automatic cell image classification method termed Cell Pyramid Matching (CPM), which is comprised of regional histograms of visual words coupled with the Multiple Kernel Learning framework. We present a study of several variations of generating histograms and show the efficacy of the system on two publicly available datasets: the ICPR HEp-2 cell classification contest dataset and the SNPHEp-2 dataset.

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