Improved Brain Age Estimation with Slice-based Set Networks

8 Feb 2021  ·  Umang Gupta, Pradeep K. Lam, Greg Ver Steeg, Paul M. Thompson ·

Deep Learning for neuroimaging data is a promising but challenging direction. The high dimensionality of 3D MRI scans makes this endeavor compute and data-intensive. Most conventional 3D neuroimaging methods use 3D-CNN-based architectures with a large number of parameters and require more time and data to train. Recently, 2D-slice-based models have received increasing attention as they have fewer parameters and may require fewer samples to achieve comparable performance. In this paper, we propose a new architecture for BrainAGE prediction. The proposed architecture works by encoding each 2D slice in an MRI with a deep 2D-CNN model. Next, it combines the information from these 2D-slice encodings using set networks or permutation invariant layers. Experiments on the BrainAGE prediction problem, using the UK Biobank dataset, showed that the model with the permutation invariant layers trains faster and provides better predictions compared to other state-of-the-art approaches.

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