Radon cumulative distribution transform subspace modeling for image classification

We present a new supervised image classification method applicable to a broad class of image deformation models. The method makes use of the previously described Radon Cumulative Distribution Transform (R-CDT) for image data, whose mathematical properties are exploited to express the image data in a form that is more suitable for machine learning. While certain operations such as translation, scaling, and higher-order transformations are challenging to model in native image space, we show the R-CDT can capture some of these variations and thus render the associated image classification problems easier to solve. The method -- utilizing a nearest-subspace algorithm in R-CDT space -- is simple to implement, non-iterative, has no hyper-parameters to tune, is computationally efficient, label efficient, and provides competitive accuracies to state-of-the-art neural networks for many types of classification problems. In addition to the test accuracy performances, we show improvements (with respect to neural network-based methods) in terms of computational efficiency (it can be implemented without the use of GPUs), number of training samples needed for training, as well as out-of-distribution generalization. The Python code for reproducing our results is available at https://github.com/rohdelab/rcdt_ns_classifier.

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