Breast Mass Detection with Faster R-CNN: On the Feasibility of Learning from Noisy Annotations

Sina Famouri, Lia Morra, Leonardo Mangia, Fabrizio Lamberti
2021 IEEE Access  
In this work we study the impact of noise on the training of object detection networks for the medical domain, and how it can be mitigated by improving the training procedure. Annotating large medical datasets for training data-hungry deep learning models is expensive and time consuming. Leveraging information that is already collected in clinical practice, in the form of text reports, bookmarks or lesion measurements would substantially reduce this cost. Obtaining precise lesion bounding boxes
more » ... through automatic mining procedures, however, is difficult. We provide here a quantitative evaluation of the effect of bounding box coordinate noise on the performance of Faster R-CNN object detection networks for breast mass detection. Varying degrees of noise are simulated by randomly modifying the bounding boxes: in our experiments, bounding boxes could be enlarged up to six times the original size. The noise is injected in the CBIS-DDSM collection, a well curated public mammography dataset for which accurate lesion location is available. We show how, due to an imperfect matching between the ground truth and the network bounding box proposals, the noise is propagated during training and reduces the ability of the network to correctly classify lesions from background. When using the standard Intersection over Union criterion, the area under the FROC curve decreases by up to 9%. A novel matching criterion is proposed to improve tolerance to noise.
doi:10.1109/access.2021.3072997 fatcat:7z5ddmcot5a57aqwrqp4ppof5i