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The appearance of micro-calcifications in mammograms is a crucial early sign of breast cancer. Automatic micro-calcification detection techniques play an important role in cancer diagnosis and treatment. This, however, still remains a challenging task. This paper presents novel algorithms for the detection of micro-calcifications using stochastic resonance (SR) noise. In these algorithms, a suitable dose of noise is added to the abnormal mammograms such that the performance of a suboptimal lesion detector is improved without altering the detector's parameters. First, a SR noise-based detection approach is presented to improve some suboptimal detectors which suffer from model mismatch due to the Gaussian assumption. Furthermore, a SR noise-based detection enhancement framework is presented to deal with more general model mismatch cases. Our algorithms and the framework are tested on a set of 75 representative abnormal mammograms. They yield superior performance when compared with several classification and detection approaches developed in our work as well as those available in the literature.
Selected Topics in Signal Processing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:3 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009