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Currently, there is an increasing interest for setting up medical systems that can screen a large number of people for sight threatening diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy. This paper presents a method for automated identification of exudate pathologies in retinopathy images based on computational intelligence techniques. The color retinal images are segmented using fuzzy c-means clustering following some preprocessing steps, i.e., color normalization and contrast enhancement. The entire segmented images establish a dataset of regions. To classify these segmented regions into exudates and nonexudates, a set of initial features such as color, size, edge strength, and texture are extracted. A genetic-based algorithm is used to rank the features and identify the subset that gives the best classification results. The selected feature vectors are then classified using a multilayer neural network classifier. The algorithm was implemented using a large image dataset consisting of 300 manually labeled retinal images, and could identify affected retinal images with 96.0% sensitivity while it recognized 94.6% of the normal images, i.e., the specificity. Moreover, the proposed scheme illustrated an accuracy including 93.5% sensitivity and 92.1% predictivity for identification of retinal exudates at the pixel level.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:13 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: July 2009