Breast cancer diagnosis from biopsy images with highly reliable random subspace classifier ensembles

Yungang Zhang*, Bailing Zhang, Frans Coenen, Wenjin Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate and reliable classification of microscopic biopsy images is an important issue in computer assisted breast cancer diagnosis. In this paper, a new cascade Random Subspace ensembles scheme with reject options is proposed for microscopic biopsy image classification. The classification system is built as a serial fusion of two different Random Subspace classifier ensembles with rejection options to enhance the classification reliability. The first ensemble consists of a set of Support Vector Machine classifiers that converts the original K -class classification problem into a number of K 2-class problems. The second ensemble consists of a Multi-Layer Perceptron ensemble, that focuses on the rejected samples from the first ensemble. For both of the ensembles, the reject option is implemented by relating the consensus degree from majority voting to a confidence measure, and abstaining to classify ambiguous samples if the consensus degree is lower than some threshold. We also investigated the effectiveness of a feature description approach by combining Local Binary Pattern (LBP) texture analysis, statistics derived using the Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) and the Curvelet Transform. While the LBP analysis efficiently describes local texture properties and the GLCM reflects global texture statistics, the Curvelet Transform is particularly appropriate for the representation of piece-wise smooth images with rich edge information. The combined feature description thus provides a comprehensive biopsy image characterization by taking advantages of their complementary strengths. Using a benchmark microscopic biopsy image dataset, obtained from the Israel Institute of Technology, a high classification accuracy of 99.25 % was obtained (with a rejection rate of 1.94 %) using the proposed system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1420
Number of pages16
JournalMachine Vision and Applications
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Biopsy image
  • Breast cancer diagnosis
  • Combined feature
  • Random subspace ensemble
  • Reject option


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