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• Artificial Intelligence and Pattern Recognition •

### DG-CNN: Introducing Margin Information into Convolutional Neural Networks for Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Ultrasound Images

Xiao-Zheng Xie1 (解晓政), Jian-Wei Niu1,2 (牛建伟), Senior Member, IEEE, Xue-Feng Liu1,* (刘雪峰), Qing-Feng Li2 (李青锋), Yong Wang3 (王勇), Jie Han3 (韩洁), and Shaojie Tang4 (唐少杰), Member, IEEE

1. 1State Key Laboratory of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems, School of Computer Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
2Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Big Data and Brain Computing, Beihang University, Hangzhou 310051, China
3Department of Diagnostic Ultrasound, National Cancer Center, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100021, China
4Naveen Jindal School of Management, The University of Texas at Dallas, TX 75080-3021, U.S.A.
• Received:2019-11-26 Revised:2020-04-25 Accepted:2020-06-02 Online:2022-03-31 Published:2022-03-31
• Contact: Xue-Feng Liu E-mail:liu_xuefeng@buaa.edu.cn
• About author:Xue-Feng Liu received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in automatic control and aerospace engineering from the Beijing Institute of Technology, and the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, in 2003 and 2008, respectively. He was an associate professor at the School of Electronics and Information Engineering in the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, from 2008 to 2018. He is currently an associate professor at the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing. His research interests include wireless sensor networks, distributed computing and in-network processing. He has served as a reviewer for several international journals/conference proceedings.
• Supported by:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 61976012 and 61772060, the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant No. 2017YFB1301100, and China Education and Research Network Innovation Project under Grant No. NGII20170315.

Although using convolutional neural networks (CNN) for computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) has made tremendous progress in the last few years, the small medical datasets remain to be the major bottleneck in this area. To address this problem, researchers start looking for information out of the medical datasets. Previous efforts mainly leverage information from natural images via transfer learning. More recent research work focuses on integrating knowledge from medical practitioners, either letting networks resemble how practitioners are trained, how they view images, or using extra annotations. In this paper, we propose a scheme named Domain Guided-CNN (DG-CNN) to incorporate the margin information, a feature described in the consensus for radiologists to diagnose cancer in breast ultrasound (BUS) images. In DG-CNN, attention maps that highlight margin areas of tumors are first generated, and then incorporated via different approaches into the networks. We have tested the performance of DG-CNN on our own dataset (including 1485 ultrasound images) and on a public dataset. The results show that DG-CNN can be applied to different network structures like VGG and ResNet to improve their performance. For example, experimental results on our dataset show that with a certain integrating mode, the improvement of using DG-CNN over a baseline network structure ResNet18 is 2.17% in accuracy, 1.69% in sensitivity, 2.64% in specificity and 2.57% in AUC (Area Under Curve). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the margin information is utilized to improve the performance of deep neural networks in diagnosing breast cancer in BUS images.

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