Fusing Heterogeneous Features From Stacked Sparse Autoencoder for Histopathological Image Analysis

Xiaofan Zhang, Hang Dou, Tao Ju, Jun Xu, Shaoting Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


In the analysis of histopathological images, both holistic (e.g., architecture features) and local appearance features demonstrate excellent performance, while their accuracy may vary dramatically when providing different inputs. This motivates us to investigate how to fuse results from these features to enhance the accuracy. Particularly, we employ content-based image retrieval approaches to discover morphologically relevant images for image-guided diagnosis, using holistic and local features, both of which are generated from the cell detection results by a stacked sparse autoencoder. Because of the dramatically different characteristics and representations of these heterogeneous features (i.e., holistic and local), their results may not agree with each other, causing difficulties for traditional fusion methods. In this paper, we employ a graph-based query-specific fusion approach where multiple retrieval results (i.e., rank lists) are integrated and reordered based on a fused graph. The proposed method is capable of combining the strengths of local or holistic features adaptively for different inputs. We evaluate our method on a challenging clinical problem, i.e., histopathological image-guided diagnosis of intraductal breast lesions, and it achieves $91.67\%$ classification accuracy on $120$ breast tissue images from $40$ patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7172448
Pages (from-to)1377-1383
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Breast lesion
  • feature fusion
  • histopathological image analysis
  • large-scale image retrieval
  • stacked sparse autoencoder (SSAE)


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