Improvement of IMRT QA prediction using imaging-based neural architecture search

Yao Hao, Xizhe Zhang, Jie Wang, Tianyu Zhao, Baozhou Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Machine learning (ML) has been used to predict the gamma passing rate (GPR) of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) QA results. In this work, we applied a novel neural architecture search to automatically tune and search for the best deep neural networks instead of using hand-designed deep learning architectures. Method and materials: One hundred and eighty-two IMRT plans were created and delivered with portal dosimetry. A total of 1497 fields for multiple treatment sites were delivered and measured by portal imagers. Gamma criteria of 2%/2 mm with a 5% threshold were used. Fluence maps calculated for each plan were used as inputs to a convolution neural network (CNN). Auto-Keras was implemented to search for the best CNN architecture for fluence image regression. The network morphism was adopted in the searching process, in which the base models were ResNet and DenseNet. The performance of this CNN approach was compared with tree-based ML models previously developed for this application, using the same dataset. Results: The deep-learning-based approach had 98.3% of predictions within 3% of the measured 2%/2-mm GPRs with a maximum error of 3.1% and a mean absolute error of less than 1%. Our results show that this novel architecture search approach achieves comparable performance to the machine-learning-based approaches with handcrafted features. Conclusions: We implemented a novel CNN model using imaging-based neural architecture for IMRT QA prediction. The imaging-based deep-learning method does not require a manual extraction of relevant features and is able to automatically select the best network architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5236-5243
Number of pages8
JournalMedical physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • IMRT
  • QA
  • convolution neural network
  • deep learning, gamma passing rate
  • neural architecture search


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