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Optimal Feature Selection in Bone Age Assessment using Principal Component Analysis

Assistant Professor Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India.

Director Akshaya College of Engineering and Technology Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India.

P.S.Sujith T.V.Mahendiran
Assistant Professor Coimbatore Institute of Engineering and Technology Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India.
Abstract This paper proposes an efficient feature selection methodology for Bone Age Assessment (BAA) process. Bone age is a reliable indicator of growth and skeletal BAA is used in the management and diagnosis of endocrine disorders. Bone age can be estimated from the left-hand wrist radiograph of the subject. The strength of the BAA procedure is influenced by the quality of the features exploited. Hence, much attention is imparted on the feature extraction and feature selection strategies. In the proposed work, three different types of features are extracted from the input radiograph, namely Statistic Moments, Fractal Dimensions, and Tetrolets. They are analyzed using the famous Principal Component Analysis (PCA) technique and the results are discussed. Keywords Bone Age Assessment (BAA), Feature extraction, Feature Selection, Principal Component Analysis (PCA).

PG Scholar Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India.

they should not require any domain-specific knowledge for their extraction. they should be easy to compute they should relate well with the human perceptual characteristics Thus, features play a vital role in image processing and analysis applications. Also, the features chosen are to be very relevant to the further processing. Hence, the significance of feature analysis becomes very evident.


Bone age assessment using a hand radiograph is an important clinical tool in the area of pediatrics, especially in relation to endocrinological problems and growth disorders. A single reading of skeletal age informs the clinician of the relative maturity of a patient at a particular time in his or her life and integrated with other clinical finding, separates the normal from the relatively advanced or retarded [4]. Based on a radiological examination of skeletal development of the lefthand wrist, bone age is assessed and compared with the chronological age. A discrepancy between these two values indicates abnormalities in skeletal development. The procedure is often used in the management and diagnosis of endocrine disorders and also serves as an indication of the therapeutic effect of treatment. BAA is universally used due to its simplicity, minimal radiation exposure, and the availability of multiple ossification centers for evaluation of maturity. Fig. 1 shows the wrist bones in the left hand wrist radiograph, considered for BAA. The main clinical methods for skeletal bone age estimation are the Greulich & Pyle (GP) method and the Tanner & Whitehouse (TW) method. GP [5] is an atlas matching method while TW is a score assigning method. GP method is faster and easier to use than the TW method [6]. Bull et. al. performed a large scale comparison of the GP and TW method and concluded that TW method is the more reproducible of the two and potentially more accurate [7].



Features are numerical values computed from each image view connected to image classification [1]. Feature extraction can be viewed as a preprocessing step which removes distracting variance from a dataset, so that downstream classifiers perform better [2]. Features are learnt from classification and machine learning. There are several types of features, listed as follows: Visual features - color, texture, shape Statistical features - histograms, invariant features Model-based approaches - image comparison, holistic, active shapes, active contours Direct image features: o straightforward way to compare images o use the pixel values as features Local features - small sub images extracted at different relevant positions of original image, known to achieve good results in various classification tasks The issue of choosing the features to be extracted should be guided by the following concerns [3]: the features should carry enough information about the image

(2) Using only the sum of all pixels that belong to the 2D image, the regular and central moments equations [9] used to obtain the two features can now be obtained as: (3) C. Fractal Dimension: Fractal features have been widely used in object modeling and image classification [10]. Since the fractal dimension is useful to qualify the complexity of details, the value of local fractal dimension is an important feature of edge areas where intensities varies violently. To extract local features of an image, the local fractal dimension (LFD) is given by calculating the FD value of a local area rather than the whole image. The LFD value reflects the complexity of local image areas. Hence the LFD value is related to image edges. Thus the local fractal dimension (LFD) is employed to extract local fractal feature of x-ray images thereby detecting edges [11]. Algorithm 1. Divide the image into non-overlapping blocks called range blocks and compute the mean image (domain pool). 2. Calculate the variance of each range block using equation (4) where, R is the range block 3. Perform LFD Calculation on all the range and domain blocks of size 4 x 4. 4. Cluster the domain pool based on the LFD values. 5. If the variance of the range block is less than the threshold value, code the range block by the mean value, and go to step 6. Otherwise go to step 7. 7. Code by affine transformation by performing scaling and rotation on the respective cluster of domain pool based on the LFD of the range block. 8. Repeat step 6 for all range blocks. D. Tetrolets: Tetrominoes are shapes made by connecting four equalsized squares, each joined together with at least one other square along an edge. Originally, Tetrominoes were introduced by Golomb in [12]. They are shapes formed from a union of four unit squares, each connected by edges, not merely at their corners. The tiling problem with tetrominoes became popular through the famous computer game classic Tetris [13]. Krommweh defined the special Haar-type wavelets, called tetrolets [14], which form a local orthonormal basis. In order to obtain an image approximation, one can apply a suitable shrinkage procedure to the tetrolet coefficients and reconstruct the image. Tetrolets are used for decomposing the input image into sparse representation. The decomposed tetrolet co-efficients are extracted as features for further processing. Algorithm

Fig. 1. Bones of hand and wrist for BAA

III. PROPOSED WORK The proposed work consists of two phases, namely: 1. Feature Extraction 2. Feature Analysis A. Feature Extraction: Feature extraction is performed as a way to reduce the dimensionality of the data produced by the image acquisition. In the computer vision field, each pixel represents one data dimension. It is impractical to feed data of such high dimensionality into a classifier. The task of the feature extraction and selection methods is to obtain the most relevant information from the original data and represent that information in a lower dimensionality space. In the proposed system, a long list of candidate features was calculated in order to form a powerful input vector for the classification module to follow. The features attempted to describe the morphology of the outline shape of the wrist bones. Once extracted and optimized, the vector would be used to train and validate the classifier. In the proposed system, three types of features are extracted from the input radiograph: 1. Statistic Moments 2. Fractal Dimensions 3. Tetrolets B. Statistic Moments: A possible approach to obtain efficient invariants features is based on the use of the statistic moments algorithm. This algorithm uses the regular and the central moments to obtain the features needed for the fault diagnosis [8]. Considering each pixel (xi , yi) as a gray level I (xi , yi), the (p+q) order of the regular moment is given by: (1) where the sum is made over the image all M pixels. The (p+q) order of the central moment is invariant to translation and is obtained considering the origin of the object at its gravity center.

1. The image ar-1 is divide into blocks Qi,j of size 4 x 4, i, j = 0,N/4r 1. 2. In each block Qi,j, the 117 admissible tetromino coverings c = 1, . . . , 117 are considered. For each tiling c, a Haar wavelet transform is applied to the four tetromino subsets I(c)s, s = 0, 1, 2, 3. In this way, for each tiling c, four low-pass coefficients and 12 tetrolet coefficients are obtained. In Qi,j, the pixel averages for every admissible tetromino configuration c = 1, . . . , 117 by equation (5) and the three high-pass parts for l = 1,2,3 given by equation (6) respectively:
a r ,( c ) = ( a r ,( c ) [ s ] ) s = 0 with a r ,( c ) [ s ] =

(9) Afterwards, the basis functions are obtained by solving the algebraic eigen value problem
T =



r ,(c )

= wl

(6) where the coefficients [l,m], l,m = 0, . . . , 3, are entries from the Haar wavelet transform matrix:

r ,(c )

[ s] ) s= 0 w ithwl [ s] = [ l, L(m, n)] a r1[ m, n]

3 r ,(c ) ( m ,n ) I s( c )

( m , n ) I s( c )

[ 0, L(m, n)] a [ m, n]
r 1

where is the eigenvector matrix of , and is the corresponding diagonal matrix of eigen values. Feature selection is then performed by keeping q (q < N) orthonormal eigen vectors corresponding to the first q largest eigen values of the covariance matrix. From the obtained feature set, the first 10 dominant features are selected. IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The system to perform optimal feature selection in BAA using PCA was evaluated with a data set of 100 radiographs (50 male and 50 female). From the input radiograph, three categories of features were extracted, namely, Statistical Moments, Fractal Dimensions and Tetrolets. All the extracted features were subjected to feature analysis by the renowned PCA method. As a result of PCA, the size of the feature vector is reduced, selecting the most dominant 10 features which could contribute more to the BAA process. From the results it is found that, of the three feature types, the most ideal are the Tetrolets. The performances of the three feature types are compared based on their speed of extraction and rate of selection and the results are tabulated in Table 1. Also the accuracy of the feature extraction for the three cases is analyzed and the results are plotted in the graph depicted in Fig. 2. The performance of the three feature types are analyzed in terms of their speed of extraction, success rate of getting selected, and the accuracy rate of the features. The results conclude that the Tetrolets are the optimal features from radiographs to be used in BAA procedure.


W := ( [ l , m] ) l ,m =0

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 = 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


3. The low- and high-pass coefficients of each block are rearranged into a 2 x 2 block. 4. The tetrolet coefficients (high-pass part) are stored. 5. Step 1 to 4 is applied to the low-pass image. 6. The tetrolet coefficients are fed as input to the PSO algorithm. 7. The choice of whether to segment all bones or selective ROIs is given. 8. The segmented bones are output. E. Feature Analysis: A potent classification system requires the image data to be translated into a more compact and more manageable representation containing only the relevant features. Several feature representations have been investigated in the past for such a classification task. Also, it is infeasible to feed in a high dimensional feature vector into a classifier and the redundant inputs degrade the performance of the classifier. Hence, the extracted features are analyzed using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), thus reducing the feature vector into 10 important features. Principal Components Analysis is a method that reduces data dimensionality by performing a covariance analysis between factors [15]. PCA [16],[17] is a vector space transformation often used to reduce multidimensional datasets to lower dimensions for analysis. Given data X consisting of N samples, PCA first performs data normalization by subtracting the mean vector m from the data. Then the covariance matrix of the normalized data (X m) is computed.

Feature Statistical Moments Fractal Dimensions Tetrolets

Speed rate (Female) 88% 84% 92%

Speed rate (Male) 88% 84% 91%

Selection Rate (Female) 93% 92% 96%

Selection rate (Male) 92% 91% 94%




1 N

i =1

i T


= ( X m)( X m)

The work proposed in this paper presents the implementation of feature extraction and there after analysis of the extracted features for robust bone age estimation. The system was validated with a data set of 100 images (50 male and 50 female). From the input radiograph, 3 different types of features were extracted, namely statistical moments, fractal dimensions, and tetrolets. PCA was employed as a tool for dimensionality reduction. Based on the analysis, it was identified that the performance of the tetrolets was far

beyond that of the statistical moments and the fractal dimensions. Future work would regard applying tetrolet features for accurate bone age estimation.


Fig. 2. Accuracy Rate of Feature Extraction


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