Transfer learning based histopathologic image classification for breast cancer detection

  • Erkan Deniz
  • Abdulkadir Şengür
  • Zehra Kadiroğlu
  • Yanhui Guo
  • Varun Bajaj
  • Ümit Budak


Breast cancer is one of the leading cancer type among women in worldwide. Many breast cancer patients die every year due to the late diagnosis and treatment. Thus, in recent years, early breast cancer detection systems based on patient’s imagery are in demand. Deep learning attracts many researchers recently and many computer vision applications have come out in various environments. Convolutional neural network (CNN) which is known as deep learning architecture, has achieved impressive results in many applications. CNNs generally suffer from tuning a huge number of parameters which bring a great amount of complexity to the system. In addition, the initialization of the weights of the CNN is another handicap that needs to be handle carefully. In this paper, transfer learning and deep feature extraction methods are used which adapt a pre-trained CNN model to the problem at hand. AlexNet and Vgg16 models are considered in the presented work for feature extraction and AlexNet is used for further fine-tuning. The obtained features are then classified by support vector machines (SVM). Extensive experiments on a publicly available histopathologic breast cancer dataset are carried out and the accuracy scores are calculated for performance evaluation. The evaluation results show that the transfer learning produced better result than deep feature extraction and SVM classification.


Breast cancer detection Histopathologic image Convolutional neural networks Transfer learning Deep feature extraction 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technology Faculty, Electrical and Electronics Engineering DepartmentFirat UniversityElazigTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Illinois at SpringfieldSpringfieldUSA
  3. 3.Discipline of Electronics and Communication EngineeringPDPM Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and ManufacturingJabalpurIndia
  4. 4.Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department, Engineering FacultyBitlis Eren UniversityBitlisTurkey

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