Optimal MAP Parameters Estimation in STAPLE - Learning from Performance Parameters versus Image Similarity Information

  • Subrahmanyam Gorthi
  • Alireza Akhondi-Asl
  • Jean-Philippe Thiran
  • Simon K. Warfield
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8679)


In many medical imaging applications, merging segmentations obtained from multiple reference images (i.e., templates) has become a standard practice for improving the accuracy as well as reliability. Simultaneous Truth And Performance Level Estimation (STAPLE) is a widely used fusion algorithm that simultaneously estimates both performance parameters for each template, and the output segmentation; a more accurate estimation of performance parameters consequently results in more accurate output segmentations. In this paper, we propose a new approach for learning prior knowledge about the performance parameters of each template, and for incorporating it into the Maximum-a-Posteriori (MAP) formulation of the STAPLE, so that more accurate output segmentations can be obtained. More specifically, we propose a new approach to learn, for each structure to be segmented, the relationships between the performance parameters (viz. sensitivity and specificity) and the intensity similarities; we also propose a methodology for transferring this prior knowledge about the performance parameters into the STAPLE algorithm through optimal setting of the MAP parameters. The proposed approach is evaluated for the segmentation of structures in the brain MR images. These experiments have clearly demonstrated the advantages of incorporating such prior knowledge.


Medical Imaging Segmentation Atlas-based Segmentation Label Fusion STAPLE MAP Formulation MRI Brain Lateral Ventricles 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subrahmanyam Gorthi
    • 1
  • Alireza Akhondi-Asl
    • 1
  • Jean-Philippe Thiran
    • 2
  • Simon K. Warfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Computational Radiology LaboratoryBoston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Signal Processing Laboratory (LTS5), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Department of RadiologyUniversity Hospital Center (CHUV), and University of Lausanne (UNIL)LausanneSwitzerland

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