Mammographic Segmentation and Density Classification: A Fractal Inspired Approach

  • Wenda He
  • Sam Harvey
  • Arne Juette
  • Erika R. E. Denton
  • Reyer Zwiggelaar
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9699)


Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. To date, the exact cause(s) of breast cancer still remains unknown. The most effective way to tackle the disease is early detection through breast screening programmes. Breast density is a well established image based risk factor. An accurate dense breast tissue segmentation can play a vital role in precise identification of women at risk, and determining appropriate measures for disease prevention. Fractal techniques have been used in many biomedical image processing applications with varying degrees of success. This paper describes a fractal inspired approach to mammographic tissue segmentation. A multiresolution stack representation and 3D histogram features (extended from 2D) are proposed. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation was performed including mammographic tissue segmentation and density classification. Results showed that the developed methodology was able to differentiate between breast tissue variations. The achieved density classification accuracy for 360 digital mammograms is 78 % based on the BI-RADS scheme. The developed fractal inspired approach in conjunction with the stack representation and 3D histogram features has demonstrated an ability to produce quality mammographic tissue segmentation. This in turn can be found useful in early breast cancer detection, risk-stratified screening, and aiding radiologists in the process of decision making prior to surgery and/or treatment.


Fractal Mammographic tissue segmentation Mammographic density classification BI-RADS Tabár 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenda He
    • 1
  • Sam Harvey
    • 2
  • Arne Juette
    • 3
  • Erika R. E. Denton
    • 3
  • Reyer Zwiggelaar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAberystwyth UniversityAberystwythUK
  2. 2.School of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyNorfolk and Norwich University HospitalNorwichUK

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