Quality of Microcalcification Segmentation in Mammograms by Clustering Algorithms

  • Ramón O. Guardado-Medina
  • Benjamín Ojeda-Magaña
  • Joel Quintanilla-Domínguez
  • Rubén Ruelas
  • Diego Andina
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 239)


Breast cancer remains a leading cause of death among women worldwide. Mammography is one of the non-invasive methods to find breast tumors, which is very useful in the detection of cancer. Microcalcifications are one of the anomalies of this disease, and these appear as small white spots on the images. Several computer-aided systems (CAD) have been developed for the detection of anomalies related to the disease. However, one of the critical parts is the segmentation process, as the rate of detection of anomalies in the breast by mammography largely depends on this process. In addition, a low detection endangers women’s lives, while a high detection of suspicious elements have excessive cost. Hence, in this work we do a comparative study of segmentation algorithms, specifically three of them derived from the family of c-Means, and we use the NU (Non-Uniformity) measure as a quality indicator of segmentation results. For the study we use 10 images of the MIAS database, and the algorithms are applied to the regions of interest (ROI). Results are interesting, the novel method of sub-segmentation allows continuous and gradual adjustment, which is better adapted to the regions of micro calcification, and this results in smaller NU values. The NU measure can be used as an indication of quality, which depends on the number of pixels and the homogeneity of the segmented regions, although it should be put in the context of the application to avoid making misinterpretations.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramón O. Guardado-Medina
    • 1
  • Benjamín Ojeda-Magaña
    • 1
  • Joel Quintanilla-Domínguez
    • 2
  • Rubén Ruelas
    • 1
  • Diego Andina
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Sistemas de Información CUCEAUniversidad de GuadalajaraZapopanMéxico
  2. 2.E.T.S.I. de TelecomunicaciónUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain

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