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Comparison of fine-tuning strategies for transfer learning in medical image classification

2024-06-14 14:00:02
Ana Davila, Jacinto Colan, Yasuhisa Hasegawa

Abstract

In the context of medical imaging and machine learning, one of the most pressing challenges is the effective adaptation of pre-trained models to specialized medical contexts. Despite the availability of advanced pre-trained models, their direct application to the highly specialized and diverse field of medical imaging often falls short due to the unique characteristics of medical data. This study provides a comprehensive analysis on the performance of various fine-tuning methods applied to pre-trained models across a spectrum of medical imaging domains, including X-ray, MRI, Histology, Dermoscopy, and Endoscopic surgery. We evaluated eight fine-tuning strategies, including standard techniques such as fine-tuning all layers or fine-tuning only the classifier layers, alongside methods such as gradually unfreezing layers, regularization based fine-tuning and adaptive learning rates. We selected three well-established CNN architectures (ResNet-50, DenseNet-121, and VGG-19) to cover a range of learning and feature extraction scenarios. Although our results indicate that the efficacy of these fine-tuning methods significantly varies depending on both the architecture and the medical imaging type, strategies such as combining Linear Probing with Full Fine-tuning resulted in notable improvements in over 50% of the evaluated cases, demonstrating general effectiveness across medical domains. Moreover, Auto-RGN, which dynamically adjusts learning rates, led to performance enhancements of up to 11% for specific modalities. Additionally, the DenseNet architecture showed more pronounced benefits from alternative fine-tuning approaches compared to traditional full fine-tuning. This work not only provides valuable insights for optimizing pre-trained models in medical image analysis but also suggests the potential for future research into more advanced architectures and fine-tuning methods.

Abstract (translated)

URL

https://arxiv.org/abs/2406.10050

PDF

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2406.10050.pdf


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