k-SALSA: k-Anonymous Synthetic Averaging of Retinal Images via Local Style Alignment

Minkyu Jeon, Hyeonjin Park, Hyunwoo J. Kim, Michael Morley, Hyunghoon Cho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The application of modern machine learning to retinal image analyses offers valuable insights into a broad range of human health conditions beyond ophthalmic diseases. Additionally, data sharing is key to fully realizing the potential of machine learning models by providing a rich and diverse collection of training data. However, the personally-identifying nature of retinal images, encompassing the unique vascular structure of each individual, often prevents this data from being shared openly. While prior works have explored image de-identification strategies based on synthetic averaging of images in other domains (e.g. facial images), existing techniques face difficulty in preserving both privacy and clinical utility in retinal images, as we demonstrate in our work. We therefore introduce k-SALSA, a generative adversarial network (GAN)-based framework for synthesizing retinal fundus images that summarize a given private dataset while satisfying the privacy notion of k-anonymity. k-SALSA brings together state-of-the-art techniques for training and inverting GANs to achieve practical performance on retinal images. Furthermore, k-SALSA leverages a new technique, called local style alignment, to generate a synthetic average that maximizes the retention of fine-grain visual patterns in the source images, thus improving the clinical utility of the generated images. On two benchmark datasets of diabetic retinopathy (EyePACS and APTOS), we demonstrate our improvement upon existing methods with respect to image fidelity, classification performance, and mitigation of membership inference attacks. Our work represents a step toward broader sharing of retinal images for scientific collaboration. Code is available at https://github.com/hcholab/k-salsa.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Vision – ECCV 2022 - 17th European Conference, Proceedings
EditorsShai Avidan, Gabriel Brostow, Moustapha Cissé, Giovanni Maria Farinella, Tal Hassner
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783031198021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event17th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2022 - Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 2022 Oct 232022 Oct 27

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13681 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference17th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2022
CityTel Aviv

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Fundus imaging
  • Generative adversarial networks
  • Medical image privacy
  • Style transfer
  • Synthetic data generation
  • k-anonymity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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