Multimodal manifold-regularized transfer learning for MCI conversion prediction

Bo Cheng, Mingxia Liu, Heung Il Suk, Dinggang Shen, Daoqiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


As the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has high chance to convert to AD. Effective prediction of such conversion from MCI to AD is of great importance for early diagnosis of AD and also for evaluating AD risk pre-symptomatically. Unlike most previous methods that used only the samples from a target domain to train a classifier, in this paper, we propose a novel multimodal manifold-regularized transfer learning (M2TL) method that jointly utilizes samples from another domain (e.g., AD vs. normal controls (NC)) as well as unlabeled samples to boost the performance of the MCI conversion prediction. Specifically, the proposed M2TL method includes two key components. The first one is a kernel-based maximum mean discrepancy criterion, which helps eliminate the potential negative effect induced by the distributional difference between the auxiliary domain (i.e., AD and NC) and the target domain (i.e., MCI converters (MCI-C) and MCI non-converters (MCI-NC)). The second one is a semi-supervised multimodal manifold-regularized least squares classification method, where the target-domain samples, the auxiliary-domain samples, and the unlabeled samples can be jointly used for training our classifier. Furthermore, with the integration of a group sparsity constraint into our objective function, the proposed M2TL has a capability of selecting the informative samples to build a robust classifier. Experimental results on the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database validate the effectiveness of the proposed method by significantly improving the classification accuracy of 80.1 % for MCI conversion prediction, and also outperforming the state-of-the-art methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-926
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Manifold regularization
  • Mild cognitive impairment conversion
  • Multimodal classification
  • Sample selection
  • Semi-supervised learning
  • Transfer learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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