Robust multi-atlas label propagation by deep sparse representation

Chen Zu, Zhengxia Wang, Daoqiang Zhang, Peipeng Liang, Yonghong Shi, Dinggang Shen, Guorong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, multi-atlas patch-based label fusion has achieved many successes in medical imaging area. The basic assumption in the current state-of-the-art approaches is that the image patch at the target image point can be represented by a patch dictionary consisting of atlas patches from registered atlas images. Therefore, the label at the target image point can be determined by fusing labels of atlas image patches with similar anatomical structures. However, such assumption on image patch representation does not always hold in label fusion since (1) the image content within the patch may be corrupted due to noise and artifact; and (2) the distribution of morphometric patterns among atlas patches might be unbalanced such that the majority patterns can dominate label fusion result over other minority patterns. The violation of the above basic assumptions could significantly undermine the label fusion accuracy. To overcome these issues, we first consider forming label-specific group for the atlas patches with the same label. Then, we alter the conventional flat and shallow dictionary to a deep multi-layer structure, where the top layer (label-specific dictionaries) consists of groups of representative atlas patches and the subsequent layers (residual dictionaries) hierarchically encode the patchwise residual information in different scales. Thus, the label fusion follows the representation consensus across representative dictionaries. However, the representation of target patch in each group is iteratively optimized by using the representative atlas patches in each label-specific dictionary exclusively to match the principal patterns and also using all residual patterns across groups collaboratively to overcome the issue that some groups might be absent of certain variation patterns presented in the target image patch. Promising segmentation results have been achieved in labeling hippocampus on ADNI dataset, as well as basal ganglia and brainstem structures, compared to other counterpart label fusion methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-517
Number of pages7
JournalPattern Recognition
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1


  • Hierarchical sparse representation
  • Multi-atlas segmentation
  • Patch-based label fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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