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Proceedings Paper

Performance characteristics of a visual-search human-model observer with sparse PET image data
Author(s): Howard C. Gifford
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Paper Abstract

As predictors of human performance in detection-localization tasks, statistical model observers can have problems with tasks that are primarily limited by target contrast or structural noise. Model observers with a visual-search (VS) framework may provide a more reliable alternative. This framework provides for an initial holistic search that identifies suspicious locations for analysis by a statistical observer. A basic VS observer for emission tomography focuses on hot "blobs" in an image and uses a channelized nonprewhitening (CNPW) observer for analysis. In [1], we investigated this model for a contrast-limited task with SPECT images; herein, a statisticalnoise limited task involving PET images is considered. An LROC study used 2D image slices with liver, lung and soft-tissue tumors. Human and model observers read the images in coronal, sagittal and transverse display formats. The study thus measured the detectability of tumors in a given organ as a function of display format. The model observers were applied under several task variants that tested their response to structural noise both at the organ boundaries alone and over the organs as a whole. As measured by correlation with the human data, the VS observer outperformed the CNPW scanning observer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 March 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8318, Medical Imaging 2012: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 83180T (6 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.911809
Show Author Affiliations
Howard C. Gifford, Univ. of Houston (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8318:
Medical Imaging 2012: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Craig K. Abbey; Claudia R. Mello-Thoms, Editor(s)

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