Deep learning (DL) algorithms have become an increasingly popular choice for image classification and segmentation tasks; however, their range of applications can be limited. Their limitation stems from them requiring ample data to achieve high performance and adequate generalizability. In the case of clinical imaging data, images are not always available in large quantities. This issue can be alleviated by using data augmentation (DA) techniques. The choice of DA is important because poor selection can possibly hinder the performance of a DL algorithm. We propose a DA policy search algorithm that offers an extended set of transformations that accommodate the variations in biomedical imaging datasets. The algorithm makes use of the efficient and high-dimensional optimizer Bi-Population Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy (BIPOP-CMA-ES) and returns an optimal DA policy based on any input imaging dataset and a DL algorithm. Our proposed algorithm, Medical Augmentation (Med-Aug), can be implemented by other researchers in related medical DL applications to improve their model's performance. Furthermore, we present our found optimal DA policies for a variety of medical datasets and popular segmentation networks for other researchers to use in related tasks.
Keywords: convolutional neural networks; data augmentation; deep learning; fetal MRI; segmentation.