GSDA: Generative adversarial network-based semi-supervised data augmentation for ultrasound image classification

Heliyon. 2023 Sep 4;9(9):e19585. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e19585. eCollection 2023 Sep.


Medical Ultrasound (US) is one of the most widely used imaging modalities in clinical practice, but its usage presents unique challenges such as variable imaging quality. Deep Learning (DL) models can serve as advanced medical US image analysis tools, but their performance is greatly limited by the scarcity of large datasets. To solve the common data shortage, we develop GSDA, a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN)-based semi-supervised data augmentation method. GSDA consists of the GAN and Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). The GAN synthesizes and pseudo-labels high-resolution, high-quality US images, and both real and synthesized images are then leveraged to train the CNN. To address the training challenges of both GAN and CNN with limited data, we employ transfer learning techniques during their training. We also introduce a novel evaluation standard that balances classification accuracy with computational time. We evaluate our method on the BUSI dataset and GSDA outperforms existing state-of-the-art methods. With the high-resolution and high-quality images synthesized, GSDA achieves a 97.9% accuracy using merely 780 images. Given these promising results, we believe that GSDA holds potential as an auxiliary tool for medical US analysis.

Keywords: Convolutional neural network; Generative adversarial network; Medical image analysis; Semi-supervised learning.