CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (CISD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Michael Lazlo

Committee Member

Wei Li

Committee Member

Francisco J. Mitropoulos


This research presents a framework for enhancing and analyzing time-sequenced mammographic images for detection of cancerous tissue, specifically designed to assist radiologists and physicians with the detection of breast cancer. By using computer aided diagnosis (CAD) systems as a tool to help in the detection of breast cancer in computed tomography (CT) mammography images, previous CT mammography images will enhance the interpretation of the next series of images. The first stage of this dissertation applies image subtraction to images from the same patient over time. Image types are defined as temporal subtraction, dual-energy subtraction, and Digital Database for Screening Mammography (DDSM). Image enhancement begins by applying image registration and subtraction using Matlab 2012a registration for temporal images and dual-energy subtraction for dual-energy images. DDSM images require no registration or subtraction as they are used for baseline analysis. The image data are from three different sources and all images had been annotated by radiologists for each image type using an image mask to identify malignant and benign.

The second stage involved the examination of four different thresholding techniques. The amplitude thresholding method manipulates objects and backgrounds in such a way that object and background pixels have grey levels grouped into two dominant and different modes. In these cases, it was possible to extract the objects from the background using a threshold that separates the modes. The local thresholding introduced posed no restrictions on region shape or size, because it maximized edge features by thresholding local regions separately. The overall histogram analysis showed minima and maxima of the image and provided four feature types--mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis. K-means clustering provided sequential splitting, initially performing dynamic splits. These dynamic splits were then further split into smaller, more variant regions until the regions of interest were isolated. Regional-growing methods used recursive splitting to partition the image top-down by using the average brightness of a region. Each thresholding method was applied to each of the three image types.

In the final stage, the training set and test set were derived by applying the four thresholding methods on each of the three image types. This was accomplished by running Matlab 2012a grey-level, co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) and utilizing 21 target feature types, which were obtained from the Matlab function texture features. An additional four feature types were obtained from the state of the histogram-based features types. These 25 feature types were applied to each of the two classifications malignant and benign. WEKA 3.6.10 was used along with classifier J48 and cross-validation 10 fold to find the precision, recall, and f-measure values. Best results were obtained from these two combinations: temporal subtraction with amplitude thresholding, and temporal subtraction with regional-growing thresholding. To summarize, the researcher's contribution was to assess the effectiveness of various thresholding methods in the context of a three-stage approach, to help radiologists find cancerous tissue lesions in CT and MRI mammography images.