DRGen: Domain Generalization in Diabetic Retinopathy Classification

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Domain generalization is a difficult challenge in deep learning, particularly in medical image analysis, because of the significant variation across various datasets. The majority of existing publications in the literature maximize performance on a single target domain., without regards to model generalizability on other domains or distributions. High discrepancy in the number of images and major domain shifts, can therefore cause single-source trained models to under-perform during testing. In this paper, we address the problem of domain generalization in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) classification. The baseline for com- parison is set as joint training on different datasets, followed by testing on each dataset individually. We therefore introduce a method that encourages seeking a flatter minima during training while imposing a regularization. This reduces gradient variance from different domains and therefore yields satisfactory results on out-of-domain DR classification. We show that adopting DR-appropriate augmentations enhances model performance and in-domain generalizability. By performing our evaluation on 4 open-source DR datasets, we show that the proposed domain generalization method outperforms separate and joint training strategies as well as well-established methods.

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Thesis submitted to the Deanship of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.Sc degree in Machine Learning

Advisors: Dr. Mohammad Yaqub, Dr. Huan Xiong

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