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Specificity and Generalisation

A good model of a set of training data should possess several properties. Firstly, the model should be able to extrapolate and interpolate effectively from the training data, to produce a range of images from the same general class as those seen in the training set. We will call this generalisation ability. Conversely, the model should not produce images which cannot be considered as valid examples of the class of image modelled. That is, a model built from brain images should only generate images which could be considered as valid images of possible brains. We will call this the specificity of the model. In previous work, quantitative measures of specificity and generalisation were used to evaluate shape models [17]. We present here the extension of these ideas to images (as opposed to shapes). Figure [*] provides an overview of the approach.

Consider first the training data for the model, that is, the set of images which were the input to NRR. Without loss of generality, each training image can be considered as a single point in an 43#43-dimensional image space. A statistical model is then a probability density function (pdf) 44#44 defined on this space.

Figure: The model evaluation framework: A model is constructed from the training set and used to generate synthetic images. The training set and the set generated by the model can be viewed as clouds of points in image space ( 45#45 represented by stars, and 46#46 represented by dots).

To be specific, let 48#48 denote the 49#49 images of the training set when considered as points in image space. Let 44#44 be the probability density function of the model. We define a quantitative measure of the specificity 50#50 of the model with respect to the training set 51#51 as follows:

52#52 (8)

where 53#53 is a distance on image space, raised to some positive power 54#54 (for the remainder of this paper we will consider only the case 54#54 = 1). That is, for each point 55#55 on image space, we find the nearest-neighbour to this point in the training set, and sum the powers of the nearest-neighbour distances, weighted by the pdf 44#44. Greater specificity is indicated by smaller values of 50#50, and vice versa. In Figure [*], we give diagrammatic examples of models with differing specificity.

The integral in equation [*] can be approximated using a Monte-Carlo method. A large random set of images 56#56 is generated, having the same distribution as the model pdf 44#44. The estimate of the specificity ([*]) is:

57#57 (9)

with standard error:

58#58 (10)

where 59#59 is the standard deviation of the set of 60#60 measurements. Note that this definition of 50#50 does not require that we construct the space of images, we simply need to be able to define distances between images. This is discussed in Section [*] below.

Figure: Training set (points) and model pdf (shading) in image space. Left: A model which is specific, but not general. Right: A model which is general, but not specific.

We define a measure of generalisation similarly, simply reversing the direction of the nearest-neighbour distance measure:

62#62 (11)

with standard error:

63#63 (12)

That is, for each member of the training set 45#45, we compute the distance to the nearest-neighbour in the sample set 64#64. Large values of 65#65 correspond to model distributions which do not cover the training set and have poor generalisation ability, whereas small values of 65#65 indicate models with better generalisation ability.

We note here that both measures can be further extended, by considering the sum of distances to 4#4-nearest-neighbours, rather than just to the single nearest-neighbour. However, the choice of 4#4 would require careful consideration and in what follows, we restrict ourselves to the single nearest-neighbour case.

Figure: A comparison between shuffle difference images evaluated using various size neighbourhoods (radius 66#66). Left: original image, right: warped image, centre, from the left: shuffle distance with 67#67(Euclidean), 68#68 and 69#69 pixels.

next up previous
Next: Measuring Image Separation Up: Model-Based Evaluation of NRR Previous: Model-Based Evaluation of NRR
Roy Schestowitz 2007-03-11