You are on page 1of 7



Image Feature Extraction in the Last Screening Mammograms Prior to Detection of Breast Cancer
Mohammad Sameti, Senior Member, IEEE, Rabab Kreidieh Ward, Fellow, IEEE, Jacqueline Morgan-Parkes, and Branko Palcic

AbstractImage feature extraction was utilized to retrospectively analyze screening mammograms taken prior to the detection of a malignant mass for early detection of breast cancer. The mammograms of 58 biopsy proven breast cancer patients were collected. In each case, the mammograms taken 10 to 18 months prior to cancer detection were evaluated. For each of the two mammographic projections of the abnormal breast, two regions were marked: 1) region one, which corresponded to the site where the malignant mass subsequently developed and 2) a region which appeared similar to region one on the same mammogram. On each projection of the normal breast a third region which corresponds to region one but on the opposite breast was also marked (mirror-image site). Sixty-two texture and photometric image features were then calculated for all of the marked areas. A stepwise discriminant analysis showed that six of these features could be used to best distinguish between the normal and abnormal regions. The best linear classication function resulted in a 72% average classication. At its current stage, the system can be used by a radiologist to examine any pattern in a mammogram. The regions which are agged by the system have a 72% chance of developing a malignant mass by the time of the next screening. Therefore, further evaluation of these patients (e.g., a screening examination sooner than the normal one year interval) could result in earlier detection of breast cancer. The ultimate goal is to run the system automatically over the whole mammogram and ag any suspicious area. Index TermsBreast cancer, computer-assisted diagnosis (CAD), digital mammography, image analysis.

detection, this paper reports on a study that was undertaken to analyze the screening mammograms of breast cancer patients taken prior to cancer detection. This study examines the following hypothesis: In the last screening mammograms prior to the diagnosis of cancer, there exist differences between the region that subsequently was detected to have a malignant mass, and the other regions of the breast. Much research and many computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) techniques have been developed for the detection of malignant masses. In these techniques, the symmetry of the left and right breast patterns were exploited, and multilevel thresholding, neural networks and other methods of classication were employed [2][11]. These studies were carried out on the same mammograms where signs of cancer have been detected. Researchers in medicine and radiology have studied mammograms retrospectively [12][14]. The goal was to reduce the human error and improve detection accuracy. CAD techniques were not used in these studies. In other work, image analysis techniques were employed to compare the current mammograms with the mammograms from the previous screening examination in order to develop the mass detection schemes [15], [16]. In these studies, the previous screening was assumed cancer free and was used as a reference for detection of abnormal densities in the current screening mammograms. In this study, we did not use the previous mammograms as reference images but instead we examined them for signs of tumor development. II. MATERIALS AND METHODS A. Database Collection Mammograms that were positive for a malignant mass on or before 1996 were collected from ve breast screening clinics. All of these patients had agreed to have their mammograms used in research studies. All cases were biopsy-proven cancers and each patient had at least one screening exam prior to the detection of a mass in their mammograms. The diagnostic screening examination and the previous screening exam were, on average, 13.6 months apart (the minimum number of months between the two screenings was 10 months, the maximum 18 months and the mode 13 months). The total number of cases was 58. A sample mammogram of the collected data base is illustrated in Fig. 1. The average mass size at the time of cancer diagnosis was 1.4 cm. These masses ranged from 0.6 to 2 cm in diameter. Their types were also varied and included spiculated, well-dened and lobulated masses. The collected mammograms contained both

I. INTRODUCTION REAST cancer is one of the leading cancers in women of developed countries and is the cause of death in approximately 20% of all females who die from cancer in these countries. Survival from breast cancer is directly related to the stage at diagnosis. The earlier the detection, the higher the likelihood of successful treatment [1]. In an attempt to improve early
Manuscript received April 15, 2008; revised October 15, 2008. First published February 19, 2009. This work was supported by the Science Council of British Columbia, Xillix Technologies Corp., and by the National Scientic and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Grant 5-581750). The associate editor coordinating the review of this manuscript and approving it for publication was Dr. Jinshan Tang. M. Sameti was with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 Canada. He is now with Braintech, Inc., North Vancouver, BC V7P 3N4 Canada (e-mail: R. K. Ward is with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 Canada. J. Morgan-Parkes and B. Palcic are with the British Columbia Cancer Research Center, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1L3 Canada. Color versions of one or more of the gures in this paper are available online at Digital Object Identier 10.1109/JSTSP.2008.2011163

1932-4553/$25.00 2009 IEEE



) were included in the study. For the 224 mammograms, there were 336 regions of which 112 were massgrowing regions and 224 were normal regions. Of these 224 regions, 112 belonged to each breast. The 224 screening mamusing the Anamograms were digitized at 150 lytical Imaging Mammography (AIM) system [17], [18]. This system contains a MicroImager CCD camera which produces 12 bits representing the intensity of each digitized pixel. The eight most signicant bits of each pixel intensity (256 gray levels) were employed for the purpose of this study. This reduces the digitization noise and also the complexity of computation. With ), each digitized the selected pixel resolution (150 mammogram was incorporated into a 1024 1280 pixel image. B. Method For each of the 336 regions marked by the radiologist, 62 image features were calculated. The area of the image on which the features were calculated is hereafter denoted by the term image object. To calculate these features, the area and boundaries of the image object should be predetermined. In the next two sections we discuss the image features and how the boundaries of the image object were determined. 1) Image Features: Sixty-two photometric and texture features were calculated for each of the image objects. Most of these features have been used in detection of malignant masses in digital mammogram studies and also in cell nuclear texture measurements in image cytometry [19], [20]. The seven photometric features are discussed briey in the next section. The texture features used fall under ve main categories: discrete, Markovian, non-Markovian, run-length, and fractal and are briey discussed in the ve following sections. Photometric Features: Photometric features give estimations of absolute intensity and optical density levels of the object, as well as their distribution characteristics. The optical density of a mammogram object is dened as value for each pixel (1) where is the intensity value of pixel , and is the backmay be the mode intensity value of the ground intensity. image pixels excluding the pixels belonging to the object. could also be the mean intensity value, or the rst image pixel intensity value of the background image. In this study, we chose the mode intensity value of the background image pixels as (as will be discussed in Section II-B2. Seven different characteristics of the optical density and the image intensity were calculated as the photometric features. , the unnormalized measure These seven features are: and of the integrated objects optical density; , the variance and mean of the objects inten, the largest value of the objects optical sity function; , the normalized variance of optical density density; , a measure of asymfunction of the object; metry in the optical density distribution; and ,a measure of atness of the objects optical density function. Discrete Texture Features: These features are based on the segmentation of the object into regions of low, medium and high optical densities. This segmentation is based on two thresholds

Fig. 1. (a) Mammogram with a malignant mass. (b) Mammogram of the same breast taken during the previous screening procedure. The mass-growing area in the latter image is also marked by an arrow.

fatty and dense parenchymal patterns, and they were all included in the study. Each screening examination consisted of 4 mammograms, two projections of each breast of which one is the craniocaudal (CC) and the other is the mediolateral oblique (MLO) view. For every case, all mammograms of the recent screening and the screening prior to cancer detection were reviewed by an experienced radiologist/mammographer. The radiologist identied the site of the malignant mass in the recent mammograms and then marked the corresponding area in each mammogram of the same breast on the previous screening examination. We denoted this area in the previous mammogram as the mass-growing area. Besides the mass-growing area, the radiologist identied and marked a pattern which had a similar appearance to the massgrowing area on each of the two projections of the previous screening mammograms. These regions are denoted by normal regions. In addition to these four identied regions (two massgrowing regions and two normal regions which appear similar to the mass-growing regions), the radiologist determined and marked the mirror image site of the mass-growing region in each of the two previous projections of the opposite breast. These are also referred to as normal regions. In four of the 58 cases, one of the projections of the previous mammogram was either missing or incomplete. Therefore, two mammograms for each of these four cases, and four mammograms for each of the other 54 cases (i.e., a total of



of the optical density. Any pixel with an optical density value greater than the rst threshold, OD-high-thresh, belongs to the high OD region, and the pixels with optical density less than OD-med-thresh, belong to the low OD region. This assignment of the pixels results in three regions which are not necessarily connected. The OD-med-thresh and OD-high-thresh are chosen to be 1/3 and 2/3 of the maximum OD value of some selected objects in the mammogram samples. Twenty different characteristics of the low, medium and high optical density areas, and their ratios were considered as the discrete texture features. These features are grouped into six groups as below: 1) , , , the ratio of the area of the low, medium and high optical density regions of the object to the total object area; 2) , , , the normalized value of the integrated optical density of the low, medium , , and high density regions; 3) , , characteristic of the compactness of the low, medium, high, and combined medium and high , , , density regions; 4) , the average separation between the low, medium, high and combined medium and high density pixels , from the geometric center of the object; 5) , , the ratios of the average optical density of the medium, high, and combined medium and high density regions to the low density region; and 6) , , , simply the number of discrete subcomponents of objects consisting of more than one pixel of low, medium, and high optical densities. Markovian Texture Features: Markovian texture features attempt to characterize the gray level variation between adjacent pixels in the image. Most commonly, one calculates a certain probability density function over the entire object pixels and various statistics of this distribution are dened as features. The sum and difference histograms are used here as the probability is the probability of two functions. The sum histogram, neighboring pixels having gray levels which sum to . The dif, is the probability of 2 neighboring ference histogram, pixels having a gray level difference of . To be computationally efcient the gray level dynamic range of the object is quantized to 40 levels. Seven Markovian texture features were calculated for all , a measure of disthe image objects. These are: 1) order in object gray level organization; 2) , in contrast , is dened here to give a measure of spatially to , gives large organized gray scale distribution; 3) values for an object with frequent large gray level variations; , the opposite of contrast which measures 4) , the smoothness of the object image intensity; 5) which produces a large value if an object contains large connected subcomponents of constant gray level and with large gray level differences between adjacent components; 6) , which gives large absolute values for objects with a few distinct clumps of uniform intensity having large , contrast with the rest of the object; and 7) a measure of the darkness of clumps. Non-Markovian Texture Features: Non-Markovian texture features describe texture in terms of a global estimation of

gray level differences in the object. The ve Non-Markovian , texture features calculated for each object are: , the total numbers of local maxima and local , minima of the object intensity function; the intensity difference between the average intensity of the local maxima and the average intensity of the local minima; , the intensity difference between the largest of the local maxima and the smallest of the local minima of the , the distance object intensity function; and from the geometrical center of the object to the center of gravity of the optical density function. Run-Length Texture Features: Run-length features describe texture in terms of gray level runs, representing sets of consecutive pixels having the same gray level value of length in a certain direction . The features are calculated over the image with intensity function values quantized down to 8 levels. The run-length texture features are dened using gray level length for each of the four principal directions matrices, . For each of the four directions, ve different characteristics of the matrix elements of are calculated to represent 5 run-length texture features. , which gives large values These features are: , which for objects in which short runs dominate; gives large values for objects in which long runs dominate; , which estimates gray level non-uniformity; , which estimates the non-uniformity of the run , which is calculated as the ratio of lengths; and the total number of possible runs to the objects area. Each of these features is calculated for the four major directions. Fractal Texture Features: For these features we consider the surface of the three dimensional plot of the objects optical density plotted versus the and image spatial coordinates. Since the optical density is a discrete function, the plot will have the form of a bar graph. The fractal features are based on the area of this three dimensional surface. This area is proportional to the changes in the pixels optical densities with respect to their neighbors. The large surface area values correspond to large objects containing many small subcomponents with high optical density variations amongst them. The fractal texture features were also used in classication of mammographic parenchymal patterns [21]. The three fractal texture features used in this study include: , the area of the three dimensional surface of the objects optical density; , another fractal dimension but based on an image in which four adjacent pixels forming corners of squares are averaged into single pixels; and , which is calculated as the difference between logarithms of and . 2) Marking the Object Boundary: To determine the object boundary for each of the marked mass-growing regions and the marked normal regions, a xed-size circle is used. Fig. 2 shows a sample of these circles located at a mass-growing region and at a normal region both belonging to one mammogram [22]. To calculate the photometric and texture features for each of the circular objects, a 256 256 region of interest (ROI) surrounding the object is considered. The center of the 256 256 ROI is aligned with the center of the object circle. Two of these regions are shown in Fig. 3. Then each ROI is considered as



Fig. 2. Previous screening mammogram with the mass-growing region on the lower right and a normal region on the upper left, both marked by two circles.

calculated. To recognize the best features which discriminate the abnormal (mass-growing) group from the normal one, the stepwise discriminant analysis was applied. The best linear discriminant function based on six features resulted in 71.8% average classication between the normal and abnormal groups. The percentage of abnormal regions classied correctly (sensitivity) was 71.4% and the percentage of normal regions classied correctly (specicity) was 72.3%. Variation of the discriminant function constant parameter resulted in the plots of Fig. 4, axis represents the percentage of the normal rewhere the axis represents the pergions classied correctly, and the centage of the mass-growing (abnormal) regions classied correctly. The jackknifed classication results is also plotted in the same gure. Six image features were determined by the discriminant analysis to be used for the best classication function. These features are as follows. 1) Correlation, one of the Markovian texture features which produces a large value if an object contains large connected subcomponents of constant gray level and with large gray level differences between adjacent components

(2) where is the mean intensity of the object calculated for and were the 40-level quantized gray scale, introduced in Section II-B1. 2) Center-of-gravity, a non-Markovian texture feature which represents the distance from the geometrical center of the object to the center of gravity of the optical density , normalized by the object radius

Fig. 3. Two 256 256 ROIs extracted from the mammographic image of Fig. 2 with the marked circle in the center of each.

the image input containing an object. The feature calculations are all carried over the object regions. The ROIs (including the object) are only used in the calculation of s, the background intensities. The resulting feature values for the two groups of normal regions and abnormal (mass-growing) regions then form the input to a stepwise discriminant analysis. This analysis examines all the features and determines the ones that can best distinguish between the two groups of normal and abnormal regions. It also creates the best linear classication function which can be used to classify new cases. III. RESULTS For all 224 digitized mammograms of the previous screenings of 58 patients, a xed-size circle is used to mark the boundary of each of the 336 marked regions (112 mass-growing, and 224 normal regions, of which 112 belong to the opposite breast). The size of the circle is chosen such that it covers the area corresponding to the largest malignant mass subsequently developed in the studied mammograms at cancer diagnosis (2 cm diameter). In other words, by inspecting all the collected mammograms of the recent screening with a malignant mass in each, it was determined that all the tumors are less than about 2 cm in diameter. Therefore, the diameter of the circle used for marking the mass-growing regions is chosen to be 140 pixels. A 256 256 ROI was chosen to surround each circled image object and for each circled object the 62 different features were

where and


are the coordinates of the object centroid, is dened as (3)

3) Med-vs-low-OD, a discrete texture feature which represents the ratio of the averages of the optical densities of the medium density region to the low density region

(4) where and are the area (total number of pixels) of the medium and low density regions, respectively.



Fig. 4. Classication plot of the percentage of normal and abnormal groups. The Jackknife classication method resulted in the plot on the right.

4) Low-avg-dst, another discrete texture feature which represents the average separation between the low density pixels and the center of the object circle


(5) is dened as the distance from pixel to the where object centroid, and is the radius of the circle. 5) Medhi-OD-cmp, yet another discrete texture feature which characterizes the compactness of the combined medium and high density regions

(6) where is the sum of the perimeters of the disconnected regions for each of the optical density intervals. 6) Fractal-dimn, gives a measure of the fractal behavior of the image

(7) where is the area of the three dimensional surface of the objects optical density and is another fractal dimension based on an image in which the optical density of four pixel squares are averaged into a single pixel. A. Variation of the Object Diameter To investigate the effects of the various sizes of the object circle, the same process was repeated for different diameters of the circle. For instance, a circle of 160 pixels in diameter was used to mark the mass-growing region. Two other circles of the same size were also used to mark the two other normal regions of the same screening mammograms. The average classication percentage was 67.6% which is lower than that of the 140-pixel diameter case (71.8%). In both cases of the larger and smaller diameters for the object circle, the performance of the resultant classication func-

tion decreased relative to that of the 140-pixel circle diameter . The average classication results were 68.7% and 65.8% for the diameters 120 and 100 pixels respectively. For circle diameters larger than 140 pixels, circle diameters of 180 and 200 pixels were examined, and the best average classication percentage were 64.4% and 62.8%, respectively [23]. Table I shows the sensitivity and specicity percentages for each of these cases. The outcome of this experiment indicates that our primary choice of the object diameter, 140 pixels, resulted in the best performance. The diameter of 140 pixels translates into 2 cm on the x-ray mammogram lm, and it was selected as the circle diameter because it is the diameter size of the largest malignant mass in the mammograms of the recent screening in our database (at which the patients were diagnosed by cancer). A possible explanation to this result is that for the cases where the circle diameter was smaller than 140 pixels, some areas of the previous screening mammograms which later developed a mass, were not included, and thus some of the available information were neglected. As for the cases of circle diameters larger than 140 pixels, some areas of the mammograms which are normal were included in the image object and thus were treated as abnormal regions. Therefore, image features calculated for these objects and categorized as abnormal regions, may not correctly reect the characteristics of abnormal regions. In each of the above cases of different circle diameters, the number of features allowed in the discriminant function was again limited to six. The six features selected by the discriminant analysis in each of the circle diameter cases are listed in Table II. Four of these six features were common to all cases with different circle diameters (with the excep). The four common features tion of , , and were:




IV. DISCUSSION For the mammograms which were reported as normal at the time of screening (and developed a malignant mass in the following screening examination), our feature extraction technique was able to detect signs of cancer development in 72% of the cases studied. Thus we can conclude that there exist differences between the region that subsequently becomes a malignant mass, and other normal areas of the mammographic images taken in the last screening examination prior to the detection of a mass. Our feature extraction system, at its current stage, can be used by a radiologist as follows. The radiologist can mark any region on the screening mammogram to examine. The system then calculates the above six features for this region and classies the region as normal or abnormal. The region will be agged if the system classies it as abnormal. In clinical practice, this can translate into further investigation of the suspicious region, and/or reducing the time interval until the next screening, which at present is one year. For these cases, the time interval may be shortened to 6 months. The future versions of this system will automatically examine the whole mammogram, region by region, and by calculating the above 6 features determines whether any of those regions falls into abnormal (mass-growing) category. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors would like to thank the Screening Mammography Program of British Columbia for providing us with the required data. Insights of Dr. C. MacAulay and Dr. A. Doudkine are also greatly appreciated. REFERENCES
[1] C. J. Vyborny and R. A. Schmidt, Technical image quality and the visibility of mammographic detail, in Syllabus: A Categorical Course in Physics-Technical Aspects of Breast Imaging, A. G. Haus and M. J. Yaffe, Eds. Oak Book III: Radiological Society of North America, 1994, pp. 103111. [2] S. L. Ng and W. F. Bischof, Automated detection and classication of breast tumors, Comput. Biomed. Res., vol. 25, pp. 218237, 1992. [3] M. L. Giger, P. Lu, Z. Huo, U. Bick, C. J. Vyborny, R. A. Schmidt, W. Zheng, C. E. Metz, D. Wolverton, R. M. Nishikawa, W. Zouras, and K. Doi, CAD in digital mammography: Computerized detection and classication of masses, in Digital Mammography, A. G. Gale, Ed. et al. Amsterdam/New York: Elsevier Science, 1994, pp. 281287. [4] Y. Wu, M. L. Giger, K. Doi, C. J. Vyborny, R. A. Schmidt, and C. E. Metz, Articial neural networks in mammography: Application to decision making in the diagnosis of breast cancer, Radiology, vol. 187, pp. 8187, 1993. [5] D. Brzakovic, P. Brzakovic, and M. Neskovic, An approach to automated screening of mammograms, SPIE, vol. 1905, pp. 690701, 1993. [6] W. P. Kegelmeyer, Jr, J. Prundeda, P. Bourland, A. Hillis, M. Riggs, and M. Nipper, Computer aided mammographic screening for spiculated lesions, Radiology, vol. 191, pp. 331337, 1994. [7] N. Karssemeijer, Recognition of stellate lesions in digital mammograms, in Digital Mammography, A. G. Gale, Ed. et al. Amsterdam/New York: Elsevier Science, 1994, pp. 211219. [8] N. Petrick, H.-P. Chan, B. Sahiner, and D. Wei, An adaptive densityweighted contrast enhancement lter for mammographic breast mass detection, IEEE Trans. Med. Imag., vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 5967, Jan. 1996. [9] R. M. Rangayyan, N. M. El-Faramawy, J. E. L. Desautels, and O. A. Alim, Measures of acutance and shape for classication of breast tumors, IEEE Trans. Med. Imag., vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 799810, Jun. 1997.

Diameter = 200 pixels

. However, the other two of the six selected features were not the same in all cases. This was to be expected since the areas covered by the circle objects of different diameters, are not the same. New areas covered by an object of a larger circle diameter may introduce other features which are more effective in the classication. B. Variation of the Object Position To examine the sensitivity of our system to the position of the object circle, the following test was conducted. Fourteen abnormal (mass-growing) regions (out of 112 abnormal regions) from 14 different mammograms were selected at random. These selected regions had been correctly classied as abnormal regions by the classication function addressed earlier in this section. The diameter of the object circles were xed at the optimum value of 140 pixels. Each of the object circles was moved vertically and horizontally in one pixel steps to a maximum displacement of 10 pixels in each direction. For each one pixel displacement, the six features were calculated and the classication function based on these six features was applied. Out of the 560 displaced new object circles, 91% were again classied as abnormal (mass-growing) regions. In order to examine the extreme conditions the results in the case when the object circle was displaced exactly ten pixels to the left, right, upwards, and downwards were considered. In this case, the classication function detected 84% of these 56 new object circles as abnormal. This experiment shows that although a slight change in the position of object circles will slightly reduce the sensitivity rate (to about 90% of its original value), the rate is still acceptable. Furthermore, this concern can be addressed by moving the position of each object circle automatically. The calculated features for each circle position are saved and the set of features with the highest probability of being abnormal is selected. The corresponding object circle position is the also the optimal position.



[10] D. Cascio, F. Fauci, R. Magro, G. Raso, R. Bellotti, F. De Carlo, S. Tangaro, G. De Nunzio, M. Quarta, G. Forni, A. Lauria, M. Fantacci, A. Retico, G. L. Masala, P. Oliva, S. Bagnasco, S. C. Cheran, and E. L. Torres, Mammogram segmentation by contour searching and mass lesions classication with neural network, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci., vol. 53, no. 5, pp. 28272833, 2006. [11] N. H. Eltonsy, G. D. Tourassi, and A. S. Elmaghraby, A concentric morphology model for the detection of masses in mammography, IEEE Trans. Med. Imag., vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 880889, 2007. [12] R. G. Bird, T. W. Wallace, and B. C. Yankaskas, Analysis of cancers missed at screening mammography, Radiology, vol. 184, pp. 613617, 1992. [13] C. J. Savage, A. G. Gale, E. E. Pawley, and A. R. M. Wilson, To err is human, to compute divine?, in Digital Mammography, A. G. Gale, Ed. et al. Amsterdam/New York: Elsevier Science, 1994, pp. 405414. [14] E. A. Krupinski and C. F. Nodine, Gaze duration predicts the locations of missed lesions in mammography, in Digital Mammography, A. G. Gale, Ed. et al. Amsterdam/New York: Elsevier Science, 1994, pp. 399404. [15] M. Sallam and K. Bowyer, Detecting abnormal densities in mammograms by comparison to previous screening, in Digital Mammography96, K. Doi, M. L. Giger, R. M. Nishikawa, and R. A. Schmidt, Eds. Amsterdam/New York: Elsevier Science, 1996, pp. 417420. [16] N. Vujovic, P. Bakic, and D. Brzakovic, Detection of potentially cancerous signs by mammogram followup, in Digital Mammography96, K. Doi, M. L. Giger, R. M. Nishikawa, and R. A. Schmidt, Eds. Amsterdam/New York: Elsevier Science, 1996, pp. 421424. [17] F. Aghdasi, R. K. Ward, and B. Palcic, Restoration of mammographic images in the presence of signal-dependent noise, SPIE, vol. 1905, pp. 740751, 1993. [18] D. Nesbitt, Automated Detection of Microcalcications in Digitized Mammogram Film Images, Masters thesis, Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1995. [19] M. Sameti, R. K. Ward, B. Palcic, and J. Morgan-Parkes, Texture featrue extraction for tumor detection im mammographic images, in Proc. 1997 IEEE Pacic Rim Conf. Communications, Computers and Signal Processing (PACRIM97), Victoria, BC, Canada, Aug. 1997, pp. 831834. [20] A. Doudkine, C. MacAulay, N. Poulin, and B. Palcic, Nuclear texture measurements in image cytometry, Pathologica, vol. 87, pp. 286299, 1995. [21] J. W. Byng, N. F. Boyd, R. A. Jong, E. Fishell, and M. J. Yaffe, Automated analysis of mammographic densities, Phys. Med. Biol., vol. 41, pp. 909923, 1996. [22] M. Sameti, J. Morgan-Parkes, R. K. Ward, and B. Palcic, Classifying image features in the last screening mammograms prior to detection of a malignant mass, in Digital Mammography98, N. Karssemeijer, Ed. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer, 1998, pp. 127134. [23] M. Sameti, Detection of Soft Tissue Abnormalities in Mammographic Images for Early Diagnosis of Breast Cancer, Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1998.

Mohammad Sameti (M94SM09) received his B.Sc. degree from the Electrical Engineering Department, Sharif University of Technology, in 1989, the M.A.Sc. degree from Systems Design Engineering Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, in 1994, and the Ph.D. degree from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of British Columbia (UBC), in 1999. His primary research interests are medical imaging, robot vision, and image analysis. He has coauthored several patents and he is currently a project manager at Braintech Inc. Prior to Braintech, he was a Senior R&D Engineer at Motion Metrics International Corporation and a Sessional Instructor at the Computer Science Department of the UBC.

Rabab Kreidieh Ward (F99) is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her research interests are in the areas of signal, image and video processing. She has made contributions in the areas of signal detection, image encoding, compression, recognition, restoration and enhancement, and their applications to infant cry signals, cable TV, HDTV, medical images, and astronomical images. She has published over 300 journal and conference papers and holds six patents related to cable television picture monitoring, measurement and noise reduction. Applications of her work have been transferred to U.S. and Canadian industries. Prof. Ward was the General Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing 2000, the Vice Chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems 2004 and chair of the IEEE Symposium on Signal Processing and Information Technology 2006. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the IEEE, the Canadian Academy of Engineers and the Engineering Institute of Canada. She is a recipient of the UBC Killam Research Prize( 1997) , the SPS Society Award (2008) and the top award of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia the R A McLachlan Memorial Award ( 2007) .

Jacqueline Morgan-Parkes, photograph and biography not available at the time of publication.

Branko Palcic, photograph and biography not available at the time of publication.