Analysing retinal fundus images with deep learning models

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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have successfully been used to classify diabetic retinopathy but they do not provide immediate explanations for their decisions. Explainability is relevant, especially for clinicians. To make results explainable, we use a post-attention technique called gradient-weighted class activation mapping (Grad- CAM) on the penultimate layer of deep learning models to produce localisation maps on retinal fundus images after using them to classify diabetic retinopathy. Moreover, the models were initialised using pre-trained weights obtained from training models on the ImageNet dataset. The results of this are fewer training epochs and improved performance. Next, we predict cardiovascular risk factors (CVFs) using retinal fundus images. In detail, we use a multi-task learning (MTL) model since there are several CVFs. The impact of using an MTL model is the advantage of simultaneously training for and predicting several CVFs rather than doing so individually. Also, we investigate the performance of the fundus cameras used to capture the retinal fundus images. We notice a superior performance of the desktop fundus cameras to the handheld fundus camera. Finally, we propose a hybrid model that fuses convolutions and Transformer encoders. This is done to harness the benefits of convolutions and Transformer encoders. We compare the performance of the proposed model with other attention-based models and observe on-par performance.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen opsomming beskikbaar.
Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2023.