Improved classification of colorectal polyps on histopathological images with ensemble learning and stain normalization

Sena Busra Yengec-Tasdemir, Zafer Aydin, Ebru Akay, Serkan Dogan, Bulent Yilmaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early detection of colon adenomatous polyps is critically important because correct detection of it significantly reduces the potential of developing colon cancers in the future. The key challenge in the detection of adenomatous polyps is differentiating it from its visually similar counterpart, non-adenomatous tissues. Currently, it solely depends on the experience of the pathologist. To assist the pathologists, the objective of this work is to provide a novel non-knowledge-based Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for improved detection of adenomatous polyps on colon histopathology images. The domain shift problem arises when the train and test data are coming from different distributions of diverse settings and unequal color levels. This problem, which can be tackled by stain normalization techniques, restricts the machine learning models to attain higher classification accuracies. In this work, the proposed method integrates stain normalization techniques with ensemble of competitively accurate, scalable and robust variants of CNNs, ConvNexts. The improvement is empirically analyzed for five widely employed stain normalization techniques. The classification performance of the proposed method is evaluated on three datasets comprising more than 10k colon histopathology images. The comprehensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art deep convolutional neural network based models by attaining 95% classification accuracy on the curated dataset, and 91.1% and 90% on EBHI and UniToPatho public datasets, respectively. These results show that the proposed method can accurately classify colon adenomatous polyps on histopathology images. It retains remarkable performance scores even for different datasets coming from different distributions. This indicates that the model has a notable generalization ability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107441
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Early online date10 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Adenomatous Polyps
  • Humans
  • Colonic Polyps - diagnostic imaging
  • Coloring Agents
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Machine Learning


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