Current state-of-the-art medical deformable image registration (DIR) methods optimize a weighted sum of key objectives of interest. Having a pre-determined weight combination that leads to high-quality results for any instance of a specific DIR problem (i.e., a class solution) would facilitate clinical application of DIR. However, such a combination can vary widely for each instance and is currently often manually determined. A multi-objective optimization approach for DIR removes the need for manual tuning, providing a set of high-quality trade-off solutions. Here, we investigate machine learning for a multi-objective class solution, i.e., not a single weight combination, but a set thereof, that, when used on any instance of a specific DIR problem, approximates such a set of trade-off solutions. To this end, we employed a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm to learn sets of weight combinations for three breast DIR problems of increasing difficulty: 10 prone-prone cases, 4 prone-supine cases with limited deformations and 6 prone-supine cases with larger deformations and image artefacts. Clinically-acceptable results were obtained for the first two problems. Therefore, for DIR problems with limited deformations, a multi-objective class solution can be machine learned and used to compute straightforwardly multiple high-quality DIR outcomes, potentially leading to more efficient use of DIR in clinical practice.

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Pirpinia, K., Bosman, P., Sonke, J.-J., van Herk, M., & Alderliesten, T. (2019). Evolutionary machine learning for multi-objective class solutions in medical deformable image registration. Algorithms, 12(5). doi:10.3390/a12050099