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Topological Descriptors of Histology Images
Nikhil Singh, Heather D. Couture, J. S. Marron, Charles Perou, Marc Niethammer
The purpose of this study is to investigate architectural characteristics of cell arrangements in breast cancer histology images. We propose the use of topological data analysis to summarize the geometric information inherent in tumor cell arrangements. Our goal is to use this information as signatures that encode robust summaries of cell arrangements in tumor tissue as captured through histology images. In particular, using ideas from algebraic topology we construct topological descriptors based on cell nucleus segmentations such as persistency charts and Betti sequences. We assess their performance on the task of discriminating the breast cancer subtypes Basal, Luminal A, Luminal B and HER2. We demonstrate that the topological features contain useful complementary information to image-appearance based features that can improve discriminatory performance of classifiers.