Classification of lung nodules in CT images using conditional generative adversarial – convolutional neural network

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia


Based on Global Cancer 2015 statistics, the lung cancer of all types constitutes 27% of overall cancers while 19.5% of cancer deaths are due to lung cancer. In lieu of this, an effective lung cancer screening test using Computed Tomography (CT) scan is crucial to detect cancer at the early stage. The interpretation of the CT images requires an advanced CAD system of high accuracy for instance, in classifying the lung nodules. Recently, Deep Learning method that is Convolution Neural Network (CNN) shows an outstanding success in lung nodules classification. However, the training of CNN requires a great number of images. Such a requirement is an issue in the case of medical images. Generative adversarial network (GAN) has been introduced to generate new image datasets for CNN training. Thus, the main objective of this study is to compare the performance of CNN architectures with and without the implementation of GAN for lung nodules classification in CT images. Here, the study used Conditional GAN (cGAN) to generate benign nodules images. The classification accuracy of the combined cGAN-CNN architecture was compared among CNN pretraining networks namely GoogleNet, ShuffleNet, DenseNet, and MobileNet based on classification accuracy, specificity, sensitivity, and AUC-ROC values. The experiment was tested on LIDC-IDRI database. The results showed cGAN-CNN architecture improves the overall classification accuracy as compared to CNN alone with the cGAN-ShuffleNet architecture performed the best, achieving 98.38% accuracy, 98.13% specificity, 100% sensitivity and AUC-ROC at 99.90%. Overall, the classification performance of CNN can be improved by integrating GAN architecture to mitigate the constraint of having a large medical image dataset, in this case, CT lung nodules images.