Keywords: Interpretable Deep Learning, Explainable AI, Brain Tumor Classification
Abstract: Recent applications of deep convolutional neural networks in medical imaging raise concerns about their interpretability. While most explainable deep learning applications use post hoc methods (such as GradCAM) to generate feature attribution maps, there is a new type of case-based reasoning models, namely ProtoPNet and its variants, which identify prototypes during training and compare input image patches with those prototypes. We propose the first medical prototype network (MProtoNet) to extend ProtoPNet to brain tumor classification with 3D multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) data. To address different requirements between 2D natural images and 3D mpMRIs especially in terms of localizing attention regions, a new attention module with soft masking and online-CAM loss is introduced. Soft masking helps sharpen attention maps, while online-CAM loss directly utilizes image-level labels when training the attention module. MProtoNet achieves statistically significant improvements in interpretability metrics of both correctness and localization coherence (with a best activation precision of $0.713\pm0.058$) without human-annotated labels during training, when compared with GradCAM and several ProtoPNet variants. The source code is available at https://github.com/aywi/mprotonet.
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