A novel higher order appearance texture analysis to diagnose lung cancer based on a modified local ternary pattern

Document Type


Source of Publication

Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine

Publication Date



Background and Objective: Lung cancer is an important cause of death and morbidity around the world. Two of the primary computed tomography (CT) imaging markers that can be used to differentiate malignant and benign lung nodules are the inhomogeneity of the nodules’ texture and nodular morphology. The objective of this paper is to present a new model that can capture the inhomogeneity of the detected lung nodules as well as their morphology. Methods: We modified the local ternary pattern to use three different levels (instead of two) and a new pattern identification algorithm to capture the nodule's inhomogeneity and morphology in a more accurate and flexible way. This modification aims to address the wide Hounsfield unit value range of the detected nodules which decreases the ability of the traditional local binary/ternary pattern to accurately classify nodules’ inhomogeneity. The cut-off values defining these three levels of the novel technique are estimated empirically from the training data. Subsequently, the extracted imaging markers are fed to a hyper-tuned stacked generalization-based classification architecture to classify the nodules as malignant or benign. The proposed system was evaluated on in vivo datasets of 679 CT scans (364 malignant nodules and 315 benign nodules) from the benchmark Lung Image Database Consortium and Image Database Resource Initiative (LIDC-IDRI) and an external dataset of 100 CT scans (50 malignant and 50 benign). The performance of the classifier was quantitatively assessed using a Leave-one-out cross-validation approach and externally validated using the unseen external dataset based on sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. Results: The overall accuracy of the system is 96.17% with 97.14% sensitivity and 95.33% specificity. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.98, which highlights the robustness of the system. Using the unseen external dataset for validating the system led to consistent results showing the generalization abilities of the proposed approach. Moreover, applying the original local binary/ternary pattern or using other classification structures achieved inferior performance when compared against the proposed approach. Conclusions: These experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed model as a novel tool to assist physicians and radiologists for lung nodules’ early assessment based on the new comprehensive imaging markers.




Elsevier BV




Medicine and Health Sciences


CT, Higher order appearance, LBP, Lung cancer, Modified local ternary pattern, Stacked generalization classification, Texture analysis

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Indexed in Scopus


Open Access