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Image focus quality is of utmost importance in digital microscopes because the pathologist cannot accurately characterize the tissue state without focused images. We propose to train a classifier to measure the focus quality of microscopy scans based on an extensive set of image features. However, classifiers rely heavily on the quality and quantity of the training data, and collecting annotated data is tedious and expensive. We therefore propose a new method to automatically generate large amounts of training data using image stacks. Our experiments demonstrate that a classifier trained with the image stacks performs comparably with one trained with manually annotated data. The classifier is able to accurately detect out-of-focus regions, provide focus quality feedback to the user, and identify potential problems of the microscopy design.

Original publication




Journal article


Medical image computing and computer-assisted intervention : MICCAI ... International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention

Publication Date





446 - 453


GE Global Research, One Research Circle, Niskayuna, NY, 12309, USA.


Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Microscopy, Image Enhancement, Sensitivity and Specificity, Reproducibility of Results, Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, Pattern Recognition, Automated