HMIC: Hierarchical medical image classification, a deep learning approach

Kamran Kowsari, Rasoul Sali, Lubaina Ehsan, William Adorno, Asad Ali, Sean Moore, Beatrice Amadi, Paul Kelly, Sana Syed, Donald Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Image classification is central to the big data revolution in medicine. Improved information processing methods for diagnosis and classification of digital medical images have shown to be successful via deep learning approaches. As this field is explored, there are limitations to the performance of traditional supervised classifiers. This paper outlines an approach that is different from the current medical image classification tasks that view the issue as multi-class classification. We performed a hierarchical classification using our Hierarchical Medical Image classification (HMIC) approach. HMIC uses stacks of deep learning models to give particular comprehension at each level of the clinical picture hierarchy. For testing our performance, we use biopsy of the small bowel images that contain three categories in the parent level (Celiac Disease, Environmental Enteropathy, and histologically normal controls). For the child level, Celiac Disease Severity is classified into 4 classes (I, IIIa, IIIb, and IIIC).

Original languageEnglish
Article number318
JournalInformation (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Deep learning
  • Hierarchical classification
  • Hierarchical medical image classification
  • Medical imaging


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