A novel fuzzy clustering algorithm for the analysis of axillary lymph node tissue sections

Xiao Ying Wang, Jonathan M. Garibaldi, Benjamin Bird, Michael W. George

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Recently Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic imaging has been used as a tool to detect the changes in cellular composition that may reflect the onset of a disease. This approach has been investigated as a mean of monitoring the change of the biochemical composition of cells and providing a diagnostic tool for various human cancers and other diseases. The discrimination between different types of tissue based upon spectroscopic data is often achieved using various multivariate clustering techniques. However, the number of clusters is a common unknown feature for the clustering methods, such as hierarchical cluster analysis, k-means and fuzzy c-means. In this study, we apply a FCM based clustering algorithm to obtain the best number of clusters as given by the minimum validity index value. This often results in an excessive number of clusters being created due to the complexity of this biochemical system. A novel method to automatically merge clusters was developed to try to address this problem. Three lymph node tissue sections were examined to evaluate our new method. These results showed that this approach can merge the clusters which have similar biochemistry. Consequently, the overall algorithm automatically identifies clusters that accurately match the main tissue types that are independently determined by the clinician.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Intelligence
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Automated merge clusters
  • Clustering
  • FTIR imaging
  • Fuzzy c-means
  • Lymph node

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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