The colorless biopsied tissue samples are usually stained in order to visualize different microscopic structures for diagnostic purposes. But color variations associated with the process of sample preparation, usage of raw materials, diverse staining protocols, and using different slide scanners may adversely influence both visual inspection and computer-aided image analysis. As a result, many methods are proposed for histopathology image stain normalization in recent years. In this study, we introduce a novel approach for stain normalization based on learning a mixture of multivariate skew-normal distributions for stain clustering and parameter estimation alongside a stain transformation technique. The proposed method, labeled "Class-Agnostic Weighted Normalization" (short CLAW normalization), has the ability to normalize a source image by learning the color distribution of both source and target images within an expectation-maximization framework. The novelty of this approach is its flexibility to quantify the underlying both symmetric and nonsymmetric distributions of the different stain components while it is considering the spatial information. The performance of this new stain normalization scheme is tested on several publicly available digital pathology datasets to compare it against state-of-the-art normalization algorithms in terms of ability to preserve the image structure and information. All in all, our proposed method performed superior more consistently in comparison with existing methods in terms of information preservation, visual quality enhancement, and boosting computer-aided diagnosis algorithm performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering