Mitigating Bias in Radiology Machine Learning: 1. Data Handling

Pouria Rouzrokh, Bardia Khosravi, Shahriar Faghani, Mana Moassefi, Diana V.Vera Garcia, Yashbir Singh, Kuan Zhang, Gian Marco Conte, Bradley J. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Minimizing bias is critical to adoption and implementation of machine learning (ML) in clinical practice. Systematic mathematical biases produce consistent and reproducible differences between the observed and expected performance of ML systems, resulting in suboptimal performance. Such biases can be traced back to various phases of ML development: data handling, model development, and performance evaluation. This report presents 12 suboptimal practices during data handling of an ML study, explains how those practices can lead to biases, and describes what may be done to mitigate them. Authors employ an arbitrary and simplified framework that splits ML data handling into four steps: data collection, data investigation, data splitting, and feature engineering. Examples from the available research literature are provided. A Google Colaboratory Jupyter notebook includes code examples to demonstrate the sub-optimal practices and steps to prevent them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere210290
JournalRadiology: Artificial Intelligence
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Bias
  • Computer-aided Diagnosis (CAD)
  • Convolu-tional Neural Network (CNN)
  • Data Handling
  • Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Artificial Intelligence


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