Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 4011–4045 | Cite as

Anterior osteoporosis classification in cervical vertebrae using fuzzy decision tree

  • Mustapha Aouache
  • Aini Hussain
  • Mohd Asyraf Zulkifley
  • Diyana Wan Mimi Wan Zaki
  • Hafizah Husain
  • Hamzaini Bin Abdul Hamid


Anterior Osteoporosis (AOs) in the cervical vertebrae is an osteoporosis complication and a common condition of vertebral irregularity caused by a decrease in bone density and strength, which can lead to fragile bone and fractures. Consequently, it is crucial to detect the AOs irregularity early so that appropriate pharmacological intervention can be done to reduce further complications. To do so via a computer approach, an efficient method that can provide high classification rate is required. Basing on the fuzzy logic theory, this article affords a new method for AOs (classes and severity) classification of the cervical radiography by designing a fuzzy decision tree (FDT) model. The method involves two main processed, namely i) segmentation process which employs the active shape model (ASM) based on the 9-anatomical points representation (9-APR) to segment the cervical vertebra shape boundary (C-VSB) and ii) fuzzy based feature extraction and classifier development, known as FDT method. The fuzzy set along with its membership functions are derived from the resulting C-VSB segment. It operates by extracting a specific angle descriptor (horizontal, vertical, and corner) as crisp input to the fuzzification inter-face to produce reasonable key indexing to the fuzzy interface system. Then, the defuzzification interface converts it into a crisp output that adequately represents the degree of AOs class and severity as appraisal values. The resulting fuzzy then acts as input to a basic concept of if-then rules called FDT to recognise and distinguish between vertebrae presented with/without AOs. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and area under curve (AUC) index evaluation methods are examined to offer quantitative evaluation between the medical ground truth versus FDT classifier predicted results. Results obtained on a set of 400 cervical vertebrae images indicate superb classification rate (R > 90 %) which suggest that the proposed FDT as an appropriate solution to AOs classification process for reliable vertebral fracture diagnosis. In summary, the findings confirmed the effectiveness of FDT as an excellent classifier to recognize and differentiate AOs classes and severity thus, able to provide important basis for pathology.


Cervical radiography Anterior osteoporosis 9-anatomical points ASM model Fuzzy decision tree ROC curve Classification approach 



This research has been supported in parts by Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Malaysia under the EScience Fund project (grant code: 06-01-02-SF1018) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysian (project grant DIP-2015-12).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division Télécom, Centre de Développement des Technologies Avancées - CDTABaba HassenAlgeria
  2. 2.Department of Electrical, Electronic & Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Radiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia

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