The article “Optimized Distributed Hyperparameter Search and Simulation for Lung Texture Classification in CT Using Hadoop” by Roger Schaer et al. is now available online: http://www.mdpi.com/2313-433X/2/2/19/html
Many medical image analysis tasks require complex learning strategies to reach a quality of image-based decision support that is sufficient in clinical practice. The analysis of medical texture in tomographic images, for example of lung tissue, is no exception. Via a learning framework, very good classification accuracy can be obtained, but several parameters need to be optimized. This article describes a practical framework for efficient distributed parameter optimization. The proposed solutions are applicable for many research groups with heterogeneous computing infrastructures and for various machine learning algorithms. These infrastructures can easily be connected via distributed computation frameworks. We use the Hadoop framework to run and distribute both grid and random search strategies for hyperparameter optimization and cross-validations on a cluster of 21 nodes composed of desktop computers and servers. We show that significant speedups of up to 364× compared to a serial execution can be achieved using our in-house Hadoop cluster by distributing the computation and automatically pruning the search space while still identifying the best-performing parameter combinations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first article presenting practical results in detail for complex data analysis tasks on such a heterogeneous infrastructure together with a linked simulation framework that allows for computing resource planning. The results are directly applicable in many scenarios and allow implementing an efficient and effective strategy for medical (image) data analysis and related learning approaches.