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Section: New Results

Learning the clustering of longitudinal shape data sets into a mixture of independent or branching trajectories

Participants : Vianney Debavelaere [correspondant] , Stéphanie Allassonnière, Stanley Durrleman.

Given repeated observations of several subjects over time, i.e. a longitudinal data set, this work introduces a new model to learn a classification of the shapes progression in an unsupervised setting: we automatically cluster a longitudinal data set in different classes without labels. Our method learns for each cluster an average shape trajectory (or representative curve) and its variance in space and time. Representative trajectories are built as the combination of pieces of curves. This mixture model is flexible enough to handle independent trajectories for each cluster as well as fork and merge scenarios. The estimation of such non linear mixture models in high dimension is known to be difficult because of the trapping states effect that hampers the optimisation of cluster assignments during training. We address this issue by using a tempered version of the stochastic EM algorithm. Finally, we apply our algorithm on different data sets. First, synthetic data are used to show that a tempered scheme achieves better convergence. We then apply our method to different real data sets: 1D RECIST score used to monitor tumors growth, 3D facial expressions and meshes of the hippocampus. In particular, we show how the method can be used to test different scenarios of hippocampus atrophy in ageing by using an heteregenous population of normal ageing individuals and mild cognitive impaired subjects.

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