Diagnostically Acceptable Irreversible Compression (DAIC)


Diagnostically acceptable irreversible compression (DAIC) is the amount of
lossy compression In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data compression, data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represent the content. These techniques are used to r ...
which can be used on a medical image to produce a result that does not prevent the reader from using the image to make a
medical diagnosis Medical diagnosis (abbreviated Dx, Dx, or Ds) is the process of determining which disease or condition explains a person's symptoms and medical sign, signs. It is most often referred to as diagnosis with the medicine, medical context being implic ...
. The term was first introduced at a workshop on irreversible compression convened by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) in
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October 13, 2010, the results of which were reported in a subsequent position paper.


The "amount of compression" in irreversible compression used to be determined by the
compression ratio The compression ratio is the ratio between the volume of the cylinder A cylinder (from ) has traditionally been a Solid geometry, three-dimensional solid, one of the most basic of curvilinear geometric shapes. Geometrically, it can be consi ...

compression ratio
, where the acceptable minimum is determined by the algorithm (typically
JPEG JPEG ( ) is a commonly used method of lossy compression In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represe ...

or J2K) and the data type (body part and imaging method). Such a definition is easy to follow, and has been used by medical bodies in 2010 around the world. However, its downside is obvious: the compression ratio tells nothing about the real quality of the image, as different compressors can produce vastly different qualities under the same file size. For example, the JPEG format of 1992 can perform as well as many modern formats given newer techniques exploited in mozjpeg and ISO libjpeg, yet they would be lumped together with the legacy encoders in such a scheme. The image compression community has long used objective quality metrics like
SSIM The structural similarity index measure (SSIM) is a method for predicting the perceived quality of digital television and cinematic pictures, as well as other kinds of digital images and videos. SSIM is used for measuring the similarity between tw ...
to measure the effects of compression. In the absence of good data regarding SSIM, the ESR review of 2010 concluded that it is still difficult to establish a criterion for whether a particular irreversible compression scheme applied with particular parameters to a particular individual image, or category of images, avoids the introduction of some quantifiable risk of a diagnostic error for any particular diagnostic task. An 2017 study showed that a SSIM variant called 4-G-r* (4-component,
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, structural component of SSIM) best reflects changes in images that affect the decision of radiologists out of 16 SSIM variants. An 2020 study shows that visual information fidelity (VIF), feature similarity index (FSIM), and noise quality metric (NQM) best reflect radiologist preferences out of ten metrics. It also mentions that the original version of SSIM works as poorly as a basic root-mean-square distance (RMSD) for this purpose, a result echoed by the 2017 study. The 4-G-r* modification is not tested in the study.


Medical imaging
Image processing Digital image processing is the application of signal processing techniques to the domain of images — two-dimensional Wiktionary:signal, signals such as photography, photographs or video. Image processing does typically involve filtering or en ...
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