Designed especially for neurobiologists, FluoRender is an interactive tool for multi-channel fluorescence microscopy data visualization and analysis.
Deep brain stimulation
BrainStimulator is a set of networks that are used in SCIRun to perform simulations of brain stimulation such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and magnetic transcranial stimulation (TMS).
Developing software tools for science has always been a central vision of the SCI Institute.

SCI Publications


J. Adams, K. Iyer, S. Elhabian. “Weakly Supervised Bayesian Shape Modeling from Unsegmented Medical Images,” Subtitled “arXiv:2405.09697v1,” 2024.


Anatomical shape analysis plays a pivotal role in clinical research and hypothesis testing, where the relationship between form and function is paramount. Correspondence-based statistical shape modeling (SSM) facilitates population-level morphometrics but requires a cumbersome, potentially bias-inducing construction pipeline. Recent advancements in deep learning have streamlined this process in inference by providing SSM prediction directly from unsegmented medical images. However, the proposed approaches are fully supervised and require utilizing a traditional SSM construction pipeline to create training data, thus inheriting the associated burdens and limitations. To address these challenges, we introduce a weakly supervised deep learning approach to predict SSM from images using point cloud supervision. Specifically, we propose reducing the supervision associated with the state-of-the-art fully Bayesian variational information bottleneck DeepSSM (BVIB-DeepSSM) model. BVIB-DeepSSM is an effective, principled framework for predicting probabilistic anatomical shapes from images with quantification of both aleatoric and epistemic uncertainties. Whereas the original BVIB-DeepSSM method requires strong supervision in the form of ground truth correspondence points, the proposed approach utilizes weak supervision via point cloud surface representations, which are more readily obtainable. Furthermore, the proposed approach learns correspondence in a completely data-driven manner without prior assumptions about the expected variability in shape cohort. Our experiments demonstrate that this approach yields similar accuracy and uncertainty estimation to the fully supervised scenario while substantially enhancing the feasibility of model training for SSM construction.

J. Adams, S. Elhabian. “Point2SSM++: Self-Supervised Learning of Anatomical Shape Models from Point Clouds,” Subtitled “arXiv:2405.09707v1,” 2024.


Correspondence-based statistical shape modeling (SSM) stands as a powerful technology for morphometric analysis in clinical research. SSM facilitates population-level characterization and quantification of anatomical shapes such as bones and organs, aiding in pathology and disease diagnostics and treatment planning. Despite its potential, SSM remains under-utilized in medical research due to the significant overhead associated with automatic construction methods, which demand complete, aligned shape surface representations. Additionally, optimization-based techniques rely on bias-inducing assumptions or templates and have prolonged inference times as the entire cohort is simultaneously optimized. To overcome these challenges, we introduce Point2SSM++, a principled, self-supervised deep learning approach that directly learns correspondence points from point cloud representations of anatomical shapes. Point2SSM++ is robust to misaligned and inconsistent input, providing SSM that accurately samples individual shape surfaces while effectively capturing population-level statistics. Additionally, we present principled extensions of Point2SSM++ to adapt it for dynamic spatiotemporal and multi-anatomy use cases, demonstrating the broad versatility of the Point2SSM++ framework. Furthermore, we present extensions of Point2SSM++ tailored for dynamic spatiotemporal and multi-anatomy scenarios, showcasing the broad versatility of the framework. Through extensive validation across diverse anatomies, evaluation metrics, and clinically relevant downstream tasks, we demonstrate Point2SSM++’s superiority over existing state-of-the-art deep learning models and traditional approaches. Point2SSM++ substantially enhances the feasibility of SSM generation and significantly broadens its array of potential clinical applications.

T. M. Athawale, B. Triana, T. Kotha, D. Pugmire, P. Rosen. “A Comparative Study of the Perceptual Sensitivity of Topological Visualizations to Feature Variations,” In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 1074-1084. Jan, 2024.
DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2023.3326592


Color maps are a commonly used visualization technique in which data are mapped to optical properties, e.g., color or opacity. Color maps, however, do not explicitly convey structures (e.g., positions and scale of features) within data. Topology-based visualizations reveal and explicitly communicate structures underlying data. Although we have a good understanding of what types of features are captured by topological visualizations, our understanding of people’s perception of those features is not. This paper evaluates the sensitivity of topology-based isocontour, Reeb graph, and persistence diagram visualizations compared to a reference color map visualization for synthetically generated scalar fields on 2-manifold triangular meshes embedded in 3D. In particular, we built and ran a human-subject study that evaluated the perception of data features characterized by Gaussian signals and measured how effectively each visualization technique portrays variations of data features arising from the position and amplitude variation of a mixture of Gaussians. For positional feature variations, the results showed that only the Reeb graph visualization had high sensitivity. For amplitude feature variations, persistence diagrams and color maps demonstrated the highest sensitivity, whereas isocontours showed only weak sensitivity. These results take an important step toward understanding which topology-based tools are best for various data and task scenarios and their effectiveness in conveying topological variations as compared to conventional color mapping.

A.Z.B. Aziz, M.S.T. Karanam, T. Kataria, S.Y. Elhabian. “EfficientMorph: Parameter-Efficient Transformer-Based Architecture for 3D Image Registration,” Subtitled “arXiv preprint arXiv:2403.11026,” 2024.


Transformers have emerged as the state-of-the-art architecture in medical image registration, outperforming convolutional neural networks (CNNs) by addressing their limited receptive fields and overcoming gradient instability in deeper models. Despite their success, transformer-based models require substantial resources for training, including data, memory, and computational power, which may restrict their applicability for end users with limited resources. In particular, existing transformer-based 3D image registration architectures face three critical gaps that challenge their efficiency and effectiveness. Firstly, while mitigating the quadratic complexity of full attention by focusing on local regions, window-based attention mechanisms often fail to adequately integrate local and global information. Secondly, feature similarities across attention heads that were recently found in multi-head attention architectures indicate a significant computational redundancy, suggesting that the capacity of the network could be better utilized to enhance performance. Lastly, the granularity of tokenization, a key factor in registration accuracy, presents a trade-off; smaller tokens improve detail capture at the cost of higher computational complexity, increased memory demands, and a risk of overfitting. Here, we propose EfficientMorph, a transformer-based architecture for unsupervised 3D image registration. It optimizes the balance between local and global attention through a plane-based attention mechanism, reduces computational redundancy via cascaded group attention, and captures fine details without compromising computational efficiency, thanks to a Hi-Res tokenization strategy complemented by merging operations. We compare the effectiveness of EfficientMorph on two public datasets, OASIS and IXI, against other state-of-the-art models. Notably, EfficientMorph sets a new benchmark for performance on the OASIS dataset with ∼16-27× fewer parameters.

Z. Bastiani, R.M. Kirby, J. Hochhalter, S. Zhe. “Complexity-Aware Deep Symbolic Regression with Robust Risk-Seeking Policy Gradients,” Subtitled “arXiv:2406.06751,” 2024.


This paper proposes a novel deep symbolic regression approach to enhance the robustness and interpretability of data-driven mathematical expression discovery. Despite the success of the state-of-the-art method, DSR, it is built on recurrent neural networks, purely guided by data fitness, and potentially meet tail barriers, which can zero out the policy gradient and cause inefficient model updates. To overcome these limitations, we use transformers in conjunction with breadth-first-search to improve the learning performance. We use Bayesian information criterion (BIC) as the reward function to explicitly account for the expression complexity and optimize the trade-off between interpretability and data fitness. We propose a modified risk-seeking policy that not only ensures the unbiasness of the gradient, but also removes the tail barriers, thus ensuring effective updates from top performers. Through a series of benchmarks and systematic experiments, we demonstrate the advantages of our approach.

J.W. Beiriger, W. Tao, Z. Irgebay, J. Smetona, L. Dvoracek, N. Kass, A. Dixon, C. Zhang, M. Mehta, R. Whitaker, J. Goldstein. “A Longitudinal Analysis of Pre-and Post-Operative Dysmorphology in Metopic Craniosynostosis,” In The Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal, Sage, 2024.
DOI: 10.1177/10556656241237605



The purpose of this study is to objectively quantify the degree of overcorrection in our current practice and to evaluate longitudinal morphological changes using CranioRateTM, a novel machine learning skull morphology assessment tool.  


Retrospective cohort study across multiple time points.


Tertiary care children's hospital.


Patients with preoperative and postoperative CT scans who underwent fronto-orbital advancement (FOA) for metopic craniosynostosis.

Main Outcome Measures

We evaluated preoperative, postoperative, and two-year follow-up skull morphology using CranioRateTM to generate a Metopic Severity Score (MSS), a measure of degree of metopic dysmorphology, and Cranial Morphology Deviation (CMD) score, a measure of deviation from normal skull morphology.


Fifty-five patients were included, average age at surgery was 1.3 years. Sixteen patients underwent follow-up CT imaging at an average of 3.1 years. Preoperative MSS was 6.3 ± 2.5 (CMD 199.0 ± 39.1), immediate postoperative MSS was −2.0 ± 1.9 (CMD 208.0 ± 27.1), and longitudinal MSS was 1.3 ± 1.1 (CMD 179.8 ± 28.1). MSS approached normal at two-year follow-up (defined as MSS = 0). There was a significant relationship between preoperative MSS and follow-up MSS (R2 = 0.70).


MSS quantifies overcorrection and normalization of head shape, as patients with negative values were less “metopic” than normal postoperatively and approached 0 at 2-year follow-up. CMD worsened postoperatively due to postoperative bony changes associated with surgical displacements following FOA. All patients had similar postoperative metopic dysmorphology, with no significant association with preoperative severity. More severe patients had worse longitudinal dysmorphology, reinforcing that regression to the metopic shape is a postoperative risk which increases with preoperative severity.

M. Berzins. “COMPUTATIONAL ERROR ESTIMATION FOR THE MATERIAL POINT METHOD IN 1D AND 2D,” In VIII International Conference on Particle-Based Methods, PARTICLES 2023, 2024.


The Material Point Method (MPM) is widely used for challenging applications in engineering, and animation but lags behind some other methods in terms of error analysis and computable error estimates. The complexity and nonlinearity of the equations solved by the method and its reliance both on a mesh and on moving particles makes error estimation challenging. Some preliminary error analysis of a simple MPM method has shown the global error to be first order in space and time for a widely-used variant of the Material Point Method. The overall time dependent nature of MPM also complicates matters as both space and time errors and their evolution must be considered thus leading to the use of explicit error transport equations. The preliminary use of an error estimator based on this transport approach has yielded promising results in the 1D case. One other source of error in MPM is the grid-crossing error that can be problematic for large deformations leading to large errors that are identified by the error estimator used. The extension of the error estimation approach to two space higher dimensions is considered and together with additional algorithmic and theoretical results, shown to give promising results in preliminary computational experiments.

C.C. Berggren, D. Jiang, Y.F. Wang, J.A. Bergquist, L. Rupp, Z. Liu, R.S. MacLeod, A. Narayan, L. Timmins. “Influence of Material Parameter Variability on the Predicted Coronary Artery Biomechanical Environment via Uncertainty Quantification,” Subtitled “arXiv preprint arXiv:2401.15047,” 2024.


Central to the clinical adoption of patient-specific modeling strategies is demonstrating that simulation results are reliable and safe. Indeed, simulation frameworks must be robust to uncertainty in model input(s), and levels of confidence should accompany results. In this study, we applied a coupled uncertainty quantification-finite element (FE) framework to understand the impact of uncertainty in vascular material properties on variability in predicted stresses. Univariate probability distributions were fit to material parameters derived from layer-specific mechanical behavior testing of human coronary tissue. Parameters were assumed to be probabilistically independent, allowing for efficient parameter ensemble sampling. In an idealized coronary artery geometry, a forward FE model for each parameter ensemble was created to predict tissue stresses under physiologic loading. An emulator was constructed within the UncertainSCI software using polynomial chaos techniques, and statistics and sensitivities were directly computed. Results demonstrated that material parameter uncertainty propagates to variability in predicted stresses across the vessel wall, with the largest dispersions in stress within the adventitial layer. Variability in stress was most sensitive to uncertainties in the anisotropic component of the strain energy function. Moreover, unary and binary interactions within the adventitial layer were the main contributors to stress variance, and the leading factor in stress variability was uncertainty in the stress-like material parameter that describes the contribution of the embedded fibers to the overall artery stiffness. Results from a patient-specific coronary model confirmed many of these findings. Collectively, these data highlight the impact of material property variation on uncertainty in predicted artery stresses and present a pipeline to explore and characterize forward model uncertainty in computational biomechanics.

O. Cankur, A. Tomar, D. Nichols, C. Scully-Allison, K. Isaacs, A. Bhatele. “Automated Programmatic Performance Analysis of Parallel Programs,” Subtitled “arXiv:2401.13150v1,” 2024.


Developing efficient parallel applications is critical to advancing scientific development but requires significant performance analysis and optimization. Performance analysis tools help developers manage the increasing complexity and scale of performance data, but often rely on the user to manually explore low-level data and are rigid in how the data can be manipulated. We propose a Python-based API, Chopper, which provides high-level and flexible performance analysis for both single and multiple executions of parallel applications. Chopper facilitates performance analysis and reduces developer effort by providing configurable high-level methods for common performance analysis tasks such as calculating load imbalance, hot paths, scalability bottlenecks, correlation between metrics and CCT nodes, and causes of performance variability within a robust and mature Python environment that provides fluid access to lower-level data manipulations. We demonstrate how Chopper allows developers to quickly and succinctly explore performance and identify issues across applications such as AMG, Laghos, LULESH, Quicksilver and Tortuga.

A.M. Chalifoux, L. Gibb, K.N. Wurth, T. Tenner, T. Tasdizen, L. MacDonald. “Morphology of uranium oxides reduced from magnesium and sodium diuranate,” In Radiochimica Acta, Vol. 112, No. 2, pp. 73-84. 2024.


Morphological analysis of uranium materials has proven to be a key signature for nuclear forensic purposes. This study examines the morphological changes to magnesium diuranate (MDU) and sodium diuranate (SDU) during reduction in a 10 % hydrogen atmosphere with and without steam present. Impurity concentrations of the materials were also examined pre and post reduction using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy combined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDX). The structures of the MDU, SDU, and UO x samples were analyzed using powder X-ray diffraction (p-XRD). Using this method, UO x from MDU was found to be a mixture of UO2, U4O9, and MgU2O6 while UO x from SDU were combinations of UO2, U4O9, U3O8, and UO3. By SEM, the MDU and UO x from MDU had identical morphologies comprised of large agglomerates of rounded particles in an irregular pattern. SEM-EDX revealed pockets of high U and high Mg content distributed throughout the materials. The SDU and UO x from SDU had slightly different morphologies. The SDU consisted of massive agglomerates of platy sheets with rough surfaces. The UO x from SDU was comprised of massive agglomerates of acicular and sub-rounded particles that appeared slightly sintered. Backscatter images of SDU and related UO x materials showed sub-rounded dark spots indicating areas of high Na content, especially in UO x materials created in the presence of steam. SEM-EDX confirmed the presence of high sodium concentration spots in the SDU and UO x from SDU. Elemental compositions were found to not change between pre and post reduction of MDU and SDU indicating that reduction with or without steam does not affect Mg or Na concentrations. The identification of Mg and Na impurities using SEM analysis presents a readily accessible tool in nuclear material analysis with high Mg and Na impurities likely indicating processing via MDU or SDU, respectively. Machine learning using convolutional neural networks (CNNs) found that the MDU and SDU had unique morphologies compared to previous publications and that there are distinguishing features between materials created with and without steam.

N. Cheng, O.A. Malik, Y. Xu, S. Becker, A. Doostan, A. Narayan. “Subsampling of Parametric Models with Bifidelity Boosting,” In Journal on Uncertainty Quantificatio., ACM, 2024.


Least squares regression is a ubiquitous tool for building emulators (a.k.a. surrogate models) of problems across science and engineering for purposes such as design space exploration and uncertainty quantification. When the regression data are generated using an experimental design process (e.g., a quadrature grid) involving computationally expensive models, or when the data size is large, sketching techniques have shown promise at reducing the cost of the construction of the regression model while ensuring accuracy comparable to that of the full data. However, random sketching strategies, such as those based on leverage scores, lead to regression errors that are random and may exhibit large variability. To mitigate this issue, we present a novel boosting approach that leverages cheaper, lower-fidelity data of the problem at hand to identify the best sketch among a set of candidate sketches. This in turn specifies the sketch of the intended high-fidelity model and the associated data. We provide theoretical analyses of this bifidelity boosting (BFB) approach and discuss the conditions the low- and high-fidelity data must satisfy for a successful boosting. In doing so, we derive a bound on the residual norm of the BFB sketched solution relating it to its ideal, but computationally expensive, high-fidelity boosted counterpart. Empirical results on both manufactured and PDE data corroborate the theoretical analyses and illustrate the efficacy of the BFB solution in reducing the regression error, as compared to the nonboosted solution.

Y. Chen, Y. Ji, A. Narayan, Z. Xu. “TGPT-PINN: Nonlinear model reduction with transformed GPT-PINNs,” Subtitled “arXiv preprint arXiv:2403.03459,” 2024.


We introduce the Transformed Generative Pre-Trained Physics-Informed Neural Networks (TGPT-PINN) for accomplishing nonlinear model order reduction (MOR) of transport-dominated partial differential equations in an MOR-integrating PINNs framework. Building on the recent development of the GPT-PINN that is a network-of-networks design achieving snapshot-based model reduction, we design and test a novel paradigm for nonlinear model reduction that can effectively tackle problems with parameter-dependent discontinuities. Through incorporation of a shock-capturing loss function component as well as a parameter-dependent transform layer, the TGPT-PINN overcomes the limitations of linear model reduction in the transport-dominated regime. We demonstrate this new capability for nonlinear model reduction in the PINNs framework by several nontrivial parametric partial differential equations.

M. Cooley, S. Zhe, R.M. Kirby, V. Shankar. “Polynomial-Augmented Neural Networks (PANNs) with Weak Orthogonality Constraints for Enhanced Function and PDE Approximation,” Subtitled “arXiv preprint arXiv:2406.02336,” 2024.


We present polynomial-augmented neural networks (PANNs), a novel machine learning architecture that combines deep neural networks (DNNs) with a polynomial approximant. PANNs combine the strengths of DNNs (flexibility and efficiency in higher-dimensional approximation) with those of polynomial approximation (rapid convergence rates for smooth functions). To aid in both stable training and enhanced accuracy over a variety of problems, we present (1) a family of orthogonality constraints that impose mutual orthogonality between the polynomial and the DNN within a PANN; (2) a simple basis pruning approach to combat the curse of dimensionality introduced by the polynomial component; and (3) an adaptation of a polynomial preconditioning strategy to both DNNs and polynomials. We test the resulting architecture for its polynomial reproduction properties, ability to approximate both smooth functions and functions of limited smoothness, and as a method for the solution of partial differential equations (PDEs). Through these experiments, we demonstrate that PANNs offer superior approximation properties to DNNs for both regression and the numerical solution of PDEs, while also offering enhanced accuracy over both polynomial and DNN-based regression (each) when regressing functions with limited smoothness.

H. Dai, S. Joshi. “Refining Skewed Perceptions in Vision-Language Models through Visual Representations,” Subtitled “arXiv preprint arXiv:2405.14030,” 2024.


Large vision-language models (VLMs), such as CLIP, have become foundational, demonstrating remarkable success across a variety of downstream tasks. Despite their advantages, these models, akin to other foundational systems, inherit biases from the disproportionate distribution of real-world data, leading to misconceptions about the actual environment. Prevalent datasets like ImageNet are often riddled with non-causal, spurious correlations that can diminish VLM performance in scenarios where these contextual elements are absent. This study presents an investigation into how a simple linear probe can effectively distill task-specific core features from CLIP’s embedding for downstream applications. Our analysis reveals that the CLIP text representations are often tainted by spurious correlations, inherited in the biased pre-training dataset. Empirical evidence suggests that relying on visual representations from CLIP, as opposed to text embedding, is more practical to refine the skewed perceptions in VLMs, emphasizing the superior utility of visual representations in overcoming embedded biases

S. Dasetty, T.C. Bidone, A.L. Ferguson. “Data-driven prediction of αIIbβ3 integrin activation pathways using nonlinear manifold learning and deep generative modeling,” In Biophysical Journal, Vol. 123, 2024.


The integrin heterodimer is a transmembrane protein critical for driving cellular process and is a therapeutic target in the treatment of multiple diseases linked to its malfunction. Activation of integrin involves conformational transitions between bent and extended states. Some of the conformations that are intermediate between bent and extended states of the heterodimer have been experimentally characterized, but the full activation pathways remain unresolved both experimentally due to their transient nature and computationally due to the challenges in simulating rare barrier crossing events in these large molecular systems. An understanding of the activation pathways can provide new fundamental understanding of the biophysical processes associated with the dynamic interconversions between bent and extended states and can unveil new putative therapeutic targets. In this work, we apply nonlinear manifold learning to coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of bent, extended, and two intermediate states of aIIbb3 integrin to learn a low-dimensional embedding of the configurational phase space. We then train deep generative models to learn an inverse mapping between the low-dimensional embedding and high-dimensional molecular space and use these models to interpolate the molecular configurations constituting the activation pathways between the experimentally characterized states. This work furnishes plausible predictions of integrin activation pathways and reports a generic and transferable multiscale technique to predict transition pathways for biomolecular systems.

J. Dong, E. Kwan, J.A. Bergquist, B.A. Steinberg, D.J. Dosdall, E. DiBella, R.S. MacLeod, T.J. Bunch, R. Ranjan. “Ablation-induced left atrial mechanical dysfunction recovers in weeks after ablation,” In Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology, Springer, 2024.



The immediate impact of catheter ablation on left atrial mechanical function and the timeline for its recovery in patients undergoing ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) remain uncertain. The mechanical function response to catheter ablation in patients with different AF types is poorly understood.


A total of 113 AF patients were included in this retrospective study. Each patient had three magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in sinus rhythm: one pre-ablation, one immediate post-ablation (within 2 days after ablation), and one post-ablation follow-up MRI (≤ 3 months). We used feature tracking in the MRI cine images to determine peak longitudinal atrial strain (PLAS). We evaluated the change in strain from pre-ablation, immediately after ablation to post-ablation follow-up in a short-term study (< 50 days) and a 3-month study (3 months after ablation).


The PLAS exhibited a notable reduction immediately after ablation, compared to both pre-ablation levels and those observed in follow-up studies conducted at short-term (11.1 ± 9.0 days) and 3-month (69.6 ± 39.6 days) intervals. However, there was no difference between follow-up and pre-ablation PLAS. The PLAS returned to 95% pre-ablation level within 10 days. Paroxysmal AF patients had significantly higher pre-ablation PLAS than persistent AF patients in pre-ablation MRIs. Both type AF patients had significantly lower immediate post-ablation PLAS compared with pre-ablation and post-ablation PLAS.


The present study suggested a significant drop in PLAS immediately after ablation. Left atrial mechanical function recovered within 10 days after ablation. The drop in PLAS did not show a substantial difference between paroxysmal and persistent AF patients.

K. Eckelt, K. Gadhave, A. Lex, M. Streit. “Loops: Leveraging Provenance and Visualization to Support Exploratory Data Analysis in Notebooks,” In Computer Graphics Forum, 2024.


Exploratory data science is an iterative process of obtaining, cleaning, profiling, analyzing, and interpreting data. This cyclical way of working creates challenges within the linear structure of computational notebooks, leading to issues with code quality, recall, and reproducibility. To remedy this, we present Loops, a set of visual support techniques for iterative and exploratory data analysis in computational notebooks. Loops leverages provenance information to visualize the impact of changes made within a notebook. In visualizations of the notebook provenance, we trace the evolution of the notebook over time and highlight differences between versions. Loops visualizes the provenance of code, markdown, tables, visualizations, and images and their respective differences. Analysts can explore these differences in detail in a separate view. Loops not only improves the reproducibility of notebooks but also supports analysts in their data science work by showing the effects of changes and facilitating comparison of multiple versions. We demonstrate our approach’s utility and potential impact in two use cases and feedback from notebook users from various backgrounds.

A. Ferrero, E. Ghelichkhan, H. Manoochehri, M.M. Ho, D.J. Albertson, B.J. Brintz, T. Tasdizen, R.T. Whitaker, B. Knudsen. “HistoEM: A Pathologist-Guided and Explainable Workflow Using Histogram Embedding for Gland Classification,” In Modern Pathology, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2024.


Pathologists have, over several decades, developed criteria for diagnosing and grading prostate cancer. However, this knowledge has not, so far, been included in the design of convolutional neural networks (CNN) for prostate cancer detection and grading. Further, it is not known whether the features learned by machine-learning algorithms coincide with diagnostic features used by pathologists. We propose a framework that enforces algorithms to learn the cellular and subcellular differences between benign and cancerous prostate glands in digital slides from hematoxylin and eosin–stained tissue sections. After accurate gland segmentation and exclusion of the stroma, the central component of the pipeline, named HistoEM, utilizes a histogram embedding of features from the latent space of the CNN encoder. Each gland is represented by 128 feature-wise histograms that provide the input into a second network for benign vs cancer classification of the whole gland. Cancer glands are further processed by a U-Net structured network to separate low-grade from high-grade cancer. Our model demonstrates similar performance compared with other state-of-the-art prostate cancer grading models with gland-level resolution. To understand the features learned by HistoEM, we first rank features based on the distance between benign and cancer histograms and visualize the tissue origins of the 2 most important features. A heatmap of pixel activation by each feature is generated using Grad-CAM and overlaid on nuclear segmentation outlines. We conclude that HistoEM, similar to pathologists, uses nuclear features for the detection of prostate cancer. Altogether, this novel approach can be broadly deployed to visualize computer-learned features in histopathology images.

S. Garg, J. Zhang, R. Pitchumani, M. Parashar, B. Xie, S. Kannan. “CrossPrefetch: Accelerating I/O Prefetching for Modern Storage,” In 29th ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ACM, 2024.


We introduce CrossPrefetch, a novel cross-layered I/O prefetching mechanism that operates across the OS and a user-level runtime to achieve optimal performance. Existing OS prefetching mechanisms suffer from rigid interfaces that do not provide information to applications on the prefetch effectiveness, suffer from high concurrency bottlenecks, and are inefficient in utilizing available system memory. CrossPrefetch addresses these limitations by dividing responsibilities between the OS and runtime, minimizing overhead, and achieving low cache misses, lock contentions, and higher I/O performance.

CrossPrefetch tackles the limitations of rigid OS prefetching interfaces by maintaining and exporting cache state and prefetch effectiveness to user-level runtimes. It also addresses scalability and concurrency bottlenecks by distinguishing between regular I/O and prefetch operations paths and introduces fine-grained prefetch indexing for shared files. Finally, CrossPrefetch designs low-interference access pattern prediction combined with support for adaptive and aggressive techniques to exploit memory capacity and storage bandwidth. Our evaluation of CrossPrefetch, encompassing microbenchmarks, macrobenchmarks, and real-world workloads, illustrates performance gains of up to 1.22x- 3.7x in I/O throughput. We also evaluate CrossPrefetch across different file systems and local and remote storage configurations.

S. Ghorbany, M. Hu, S. Yao, C. Wang, Q.C. Nguyen, X. Yue, M. Alirezaei, T. Tasdizen, M Sisk. “Examining the role of passive design indicators in energy burden reduction: Insights from a machine learning and deep learning approach,” In Building and Environment, Elsevier, 2024.


Passive design characteristics (PDC) play a pivotal role in reducing the energy burden on households without imposing additional financial constraints on project stakeholders. However, the scarcity of PDC data has posed a challenge in previous studies when assessing their energy-saving impact. To tackle this issue, this research introduces an innovative approach that combines deep learning-powered computer vision with machine learning techniques to examine the relationship between PDC and energy burden in residential buildings. In this study, we employ a convolutional neural network computer vision model to identify and measure key indicators, including window-to-wall ratio (WWR), external shading, and operable window types, using Google Street View images within the Chicago metropolitan area as our case study. Subsequently, we utilize the derived passive design features in conjunction with demographic characteristics to train and compare various machine learning methods. These methods encompass Decision Tree Regression, Random Forest Regression, and Support Vector Regression, culminating in the development of a comprehensive model for energy burden prediction. Our framework achieves a 74.2 % accuracy in forecasting the average energy burden. These results yield invaluable insights for policymakers and urban planners, paving the way toward the realization of smart and sustainable cities.