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Scalable and data efficient deep reinforcement learning methods for healthcare applications




Saripalli, Venkata Ratnam, author
Anderson, Charles W., advisor
Hess, Ann Marie, committee member
Young, Peter, committee member
Simske, Steve John, committee member

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Artificial intelligence driven medical devices have created the potential for significant breakthroughs in healthcare technology. Healthcare applications using reinforcement learning are still very sparse as the medical domain is very complex and decision making requires domain expertise. High volumes of data generated from medical devices – a key input for delivering on the promise of AI, suffers from both noise and lack of ground truth. The cost of data increases as it is cleaned and annotated. Unlike other data sets, medical data annotation, which is critical for accurate ground truth, requires medical domain expertise for a high-quality patient outcome. While accurate recommendation of decisions is vital in this context, making them in near real-time on devices with computational resource constraint requires that we build efficient, compact representations of models such as deep neural networks. While deeper and wider neural networks are designed for complex healthcare applications, model compression can be an effective way to deploy networks on medical devices that often have hardware and speed constraints. Most state-of-the-art model compression techniques require a resource centric manual process that explores a large model architecture space to find a trade-off solution between model size and accuracy. Recently, reinforcement learning (RL) approaches are proposed to automate such a hand-crafted process. However, most RL model compression algorithms are model-free which require longer time with no assumptions of the model. On the contrary, model-based (MB) approaches are data driven; have faster convergence but are sensitive to the bias in the model. In this work, we report on the use of reinforcement learning to mimic the decision-making process of annotators for medical events, to automate annotation and labelling. The reinforcement agent learns to annotate alarm data based on annotations done by an expert. Our method shows promising results on medical alarm data sets. We trained deep Q-network and advantage actor-critic agents using the data from monitoring devices that are annotated by an expert. Initial results from these RL agents learning the expert-annotated behavior are encouraging and promising. The advantage actor-critic agent performs better in terms of learning the sparse events in a given state, thereby choosing more right actions compared to deep Q-network agent. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reinforcement learning application for the automation of medical events annotation, which has far-reaching practical use. In addition, a data-driven model-based algorithm is developed, which integrates seamlessly with model-free RL approaches for automation of deep neural network model compression. We evaluate our algorithm on a variety of imaging data from dermoscopy to X-ray on different popular and public model architectures. Compared to model-free RL approaches, our approach achieves faster convergence; exhibits better generalization across different data sets; and preserves comparable model performance. The new RL methods' application to healthcare domain from this work for both false alarm detection and model compression is generic and can be applied to any domain where sequential decision making is partially random and practically controlled by the decision maker.


2019 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.

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artificial intelligence
AI assisted annotation
reinforcement learning


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