Transfer Learning based Classification of Diabetic Retinopathy on the Kaggle EyePACS dataset

Maria Tariq, Vasile Palade, YingLiang Ma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Severe stages of diabetes can eventually lead to an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. It is one of the leading causes of temporary visual disability and permanent blindness. There is no cure for this disease other than a proper treatment in the early stages. Five stages of diabetic retinopathy are discussed in this paper that need to be detected followed by a proper treatment. Transfer learning is used to detect the grades of diabetic retinopathy in eye fundus images, without training from scratch. The Kaggle EyePACS dataset is one of the largest datasets available publicly for experimentation. In our work, an extensive study on the Kaggle EyePACS dataset is carried out using the pre-trained models ResNet50 and DenseNet121. The Aptos dataset is also used in comparison with this dataset to examine the performance of the pre-trained models. Different experiments are performed to analyze the images from the different classes in the Kaggle EyePACS dataset. This dataset has significant challenges including image noise, imbalanced classes, and incorrect annotations. Our work highlights potential problems within the dataset and the conflicts between the classes. A clustering technique is used to get informative images from the normal class to improve the model’s accuracy to 70%.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging and Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of 2022 International Conference on Medical Imaging and Computer-Aided Diagnosis (MICAD 2022)
EditorsRuidan Su, Yudong Zhang, Han Liu, Alejandro F. Frangi
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-16-6775-6
ISBN (Print)978-981-16-6774-9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2023
EventThe 3rd International Conference on Medical Imaging and Computer-Aided Diagnosis - University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Nov 202221 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Electrical Engineering (LNEE)


ConferenceThe 3rd International Conference on Medical Imaging and Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Abbreviated titleMICAD2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Deep learning
  • Fine tuning
  • Kaggle EyePACS
  • Pre-trained models
  • Transfer learning

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