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Article Evaluating GAN-Based Image Augmentation for Threat Detec- tion in Large-Scale Xray Security Images Joanna Kazzandra Dumagpi * and Yong-Jin Jeong Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering, Kwangwoon University, Seoul 01897, Korea; email@example.com * Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract: The inherent imbalance in the data distribution of X-ray security images is one of the most challenging aspects of computer vision algorithms applied in this domain. Most of the prior studies in this field have ignored this aspect, limiting their application in the practical setting. This paper investigates the effect of employing Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN)-based image augmen- tation, or image synthesis, in improving the performance of computer vision algorithms on an im- balanced X-ray dataset. We used Deep Convolutional GAN (DCGAN) to generate new X-ray images of threat objects and Cycle-GAN to translate camera images of threat objects to X-ray images. We synthesized new X-ray security images by combining threat objects with background X-ray images, which are used to augment the dataset. Then, we trained various Faster (Region Based Convolu- tional Neural Network) R-CNN models using different augmentation approaches and evaluated their performance on a large-scale practical X-ray image dataset. Experiment results show that im- age synthesis is an effective approach to combating the imbalance problem by significantly reducing the false-positive rate (FPR) by up to 15.3%. The FPR is further improved by up to 19.9% by com- bining image synthesis and conventional image augmentation. Meanwhile, a relatively high true positive rate (TPR) of about 94% was maintained regardless of the augmentation method used. Keywords: GAN; image augmentation; image translation; threat detection; security; X-ray; deep learning Citation: Dumagpi, J.K.; Jeong, Y.-J. Evaluating GAN-Based Image Aug- mentation for Threat Detection in Large-Scale Xray Security Images. 1. Introduction Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010036 X-ray imaging has been an established technology used in various security systems deployed in ports, borders, and certain establishments . This technology offers a mech- Received: 30 November 2020 anism for nondestructive detection of concealed threats through the analysis of X-ray im- Accepted: 19 December 2020 ages , which is done by trained human inspectors. However, the consistent population Published: 23 December 2020 growth of travel passengers and the increased shipment of goods across borders demands a corresponding increase in efficiency and accuracy from security systems . Fortu- Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neu- nately, computer vision algorithms that were primarily developed for photographic im- tral with regard to jurisdictional ages have been adapted for X-ray security applications [4–7]. Convolutional Neural Net- claims in published maps and insti- work (CNN) is the current state-of-the-art approach to most computer vision problems, tutional affiliations. which has been through several architectural evolutions [8–10]. Such algorithms provide a means to automate tasks in X-ray security systems, which can be used to provide sup- plementary aid to human inspectors. A detection algorithm, when used as an automation tool in security systems, must Copyright: © 2020 by the author. Li- have a low false-positive rate (FPR), wherein positive means a threat is present in the censee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. image, in order to gain higher confidence from human inspectors. Otherwise, human in- This article is an open access article spectors will generally tend to ignore the predictions. Moreover, a detection algorithm distributed under the terms and con- ditions of the Creative Commons At- with low FPR is necessary so as not to negatively impact the efficiency of the entire pro- tribution (CC BY) license (http://cre- cedure by falsely sending benign baggage to manual inspections. Understandably, a ativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010036 www.mdpi.com/journal/applsci Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 2 of 21 detection algorithm is expected to have a high true-positive rate (TPR) if it is to be used in practical applications where the safety of all parties involved are of utmost important . CNN-based approaches have been shown to achieve up to 100% TPR and 0% FPR for recognizing the presence of threats on particular X-ray datasets . However, it must be noted that the datasets used in this research, and in most related studies, are not reflective of the practical conditions in X-ray security systems. Unlike the huge datasets for camera images [12–14], prior studies used X-ray image datasets are significantly smaller in size [3,15,16], which may not accurately represent the images found in the practical setting. Specifically, these datasets failed to capture the imbalanced nature of the distribution be- tween positive samples, images that contain at least one threat, and negative samples, images that do not contain any threat, among other characteristics. To address this issue, the first large-scale X-ray security image database was made publicly available and it was shown that CNN-based detection model fails to achieve state-of-the-art performance in the presence of the imbalance problem . An imbalanced dataset is defined as a dataset where some classes severely out rep- resent other classes in terms of population . By this definition, X-ray image datasets are inherently imbalanced datasets since it is far less likely to encounter threat objects compared to normal objects during baggage screening. However, imbalanced data distri- bution is a major problem for conventional learning algorithms as such algorithms assume equal distribution between classes. During training, the imbalanced distribution biases the conventional algorithm to always predict the majority class, which is a serious prob- lem since the misclassification cost of the minority class is significantly higher. On the other hand, removing the majority class during training biases the conventional algorithm to always predict the minority class, which causes the model to be extremely inefficient to be used in practical applications. A possible approach to the class imbalance problem is image augmentation, which is a group of techniques that enhances the size of an image dataset by creating new images . Such techniques have been used to offset the effect of overfitting, especially when training models for highly-specific tasks where data is nat- urally scarce [20–22]. Conventional image augmentation techniques, which we refer to from hereafter as image transformation, include rotating, cropping, flipping, shearing, resizing, and applying any transformation to the original image. Recently, techniques based on Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) , which we refer to from hereafter as image synthesis, have been used to augment image datasets by generating completely new and unseen images that are sampled from the training set distribution. In the context of imbalance, image augmentation of the minority class is considered an oversampling approach, wherein the goal is to either balance the dataset or allow the learning algorithm to see the minority class more frequently. In this paper, we investigate the effects of using GAN-based image augmentation ap- proaches to improve the performance of a threat detection model based on Faster-RCNN  on a large-scale and imbalanced X-ray security dataset, also referred to as a practical X- ray dataset. We adapt a Deep Convolutional GAN (DCGAN) model  to generate new X- ray images of threat objects and a Cycle-GAN model to translate X-ray images of threat objects from their camera image counterparts. We create new X-ray security images by over- lapping the new X-ray images of threat objects to benign X-ray images of baggage scans. These new images are used to augment the training set. The main contributions of this paper are as follows: (a) the use of image augmentation specifically to address the class imbalance problem in a practical X-ray dataset, (b) the development of an image augmentation ap- proach that takes into account the internal distribution of each threat object and their in- stances, (c) the exhaustive evaluation of image synthesis approaches against image transfor- mation, and (d) the combination of image synthesis and image transformation approaches to enlarge the X-ray security image dataset. Experiment results indicate that image synthesis significantly improves the FPR by up to 15.3% on the dataset that closely resembles a prac- tical X-ray dataset. The FPR is further improved by up to 19.9% on the same dataset by combining image synthesis and image transformation. Conversely, we observed that when Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 3 of 21 the model already achieves a relatively high TPR, using any image augmentation approach does not provide any further improvements. Overall, the best performance is achieved when image transformation is used simultaneously with any image synthesis approach, which altogether balances a high TPR and a low FPR. This paper is organized as follows: Section 2 briefly reviews the related works. Section 3 provides a description of the properties of the imbalanced dataset. Section 4 discusses the augmentation approaches used in this study. Section 5 describes the details of the experi- ments, evaluation criteria, and results. Section 6 presents the conclusions of this study. 2. Related Works In this section, we review prior studies that attempted to solve the class imbalance problem in large scale X-ray security images and the previous works that used GAN- based image augmentation to enlarge the training set. A class-imbalance hierarchical refinement approach was proposed in  to improve the performance of a classification model on a large-scale and imbalanced dataset. The authors used CNN to approximate a function that is supposed to get rid of elements in the feature map that do not have a strong relationship with the target classes. They imple- mented this in each level of the convolution operation hierarchy and employed a loss function designed to reduce the noise caused by the negative samples. This approach achieved a 5.65% improvement when used on a ResNet-50  backbone model. In a pre- vious work , we adapted an anomaly detection approach to further improve the per- formance of a model for X-ray threat classification task on the same practical dataset. We trained three models in three separate stages. The first stage focused on maximizing the classification performance of a backbone CNN by training it only on an ideal dataset, i.e., a dataset with a balanced distribution of positive and negative classes. The second stage focused on training a Bidirectional GAN (Bi-GAN)  using only the features extracted by the backbone CNN from negative samples. In the final stage, an SVM model  is trained to classify whether the features generated by the Bi-GAN model belongs to a pos- itive or a negative sample. These three models worked together at test time to achieve a 6.32% improvement compared to the plain a ResNet-50  classifier. The study conducted in  used an image augmentation approach based on GAN to improve the classification performance of a CNN model on X-ray images of threat ob- jects. They trained a GAN model to generate new X-ray images of threat objects and used the images to augment the training set. Their approach achieved a marginal improvement compared to the model trained on the original training set. This could be attributed to the simplicity of the task, which is just a ten-class image classification problem, where most deep learning algorithms already achieve a very good performance. The work done in  also used GAN variants to generate new images of threat objects, which were used to create entirely new X-ray security images. They adapted a Self-Attention GAN (SAGAN)  model to generate new images of threat objects and a Cycle-GAN  model to trans- late camera images of threat objects to the X-ray image counterpart. Then, they augmented the X-ray security image training set by combining the generated and translated images of X-ray threats with normal X-ray images from baggage scans. Their method improved the detection performance of a Single-Shot Detector (SSD)  model on a seven-class problem by 5.6% compared to the model trained on the original training set. However, it must be noted that in both studies, the datasets used were not only collected in an ideal laboratory setting but are also extremely small and balanced, even after the augmentation. Hence, their approach may still not effectively scale to the real-world X-ray security sys- tems. Furthermore, in the latter study, it was not clear how much contribution can be credited to the new X-ray security images that contain the translated X-ray images of threats, since it only comprised 4.5% of the already small training subset. Prior studies that address the imbalance problem focused on improving the perfor- mance of a classification model. In this paper, we focus on evaluating the performance of detection models on imbalanced datasets since threat detection is a more practical task in Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 4 of 21 X-ray security systems. Moreover, while our augmentation approach bears similarities to the approach used in , we emphasize the differences in model architectures, training setups, and, specifically, the sampling procedure we used in image synthesis, which en- sures that we do not introduce any bias in the augmentation process. Furthermore, we highlight that we do not just use image synthesis to augment the dataset, but more im- portantly, we evaluate its effectiveness as viable a solution to the imbalance problem in practical X-ray datasets. 3. The Imbalanced Dataset In this section, we discuss the key properties of the imbalanced dataset used in this study and how these properties affect the way we synthesize new X-ray security images. We provide additional observations and insights on this dataset that were not presented in prior studies. We used the largest publicly available database for X-ray security images known as the SIXray dataset . This dataset is comprised of images collected in real-world security sys- tem setups, specifically subway stations. As a result, the collected dataset mirrors the highly imbalanced nature of the distribution between positive and negative samples. Only 8929 positive samples are collected, which is extremely small when compared to more than one million negative samples collected. The dataset is further divided into three subsets, namely SIXray10, SIXray100, and SIXray1000, each representing an imbalance ratio of 10%, 1%, and 0.1% between the positive samples and negative samples, respectively. Among these sub- sets, SIXray100 is said to be the one that closely mirrors the practical setting. A positive sam- ple contains at least one or a combination of the following identified threats: gun, knife, wrench, pliers, scissors. Hence, a sample can be classified to belong to multiple classes. The distribution of classes in the entire dataset is shown in Figure 1, while the distributions of classes for each of the subsets are shown in Figure 2.  also explored the distribution of the samples in terms of aspect ratio and area of the image. They showed that even in these external properties, the distribution is heavily skewed. This could indicate that the size and type of baggage can also determine the presence of threats since both these properties reflect in the aspect ratio and area of the X-ray image scan. Moreover, we provide additional information about the dataset, specifically for the threat detection task. It is important to know the key characteristics of the training set so that we can preserve these properties even after the augmentation to avoid introducing any bias, which was not considered by the prior studies. Figure 3 shows the distribution of the threat count per image. We observed that it is more common to see only one or two threat objects present in one image, which is consistent with the idea that bringing more prohibited items increases the risk of being discovered. However, there are still small probabilities of more threat objects appearing in a single image. On the other hand, Figure 4 shows the distribution of instances per threat. Similarly, regardless of the kind of threat, we can generally expect to see either one or two instances of that threat in a single image. The positive samples in the training and testing datasets for the SIXray10 and SIXray100 subsets are the same. The only difference between the two subsets is the negative samples in terms of the sample size and the images included. When synthesizing new X-ray secu- rity images, we made sure that our sampling procedures are consistent with the data dis- tributions presented in this section. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 5 of 21 Figure 1. Class distribution of all the images in the SIXray dataset. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Figure 2. Class distribution of all the images in the following subsets: (a) SIXray10 training set. (b) SIXray10 test set. (c) SIXray100 training set. (d) SIXray100 test set. (e) SIXray1000 training set. (f) SIXray1000 test set. (a) (b) Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 6 of 21 (c) (d) Figure 3. Distribution of threat count per image for (a) SIXray10/100 training set, (b) SIXray10/100 test set, (c) SIXray1000 training set, and (d) SIXray1000 test set. (a) (b) (c) (d) Figure 4. Distribution of instances per threat for (a) SIXray10/100 training set, (b) SIXray10/100 test set, (c) SIXray1000 training set, and (d) SIXray1000 test set. 4. Image Augmentation In this section, we discuss the augmentation approaches used in this study. We group the approaches into two main categories, namely image transformation, and image syn- thesis, as shown in Figure 5. Image transformation is the conventional approach that cre- ates new images from the positive samples by changing their properties using various manipulation techniques. Image synthesis is the recent approach that creates new images from both samples by extracting threat information from the positive samples and com- bining it with the information from the negative samples. The following subsections ex- plain how these approaches are used to augment the dataset used to train the threat de- tection model. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 7 of 21 Figure 5. Image augmentation taxonomy. 4.1. Image Transformation Despite the many possible ways that images can be manipulated, we only chose a few techniques that are relevant to realistic X-ray security system applications. For in- stance, we did not use color space transformation, adding random noise, or shearing be- cause these would lead to images that are inconsistent in the practical context. X-ray im- ages coming from a single machine should be in the same color space, should be of the same visual quality, and should not show any distortions. Instead, we used horizontal and vertical flipping so that the model can learn to detect threats that come in various orientations, and we used various scaling ratios so that the model can learn to detect threats that come in various sizes, as shown in Figure 6. For this approach, we can only use images from the positive samples since only these images contain the target objects needed to be learned. (a) (b) (c) Figure 6. Image transformation. (a) Original image. (b) Flipped images. (c) Scaled images. 4.2. Image Generation Currently, it is still not practical to directly use GANs to create X-ray security images since these models generally have a hard time recreating fine details in the images, such as threat objects. Instead, we first train a GAN to produce new X-ray images of threat objects. Then we combine these with images from the negative samples to create an en- tirely new X-ray security image, i.e., a positive sample. In this section, we describe the first approach used to create new X-ray images of threat, which is called image generation. First, we sampled 1000 images from the positive samples and manually segmented the threat objects from these images, as shown in Figure 7. We extracted a total of 1783 threat objects, of which 451, 306, 424, 436, and 166 are guns, knives, wrenches, pliers, and scissors, respectively. We adapted a DCGAN as our image generation model and used all the extracted threat objects as the training input. DCGAN is one of the earliest methods that has been effective for generating images because it applies convolution layers, which preserves spatial information. Since then, more sophisticated GAN architectures, that are built on the foundations of DCGAN, have been proposed to generate better quality im- ages. We chose to use DCGAN in this study to get the lower bound of the results. The architecture of our image generation model is shown in Figure 8. The discriminator net- work, D, consists of six convolution blocks, accepts 256 × 256 images as inputs, and out- puts a scalar value, which determines whether the input is determined to be real or fake. The generator network, G, consists of six deconvolution blocks, which uses transposed convolutions , accepts a 100-dimensional random noise vector, z, as input, and outputs a 256 × 256 X-ray image of a threat object. We used a separate DCGAN model for each Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 8 of 21 threat object. The parameters of the discriminator and generator are updated in an alter- nating manner using the adversarial objective  defined in Equation (1). ℒ (𝐺, 𝐷, 𝑥, 𝑧 ) = 𝔼 log 𝐷 (𝑥 ) + 𝔼 log(1 − 𝐷(𝐺(𝑧))) , (1) ~ ( ) ~ ( ) wherein x is the input sampled from the dataset of real images. The discriminator tries to correctly classify the input image by minimizing the loss, while the generator tries to gen- erate realistic X-ray images of threat by maximizing the loss. We trained the image gener- ation models for 20,000 iterations with a batch size of 16 using Adam optimizer  with a learning rate of 0.0002, 𝛽 of 0.5 and 𝛽 of 0.999. Figure 9 shows some samples of the generated X-ray images of threat objects from each class. To evaluate the visual quality of the generated images, we used FID score , which calculates the Fréchet distance be- tween two Gaussians fitted to feature representations of a pretrained Inception network. Lower FID scores indicate closer similarity in the characteristics of two datasets in terms of image quality and visual diversity. Table 1 shows the FID scores we got from compar- ing the generated X-ray images of threat objects to that of the real X-ray images of threat objects, which is about the expected FID score when using DCGANs . Table 1. FID Scores for each class of the generated threat objects. Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors 109 118 103 111 169 Figure 7. Samples of manually extracted threat objects. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 9 of 21 Figure 8. Image generation model. 𝝃 is the cost function, which is the average of the losses per minibatch. Figure 9. Samples of generated X-ray images of threat objects. 4.3. Image Translation In this section, we describe our second approach used to create new X-ray security images of threats called image translation. Instead of using the extracted threat objects from the positive samples, we used camera images of threats objects as inputs to the image translation model. The goal of this model is to convert the camera images of threat objects to X-ray images. By doing this, we introduce more intra-class diversity for each threat object since there are far more camera images of threat objects than X-ray images. For instance, we observed that there only 9 types of gun present in the SIXray dataset, but we have collected more than 600 camera images of unique types of gun. First, we scraped the internet for camera images of threats objects on a plain white background, as shown in Figure 10. We collected a total of 1670 camera images of threat objects, of which 662, 353, 234, 366, and 55 are guns, knives, wrenches, pliers, and scissors, Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 10 of 21 respectively. We adapted a Cycle-GAN model as our image translation model. We chose Cycle-GAN for image translation to get the lower bound of the results since it is one ear- liest works in unpaired image-to-image translation. Moreover, prior translation models require paired training data, which is impossible to collect for this study where the X-ray images have been already collected. Cycle-GAN allows for the usage of camera images of threat objects even though they are not the exact counterpart of the X-ray images of threat objects. Figure 11 shows the architecture of the image translation model, which is made up of two sets of GANs with the same structure. The discriminators, DA and DB, are each composed of four convolution blocks, accepts 256 × 256 images as inputs, and outputs a scalar value, which determines whether the input was determined real or fake. The gen- erators, GA and GB, are encoder-style networks whose inputs and outputs are 256 × 256 images. Each generator is composed of three convolutional blocks at the input side, nine ResNet blocks  in the middle, and three deconvolutional blocks, which uses transposed convolutions, at the output side. Similarly, we used a separate Cycle-GAN model for each threat object. GA is tasked to translate camera images of threat objects to the equivalent X- ray images, and DA is tasked to tell whether the input is a real or fake X-ray image of the threat object. GB is tasked to translate X-ray images of threat objects to the equivalent cam- era images, and DB is tasked to tell whether the input is a real or fake camera image of the threat object. Each of these GAN pairs is also trained alternately with the same adversarial loss defined in Equation (1), except that in this case, the input to the generator is no longer a random noise vector but images sampled from another domain. A cycle consistency loss, defined in Equation (2), is added to ensure that the generated images are strictly the equiv- alent of the input images and not a random permutation of images in the target domain. ℒ (𝐺 ,𝐺 ) = 𝔼 (𝑥 )−𝑥 + 𝔼 (𝑦 )−𝑦 , (2) ~ ( ) ~ ( ) wherein x is the input sampled from the camera images of threat objects, and y is the input sampled from X-ray images of threat objects. This loss function implies that an image sam- pled from one domain, when translated to another domain and translated back to its origi- nal domain, should be the exact reconstruction of the original image. We trained the image translation model for 100 epochs with a batch size of 1 using Adam optimizer with a learn- ing rate of 0.0002, 𝛽 of 0.5 and 𝛽 of 0.999. Figure 12 shows some samples of the generated X-ray images of threat objects from each class. Similarly, we show the FID scores comparing the translated X-ray images of threat objects to that of the real X-ray images of threat objects in Table 2. The FID scores are relatively smaller because translated images often have better quality than generated images since the inputs to the Cycle-GAN are camera images, which generally have significantly higher quality than the X-ray images. Table 2. FID Scores for each class of the translated threat objects. Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors 92 106 86 62 130 𝐺 𝐺 𝐺 𝐺 Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 11 of 21 Figure 10. Samples of camera images of threat objects. Figure 11. Image translation model. 𝜉 is the cost function, which is the average of the losses per minibatch. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 12 of 21 Figure 12. Sample of translated X-ray images of threat objects. 4.4. Image Synthesis In this section, we discuss our process of creating entirely new X-ray security images by combining the generated and translated X-ray images of threat objects with the images from the negative samples. First, we randomly selected 10,000 images from the negative samples of the combined training sets of all subsets, as shown in Figure 13. Then we sampled from the distribution of threat count per image. Next, we selected the type of threat from the class distribution of threats then sampled from the distribution of instances for that threat. If the count of instances is greater than the count of threats, we use the count of threats as the upper bound. On the other hand, if the count of instances is less than the count of threats, we need to select another type of threat from the class distribution of threats excluding the threats already selected. Then, we need to sample again from the distribution of instances for the newly selected threat until we complete the counts of threats per image. Knowing the exact count and type of threats, we then randomly select images from the dataset of generated or translated X-ray images of threat objects and blend it with an image from the 10,000 negative samples in a similar manner done in . Another distinction in our ap- proach is that we do not just randomly select locations in the image to place the threats, instead the location of the threats is randomly selected from the allowed areas in the image defined by the high-density regions found using the method described in . Without this step, threats might appear outside of the baggage, which is unrealistic. We repeat this process until we have combined all 10,000 images of the negative samples with the gen- erated and translated X-ray images of threat objects, respectively. Figures 14 and 15 show samples of the synthesized images. Figure 13. Sample of images from the negative samples. Figure 14. Sample of synthesized images using generated threat objects. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 13 of 21 Figure 15. Sample of synthesized images using translated threat objects. 5. Experiment Results and Discussions In this section, we discuss the metrics used for evaluation, the details of the experi- ment setup, and the analysis of the results. 5.1. Evaluation Metrics We evaluate the threat detection model using mean Average Precision (AP)  and Log Average Miss Rate (LAMR) , defined in Equations (3) and (4), respectively. AP is the area under the curve (AUC) of the precision-recall curve calculated for each class of threat objects, and the overall performance of the model is represented by the mean across all classes of threat objects. 𝐴 𝑃= (𝑟 − 𝑟 ) 𝑝 (𝑟 ) (3) ( ) where 𝑟 is the recall, 𝑝 is the interpolated precision given by 𝑝 𝑟 = max 𝑝(𝑟 ̃ ), wherein p is the precision at 𝑟 ̃ , and n includes all the recall points. This metric is one of the most popular metrics used to evaluate object detection models. LAMR is the AUC of the miss rate-false positives per image (FPPI) curve calculated for each class of threat objects, and the overall performance of the model is represented by the mean across all classes of threat objects. ∑ ( ) (4) 𝐿𝐴𝑀𝑅 = 𝑒𝑥𝑝 where a is a positive value corresponding to the miss rate at n evenly spaced FPPI points −2 0 in log-space, between 10 and 10 . This metric is often used in detection tasks where fail- ure to detect the target must be avoided at high costs. To draw further comparisons to the original work on the SIXray dataset, we also used the Localization Accuracy (LA) defined in Equation (5). A hit is counted if the intersection- over-union (IoU) of the detected and the ground truth bounding boxes is at least 50%, and a miss is counted, otherwise. # 𝑜𝑓 ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝐿𝐴 = (5) # 𝑜𝑓 ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑠 + # 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑠 Finally, we inspect the effect of augmentation at the image level by observing the TPR and FPR defined in Equations (6) and (7), respectively. A detection is considered True Positive (TP) if the model detected at least one threat object in a positive sample, False Positive (FP) if the model detected at least one threat object in a negative sample, False Negative (FN) if the model did not detect any threat object in a positive sample and True Negative (TN) if the model did not detect any threat in a negative sample. (6) 𝑇𝑃𝑅 = + 𝑁𝐹 (7) 𝐹𝑃𝑅 = + 𝑁𝑇 𝐹𝑃 𝐹𝑃 𝑇𝑃 𝑇𝑃 Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 14 of 21 5.2. Experiment Setup We adapted a Faster-RCNN  detection model for the task of detecting five types of threat objects in X-ray security images. We used ResNet50 , with pre-trained weights from ImageNet , as the backbone network. We trained the model for 30 epochs with a batch size of 8 using Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) with a learning rate of 0.000125 and a momentum of 0.9. We trained eight detection models, which varies only with the augmentation ap- proach used during training. The baseline approach (Base) used only the positive samples from the training set without any additional augmentation. The image translation ap- proach (Transl) used the positive samples from the training set and 10,000 synthesized images containing the translated X-ray images of threat objects. The image generation ap- proach (Gen) used the positive samples from the training set and 10,000 synthesized im- ages containing the generated X-ray images of threat objects. The image transformation approach (Transf) applies random flipping and resizing to all images in the training set. Different variations of the combinations of these approaches make up the rest of the trained detection models. When augmenting the training set using the combined image synthesis approaches (Gen + Transl), we sampled 5000 synthesized images containing the translated X-ray images of threat objects and 5000 synthesized images containing the gen- erated X-ray images of threat objects. 5.3. Experiment Results In this section, we present the results of the experiments, along with our interpreta- tions. At test time, we used all the images in the test set of all SIXray subsets, which in- cludes both positive and negative samples. Tables 3–5 show the mean AP of the detection model for the SIXray10, SIXray100, and SIXray1000 subsets, respectively. The gun class has relatively higher AP compared to the other classes, likely because these threat objects tend to have more district features compared to the other classes. For instance, a knife or a wrench can easily be mistaken for a harmless metal rod that makes up the framework of the luggage. Additionally, guns make up a large part of the class distribution of threats objects. Consequently, scissors are the least represented class among all the threat objects, and it has the least AP across all subsets. The overall model performance indicates that using either image transformation or any of the image synthesis approaches brought almost the same performance gain across all subsets. Thus, image transformation and image synthesis seem provide about the same quality of additional information to the threat detection model. However, it can also be observed that combining image synthesis and image transformation provides the most performance gain, which implies that the additional information from either ap- proach boosts the performance of the detection model in different way. Furthermore, it appears that the specific approach to image synthesis does not heavily impact perfor- mance improvement. The kind of information provided by each approach and how these different information combines to further enhance the overall performance of the threat detection model is revealed by analyzing the results from other metrics. Meanwhile, as the level of imbalance increases, we also achieve increased performance gain with all the approaches, which indicates that augmentation is an effective method that can be used with other methods to combat the class-imbalance problem. Table 3. Mean Average Precision for SIXray10. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean Base 81 48 48 60 40 55.4 Base + Transf 83 55 53 66 48 61.0 Transl 83 52 49 62 59 61.0 Gen 83 61 49 62 47 60.4 Gen + Transl 84 60 50 64 49 61.4 Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 15 of 21 Transl + Transf 83 64 52 66 60 65.0 Gen + Transf 84 65 57 67 57 66.0 Gen + Transl + Transf 88 65 57 67 59 67.2 Table 4. Mean Average Precision for SIXray100. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean Base 67 21 22 31 9 30.0 Base + Transf 74 36 24 35 16 37.0 Transl 78 38 22 31 16 37.0 Gen 77 44 22 32 13 37.6 Gen + Transl 78 41 22 33 15 37.8 Transl + Transf 81 47 27 39 23 43.4 Gen + Transf 82 53 29 39 21 44.8 Gen + Transl + Transf 84 49 28 39 21 44.2 Table 5. Mean Average Precision for SIXray1000. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean Base 50 11 9 10 4 16.8 Base + Transf 67 23 14 15 10 25.8 Transl 67 31 13 14 10 27.0 Gen 72 40 14 12 9 29.4 Gen + Transl 70 31 12 12 11 27.2 Transl + Transf 76 36 16 14 17 31.8 Gen + Transf 77 44 17 15 17 34.0 Gen + Transl + Transf 79 42 16 15 14 33.2 Tables 6–8 show the LAMR of the detection model for the SIXray10, SIXray100, and SIXray1000 subsets, respectively. For this metric, lower values indicate better perfor- mance. We obtain similar observations as we had with the mean AP metric. However, with LAMR, the performance gain we obtain as the level of imbalance increases is differ- ent. There is a performance drop from 12.5% to 10% from SIXray10 to SIXray100 and no further improvement from SIXray100 to SIXray1000. The reason for this is that LAMR focuses more on the detection of threat objects in the positive samples. Unlike AP, it is not heavily affected by the imbalance in the dataset caused by the negative samples. Never- theless, the results show that using both image synthesis and image transformation still gives the best performance in this metric. Thus, making the model more reliable in terms of detecting threat objects when they are present in the image. Next, we looked at the localization accuracy of the threat detection model trained on the augmented dataset compared to the previous approaches, shown in Tables 9–11 for the SIXray10, SIXray100, and SIXray1000 subsets, respectively. The baseline approach, which is a class activation map (CAM)  attached to a classification model, and the proposed approach in  were both significantly underperforming when compared to the Faster-RCNN trained on both original and augmented dataset. This is because Faster- RCNN is explicitly tuned to the object detection task, while the first two approaches de- rived the bounding box predictions indirectly by tracing the gradients of the most discri- minant features in the image. This metric only evaluates the detection rate of the model for each instance in the positive sample. Thus, the test set for the SIXray10 and SIXray100 subsets are the same. Since object detection models are only trained on the positive sam- ples, which are also the same images for both SIXray10 and SIXray100 training sets, we observe the same performance from the models in both subsets. In contrast, classification models are heavily affected by the imbalance in both training and testing, as reflected by their performance on this metric, which progressively decreases as the level of imbalance Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 16 of 21 increases. Nevertheless, using both augmentation techniques still proved to give the best performance in this metric on all levels of imbalance. Table 6. Log Average Miss Rate (%) for SIXray10. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean Base 31 68 71 61 75 61.2 Base + Transf 28 57 68 53 67 54.6 Transl 23 59 71 58 66 55.4 Gen 23 55 71 59 72 56.0 Gen + Transl 21 55 72 56 69 54.6 Transl + Transf 19 47 68 54 59 49.4 Gen + Transf 19 45 64 53 63 48.8 Gen + Transl + Transf 15 49 64 53 62 48.6 Table 7. Log Average Miss Rate (%) for SIXray100. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean Base 49 84 85 80 84 76.4 Base + Transf 41 76 83 77 81 71.6 Transl 34 77 85 80 84 72.0 Gen 34 73 85 80 87 71.8 Gen + Transl 34 75 84 79 85 71.4 Transl + Transf 27 71 85 77 82 68.4 Gen + Transf 24 65 83 77 84 66.6 Gen + Transl + Transf 22 67 82 77 82 66.0 Table 8. Log Average Miss Rate (%) for SIXray1000. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean Base 64 89 87 91 84 83.0 Base + Transf 49 84 87 88 83 78.2 Transl 51 82 88 90 85 79.2 Gen 44 76 89 91 76 75.2 Gen + Transl 46 83 88 90 86 78.6 Transl + Transf 40 79 87 89 83 75.6 Gen + Transf 34 74 86 89 81 72.8 Gen + Transl + Transf 34 74 88 88 84 73.6 Table 9. Localization Accuracy (%) for SIXray10. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean ResNet50  64 57 50 69 17 51.4 ResNet50+CHR  69 59 54 77 16 54.9 Faster-RCNN  86 72 68 77 79 76.4 Faster-RCNN+AUG 86 74 73 79 78 78.0 AUG means a combination of image transformation and image synthesis as image augmentation. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 17 of 21 Table 10. Localization Accuracy (%) for SIXray100. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean ResNet50  48 53 28 40 2 34.1 ResNet50+CHR  58 49 41 50 15 42.7 Faster-RCNN  86 72 68 77 79 76.4 Faster-RCNN+AUG 86 74 73 79 78 78.0 AUG means a combination of image transformation and image synthesis as image augmentation. Table 11. Localization Accuracy (%) for SIXray1000. Approach Gun Knife Wrench Pliers Scissors Mean ResNet50  42 49 2 20 3 26.7 ResNet50+CHR  61 37 22 21 14 31.0 Faster-RCNN  82 63 71 48 80 68.8 Faster-RCNN+AUG 87 62 68 60 79 71.2 AUG means a combination of image transformation and image synthesis as image augmentation. Finally, the image-level performance of the detection model is summarized in Tables 12 and 13. As an automation tool in X-ray security systems, the best approach is the one in which the TPR is high, and the FPR is low. These metrics give us more insight into the individual impact of image transformation and image synthesis in improving the perfor- mance of the detection model. Since we cannot calculate the FPR in an object detection task due to not knowing the exact quantity of true negatives, we instead calculate the FPR and TPR at the image level. The TPR is positively influenced by image transformation because this approach fo- cuses on strengthening the model’s understanding of the threats that are present in the training set by creating new images of different perspectives that these threats might ap- pear. Since the threats and the context under which they appear, which are learned from the training set, are expected to appear in the test set, the model is better equipped at detecting them causing a performance boost. On the other hand, image synthesis ap- proaches are shown to have little to no effect on the TPR because the information provided by these approaches does not have a strong tie to the threats that are present in the test set. Image synthesis approaches provide information about threat objects that are not pre- sent in the test set since the generated and translated threat objects are completely new. Not only are the threat objects different, but the context in which they appear, i.e., the type of baggage and other objects in the background, are also completely new and does not appear in the test set as well. In some cases, image synthesis might even degrade the TPR by overwhelming the detector with information that does not appear in the test set. On the contrary, the strength of image synthesis approaches can be largely attributed to the improvement in the FPR, where image synthesis approaches significantly outperform the image transformation approach. It is likely that the baseline model tries to fit previously unseen objects in the background to any of the threat object classes it has learned. Threat detection models are only trained on images that contains threats. Therefore, they are more likely to associate normal objects from negative samples as threats. Since image transformation only uses the information from the positive samples, it did not prevent the model from assuming previously unseen normal objects are threat objects causing the FPR to not improve or even worsen. When we used images from negative samples as the back- ground and blended them with the generated or translated X-ray images of threat objects, the model was able to better differentiate the threat objects against several examples of normal objects that usually only appears in the images found from the negative samples causing significant improvement in the FPR. By observing the TPR and FPR, we can fur- ther infer that the information provided by any of the image synthesis approaches is the same since all of them brings about the same improvement. Hence, one can choose to use any of the image synthesis approaches and expect to get the same results. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 18 of 21 Some variations in the results shown for the SIXray1000 dataset can be attributed to its relatively smaller training set, which is in relation to its unrealistically extreme case of imbalance. For instance, Table 12 demonstrates that the TPR is substantially improved by using image transformation in SIXray10 and SIXray100 subsets. However, in the SIXray1000 subset, image transformation slightly degraded the TPR. The two smaller sub- sets have about 7500 positive samples in the training set, whereas there are only about 3500 positive samples in the training set for the SIXray1000 subset, which may not have been able to visually represent the types of threats present in the test set. Thus, when im- age transformation is added during training, the model was limited to detect the kinds of threats that are learnt from the training set but were not represented in the test set, causing the slight degradation in the TPR performance. Moreover, the improvement of the FPR in the SIXray1000, as shown in Table 13, can also be explained by the smaller training set, wherein the model was less confident in associating normal objects to threat objects given its limited knowledge. Regardless, we still observe that image augmentation approaches generally have the same effect to this largest subset. Image transformation improves the model performance by ensuring the detection of threat objects when they are present in the image, but it does not help the detector to avoid frequently misclassifying normal objects as threats. Image synthesis improves the model performance by significantly reducing the association of normal objects to threat objects when there are none in the image, but it can also negatively affect the ability of the model to detect threat objects if the information from the synthesized images dominates over the in- formation from real images. These are the important trade-offs to keep in mind when using image augmentation in a practical dataset. Consequently, when image transformation and any image synthesis approach are used together (such as in Transl + Transf, Gen + Transf, and Gen + Transl + Transf), we obtain the best overall detection performance by essentially combining the individual strengths of these approaches. The combined image synthesis and image transformation approaches balances a high TPR and low FPR across all subsets, which has been supported by the results we obtained from the previous metrics. Table 12. True Positive Rate (%) across subsets. Approach SIXray10/100 SIXray1000 Base 94.5 91.2 Base + Transf 96.6 89.3 Transl 94.6 90.7 Gen 93.7 86.9 Gen + Transl 95.0 91.1 Transl + Transf 92.8 92.2 Gen + Transf 92.8 91.0 Gen + Transl + Transf 94.4 90.9 Table 13. False Positive Rate (%) across subsets. Approach SIXray10 SIXray100 SIXray1000 Base 26.3 25.8 29.8 Base + Transf 26.9 26.6 21.0 Transl 12.9 12.6 9.7 Gen 10.2 10.5 5.7 Gen + Transl 12.5 12.5 10.0 Transl + Transf 6.6 6.6 7.8 Gen + Transf 5.9 5.9 7.7 Gen + Transl + Transf 7.8 7.7 6.8 6. Conclusions Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 36 19 of 21 In this paper, we evaluated the impact of GAN-based image augmentation, also called image synthesis, in the detection performance on a practical X-ray security image dataset. We described the details of our image synthesis approach, which takes into con- sideration the internal distribution of threats in the existing training set such that we do not introduce bias during the learning phase. We found that image synthesis significantly improves the FPR by up to 15.3% on the SIXray100 subset, which closely resembles a practical X-ray security dataset. This perfor- mance gain was due to the model gaining more information about the differences between normal and threat objects from the synthesized images. The FPR is further improved by up to 19.9% on the SIXray100 subset by combining image synthesis with image transfor- mation, which enlarged the dataset even more and generated new perspectives of both the normal and threat objects. On the other hand, we observed that using any image aug- mentation approach does not significantly impact the TPR, especially when the model already achieves relatively high TPR. Overall, the best performance is achieved when im- age transformation is used simultaneously with any image synthesis approach. In conclusion, GAN-based image augmentation is an effective approach to combat the class-imbalance problem. When used as a supplementary automation tool, the signif- icant reduction of the FPR enables human screeners to trust more on the predictions of the detection algorithm, which in turn increases the efficiency of the security procedures. In- advertently, this improvement did not come at the expense of the TPR, which remained relatively high, making threat detection models more suitable in practical applications. The potential benefits can be further maximized by using GAN-based augmentation to- gether with other approaches. Future research in this field includes developing an automatic and more realistic threat image projection models that also considers the differences in the orientation, color scheme, and other properties of threat objects with respect to the background, which could significantly improve not only the FPR but also TPR; hence, the overall performance of a detection model. 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