Understanding metric-related pitfalls in image analysis validation

Annika Reinke, Minu D. Tizabi, Michael Baumgartner, Matthias Eisenmann, Doreen Heckmann-Nötzel, A. Emre Kavur, Tim Rädsch, Carole H. Sudre, Laura Acion, Michela Antonelli, Tal Arbel, Spyridon Bakas, Arriel Benis, Florian Buettner, M. Jorge Cardoso, Veronika Cheplygina, Jianxu Chen, Evangelia Christodoulou, Beth A. Cimini, Keyvan FarahaniLuciana Ferrer, Adrian Galdran, Bram van Ginneken, Ben Glocker, Patrick Godau, Daniel A. Hashimoto, Michael M. Hoffman, Merel Huisman, Fabian Isensee, Pierre Jannin, Charles E. Kahn, Dagmar Kainmueller, Bernhard Kainz, Alexandros Karargyris, Jens Kleesiek, Florian Kofler, Thijs Kooi, Annette Kopp-Schneider, Michal Kozubek, Anna Kreshuk, Tahsin Kurc, Bennett A. Landman, Geert Litjens, Amin Madani, Klaus Maier-Hein, Anne L. Martel, Erik Meijering, Bjoern Menze, Karel G.M. Moons, Henning Müller, Brennan Nichyporuk, Felix Nickel, Jens Petersen, Susanne M. Rafelski, Nasir Rajpoot, Mauricio Reyes, Michael A. Riegler, Nicola Rieke, Julio Saez-Rodriguez, Clara I. Sánchez, Shravya Shetty, Ronald M. Summers, Abdel A. Taha, Aleksei Tiulpin, Sotirios A. Tsaftaris, Ben Van Calster, Gaël Varoquaux, Ziv R. Yaniv, Paul F. Jäger, Lena Maier-Hein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Validation metrics are key for tracking scientific progress and bridging the current chasm between artificial intelligence research and its translation into practice. However, increasing evidence shows that, particularly in image analysis, metrics are often chosen inadequately. Although taking into account the individual strengths, weaknesses and limitations of validation metrics is a critical prerequisite to making educated choices, the relevant knowledge is currently scattered and poorly accessible to individual researchers. Based on a multistage Delphi process conducted by a multidisciplinary expert consortium as well as extensive community feedback, the present work provides a reliable and comprehensive common point of access to information on pitfalls related to validation metrics in image analysis. Although focused on biomedical image analysis, the addressed pitfalls generalize across application domains and are categorized according to a newly created, domain-agnostic taxonomy. The work serves to enhance global comprehension of a key topic in image analysis validation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-194
Number of pages13
JournalNature Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


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