Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


College of Engineering


Jane Zhang

Advisor Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world, and it is the second deadliest cancer for females. In the fight against breast cancer, early detection plays a large role in saving people’s lives. In this work, an image classifier is designed to diagnose breast tumors as benign or malignant. The classifier is designed with a neural network and trained on the BreakHis dataset. After creating the initial design, a variety of methods are used to try to improve the performance of the classifier. These methods include preprocessing, increasing the number of training epochs, changing network architecture, and data augmentation. Preprocessing includes changing image resolution and trying grayscale images rather than RGB. The tested network architectures include VGG16, ResNet50, and a custom structure. The final algorithm creates 50 classifier models and keeps the best one. Classifier designs are primarily judged on the classification accuracies of their best model and their median model. Designs are also judged on how consistently they produce their highest performing models. The final classifier design has a median accuracy of 93.62% and best accuracy of 96.35%. Of the 50 models generated, 46 of them performed with over 85% accuracy. The final classifier design is compared to the works of two groups of researchers who created similar classifiers for the same dataset. This will show that the classifier performs at the same level or better than the classifiers designed by other researchers. The classifier achieves similar performance to the classifier made by the first group of researchers and performs better than the classifier from the second. Finally, the learned lessons and future steps are discussed.