This paper presents the relevance voxel machine (RVoxM), a dedicated Bayesian model for making predictions based on medical imaging data. In contrast to the generic machine learning algorithms that have often been used for this purpose, the method is designed to utilize a small number of spatially clustered sets of voxels that are particularly suited for clinical interpretation. RVoxM automatically tunes all its free parameters during the training phase, and offers the additional advantage of producing probabilistic prediction outcomes. We demonstrate RVoxM as a regression model by predicting age from volumetric gray matter segmentations, and as a classification model by distinguishing patients with Alzheimer's disease from healthy controls using surface-based cortical thickness data. Our results indicate that RVoxM yields biologically meaningful models, while providing state-of-the-art predictive accuracy.
I E E E Transactions on Medical Imaging, 2012, Vol 31, Issue 12, p. 2290-2306