Adversarial brain multiplex prediction from a single brain network with application to gender fingerprinting

Nebli A., Rekık I.

MEDICAL IMAGE ANALYSIS, vol.67, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 67
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, INSPEC, MEDLINE
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Brain connectivity networks, derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), non-invasively quantify the relationship in function, structure, and morphology between two brain regions of interest (ROIs) and give insights into gender-related connectional differences. However, to the best of our knowledge, studies on gender differences in brain connectivity were limited to investigating pairwise (i.e., low-order) relationships across ROIs, overlooking the complex high-order interconnectedness of the brain as a network. A few recent works on neurological disorders addressed this limitation by introducing the brain multiplex which is composed of a source network intra-layer, a target intra-layer, and a convolutional interlayer capturing the high-level relationship between both intra-layers. However, brain multiplexes are built from at least two different brain networks hindering their application to connectomic datasets with single brain networks (e.g., functional networks). To fill this gap, we propose Adversarial Brain Multiplex Translator (ABMT), the first work for predicting brain multiplexes from a source network using geometric adversarial learning to investigate gender differences in the human brain. Our framework comprises: (i) a geometric source to target network translator mimicking a U-Net architecture with skip connections, (ii) a conditional discriminator which distinguishes between predicted and ground truth target intra-layers, and finally (iii) a multi-layer perceptron (MLP) classifier which supervises the prediction of the target multiplex using the subject class label (e.g., gender). Our experiments on a large dataset demonstrated that predicted multiplexes significantly boost gender classification accuracy compared with source networks and unprecedentedly identify both low and high-order gender-specific brain multiplex connections. Our ABMT source code is available on GitHub at (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.