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train - Custom experiments

The aim of ClinicaDL is not only to provide a collection of tools, but also to allow users to add their own in the framework. Before starting, please fork and clone the github repo or read the "Contribute to the project section" if you are not familiar with GitHub.


Do not hesitate to ask for help on GitHub, or to propose a new pull request!

Custom architecture

Custom architectures can be added to ClinicaDL by adding a model class in clinicadl/utils/network and importing it in clinicadl/utils/network/

This model class inherits from the abstract Network class in clinicadl/utils/network/

Three abstract methods must be implemented to make it work:

  1. forward: computes the forward pass of the network, it may return several outputs needed to compute the loss.
  2. predict: computes the forward pass of the network and only returns the main output.
  3. compute_outputs_and_loss: computes the main outputs and the loss of the network.

If you want to implement a network which outputs an array, you can inherit from CNN class in clinicadl/utils/network/ (see for example Conv5_FC3 clinicadl/utils/network/cnn/ which is a child class of CNN).

If you want to implement a reconstruction autoencoder, you can inherit from Autoencoder class in clinicadl/utils/network/ (see for example AE_Conv5_FC3 clinicadl/utils/network/cnn/ which is a child class of Autoencoder).

Your network may be parametrized: in this case parameter names must correspond to the options of the command line (for example dropout) or input_size / output_size which are computed by the MAPSManager. If you need a new parameter for your class you will have to add it to the command line.

Custom input type

Input types that are already provided in clinicadl are image, patch, roi and slice. To add a custom input type, please follow the steps detailed below:

  • Choose a mode name for this input type (for example default ones are image, patch, roi and slice).
  • Add your dataset class in clinicadl/utils/caps_dataset/ as a child class of the abstract class CapsDataset.
  • Create your dataset in return_dataset by adding:
    elif mode==<mode_name>:
        return <dataset_class>(
  • Add your custom subparser to train and complete train_func in clinicadl/

Custom task

Available tasks in ClinicaDL are classification, regression and reconstruction. You can implement a new task task by adding its corresponding TaskManager in clinicadl/utils/task_manager/<task>.py. This new class must inherits from the abstract class TaskManager in clinicadl/utils/task_manager/

Then modify the _init_task_manager function in the class MapsManager at clinicadl/utils/maps_manager/

Custom metric

Other metrics can be added to the ones already available in ClinicaDL. If the metric to add is composed of several words, please use the acronym to name it (for example balanced accuracy becomes BA, mean squared error becomes MSE).

Then add the method <metric>_fn to MetricModule in clinicadl/utils/, where metric is the name of your metric in lower case (for example balanced accuracy function is ba_fn).

This metric will only be used to evaluate specific tasks, then the evaluation_metrics property of the corresponding TaskManager must be updated in clinicadl/utils/task_manager.

Finally, to use this metric as a selection metric, please the metric_optimum dict in clinicadl/utils/ The key is the name of your metric, and the content is respectively min or max if the performance improves when the metric respectively decreases or increases.