I'm using Python 3.7.7.

I'm trying to load a lot of NIFTI images using SimplyITK and Numpy from the [BraTS 2019 dataset][1].

This is the code I use to load the images into a numpy array.

import SimpleITK as sitk

def read_nifti_images(images_full_path):
    Read nifti files from a gziped file.
    Read nifti files from a gziped file using SimpleITK library.
    images_full_path (string): Full path to gziped file including file name.
    SimpleITK.SimpleITK.Image, numpy array: images read as image, images read as numpy array 
    # Reads images using SimpleITK.
    images = sitk.ReadImage(images_full_path)
    # Get a numpy array from a SimpleITK Image.
    images_array = sitk.GetArrayFromImage(images)
    # More info about SimpleITK images: http://simpleitk.github.io/SimpleITK-Notebooks/01_Image_Basics.html
    return images, images_array

This code works fine with smallest dataset but here I'm trying to load 518 nii.gz files with 155 images each file.

To run the code I'm using PyCharm latest version on a Windows 7.

How do you do it to train with all the images if all of them can't be in memory because memory limits?


2 Answers 2


When you use Keras, you can use the generator function, which essentially loads images in batches.

See this post for a discussion on how to use (and predict) with the data generator: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/52270177/how-to-use-predict-generator-on-new-images-keras/55991598#55991598

See this code snippet for a full implementation of binary image classification using a pre-trained model and incorporating a data generator function: https://github.com/Bixi81/Python-ml/blob/master/keras_pretrained_imagerec_binaryclass.py

More details can be found in the Keras docs: https://keras.io/api/preprocessing/image/


A couple of options:

  1. Rent a bigger computer on a cloud service.
  2. Move to a distributed computing framework (e.g., Spark).
  3. Use a data loading function that only loads the needed data.

Option #3 is the simplest. Most training does not need all of the data in memory at the same time.

Dask can be used for this type of image loading .

  • $\begingroup$ What is a distributed framework? Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – VansFannel
    Aug 11, 2020 at 14:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.