We propose an Active Learning approach to image segmentation that exploits geometric priors to streamline the annotation process. We demonstrate this for both background-foreground and multi-class segmentation tasks in 2D images and 3D image volumes. Our approach combines geometric smoothness priors in the image space with more traditional uncertainty measures to estimate which pixels or voxels are most in need of annotation. For multi-class settings, we additionally introduce two novel criteria for uncertainty. In the 3D case, we use the resulting uncertainty measure to show the annotator voxels lying on the same planar patch, which makes batch annotation much easier than if they were randomly distributed in the volume. The planar patch is found using a branch-and-bound algorithm that finds a patch with the most informative instances. We evaluate our approach on Electron Microscopy and Magnetic Resonance image volumes, as well as on regular images of horses and faces. We demonstrate a substantial performance increase over state-of-the-art approaches.
Biomedical image segmentation is an important task in many medical applications. Segmentation methods based on convolutional neural networks attain state-of-the-art accuracy; however, they typically rely on supervised training with large labeled datasets. Labeling datasets of medical images requires significant expertise and time, and is infeasible at large scales. To tackle the lack of labeled data, researchers use techniques such as hand-engineered preprocessing steps, hand-tuned architectures, and data augmentation. However, these techniques involve costly engineering efforts, and are typically dataset-specific. We present an automated data augmentation method for medical images. We demonstrate our method on the task of segmenting magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans, focusing on the one-shot segmentation scenario -- a practical challenge in many medical applications. Our method requires only a single segmented scan, and leverages other unlabeled scans in a semi-supervised approach. We learn a model of transforms from the images, and use the model along with the labeled example to synthesize additional labeled training examples for supervised segmentation. Each transform is comprised of a spatial deformation field and an intensity change, enabling the synthesis of complex effects such as variations in anatomy and image acquisition procedures. Augmenting the training of a supervised segmenter with these new examples provides significant improvements over state-of-the-art methods for one-shot biomedical image segmentation. Our code is available at https://github.com/xamyzhao/brainstorm.
Decision making in automated driving is highly specific to the environment and thus semantic segmentation plays a key role in recognizing the objects in the environment around the car. Pixel level classification once considered a challenging task which is now becoming mature to be productized in a car. However, semantic annotation is time consuming and quite expensive. Synthetic datasets with domain adaptation techniques have been used to alleviate the lack of large annotated datasets. In this work, we explore an alternate approach of leveraging the annotations of other tasks to improve semantic segmentation. Recently, multi-task learning became a popular paradigm in automated driving which demonstrates joint learning of multiple tasks improves overall performance of each tasks. Motivated by this, we use auxiliary tasks like depth estimation to improve the performance of semantic segmentation task. We propose adaptive task loss weighting techniques to address scale issues in multi-task loss functions which become more crucial in auxiliary tasks. We experimented on automotive datasets including SYNTHIA and KITTI and obtained 3% and 5% improvement in accuracy respectively.
This work presents a new strategy for multi-class classification that requires no class-specific labels, but instead leverages pairwise similarity between examples, which is a weaker form of annotation. The proposed method, meta classification learning, optimizes a binary classifier for pairwise similarity prediction and through this process learns a multi-class classifier as a submodule. We formulate this approach, present a probabilistic graphical model for it, and derive a surprisingly simple loss function that can be used to learn neural network-based models. We then demonstrate that this same framework generalizes to the supervised, unsupervised cross-task, and semi-supervised settings. Our method is evaluated against state of the art in all three learning paradigms and shows a superior or comparable accuracy, providing evidence that learning multi-class classification without multi-class labels is a viable learning option.
3D image segmentation plays an important role in biomedical image analysis. Many 2D and 3D deep learning models have achieved state-of-the-art segmentation performance on 3D biomedical image datasets. Yet, 2D and 3D models have their own strengths and weaknesses, and by unifying them together, one may be able to achieve more accurate results. In this paper, we propose a new ensemble learning framework for 3D biomedical image segmentation that combines the merits of 2D and 3D models. First, we develop a fully convolutional network based meta-learner to learn how to improve the results from 2D and 3D models (base-learners). Then, to minimize over-fitting for our sophisticated meta-learner, we devise a new training method that uses the results of the base-learners as multiple versions of "ground truths". Furthermore, since our new meta-learner training scheme does not depend on manual annotation, it can utilize abundant unlabeled 3D image data to further improve the model. Extensive experiments on two public datasets (the HVSMR 2016 Challenge dataset and the mouse piriform cortex dataset) show that our approach is effective under fully-supervised, semi-supervised, and transductive settings, and attains superior performance over state-of-the-art image segmentation methods.
Radiologist is "doctor's doctor", biomedical image segmentation plays a central role in quantitative analysis, clinical diagnosis, and medical intervention. In the light of the fully convolutional networks (FCN) and U-Net, deep convolutional networks (DNNs) have made significant contributions in biomedical image segmentation applications. In this paper, based on U-Net, we propose MDUnet, a multi-scale densely connected U-net for biomedical image segmentation. we propose three different multi-scale dense connections for U shaped architectures encoder, decoder and across them. The highlights of our architecture is directly fuses the neighboring different scale feature maps from both higher layers and lower layers to strengthen feature propagation in current layer. Which can largely improves the information flow encoder, decoder and across them. Multi-scale dense connections, which means containing shorter connections between layers close to the input and output, also makes much deeper U-net possible. We adopt the optimal model based on the experiment and propose a novel Multi-scale Dense U-Net (MDU-Net) architecture with quantization. Which reduce overfitting in MDU-Net for better accuracy. We evaluate our purpose model on the MICCAI 2015 Gland Segmentation dataset (GlaS). The three multi-scale dense connections improve U-net performance by up to 1.8% on test A and 3.5% on test B in the MICCAI Gland dataset. Meanwhile the MDU-net with quantization achieves the superiority over U-Net performance by up to 3% on test A and 4.1% on test B.
Importance sampling is one of the most widely used variance reduction strategies in Monte Carlo rendering. In this paper, we propose a novel importance sampling technique that uses a neural network to learn how to sample from a desired density represented by a set of samples. Our approach considers an existing Monte Carlo rendering algorithm as a black box. During a scene-dependent training phase, we learn to generate samples with a desired density in the primary sample space of the rendering algorithm using maximum likelihood estimation. We leverage a recent neural network architecture that was designed to represent real-valued non-volume preserving ('Real NVP') transformations in high dimensional spaces. We use Real NVP to non-linearly warp primary sample space and obtain desired densities. In addition, Real NVP efficiently computes the determinant of the Jacobian of the warp, which is required to implement the change of integration variables implied by the warp. A main advantage of our approach is that it is agnostic of underlying light transport effects, and can be combined with many existing rendering techniques by treating them as a black box. We show that our approach leads to effective variance reduction in several practical scenarios.
Fully convolutional deep neural networks have been asserted to be fast and precise frameworks with great potential in image segmentation. One of the major challenges in utilizing such networks raises when data is unbalanced, which is common in many medical imaging applications such as lesion segmentation where lesion class voxels are often much lower in numbers than non-lesion voxels. A trained network with unbalanced data may make predictions with high precision and low recall, being severely biased towards the non-lesion class which is particularly undesired in medical applications where false negatives are actually more important than false positives. Various methods have been proposed to address this problem including two step training, sample re-weighting, balanced sampling, and similarity loss functions. In this paper we developed a patch-wise 3D densely connected network with an asymmetric loss function, where we used large overlapping image patches for intrinsic and extrinsic data augmentation, a patch selection algorithm, and a patch prediction fusion strategy based on B-spline weighted soft voting to take into account the uncertainty of prediction in patch borders. We applied this method to lesion segmentation based on the MSSEG 2016 and ISBI 2015 challenges, where we achieved average Dice similarity coefficient of 69.9% and 65.74%, respectively. In addition to the proposed loss, we trained our network with focal and generalized Dice loss functions. Significant improvement in $F_1$ and $F_2$ scores and the APR curve was achieved in test using the asymmetric similarity loss layer and our 3D patch prediction fusion. The asymmetric similarity loss based on $F_\beta$ scores generalizes the Dice similarity coefficient and can be effectively used with the patch-wise strategy developed here to train fully convolutional deep neural networks for highly unbalanced image segmentation.
Clustering and classification critically rely on distance metrics that provide meaningful comparisons between data points. We present mixed-integer optimization approaches to find optimal distance metrics that generalize the Mahalanobis metric extensively studied in the literature. Additionally, we generalize and improve upon leading methods by removing reliance on pre-designated "target neighbors," "triplets," and "similarity pairs." Another salient feature of our method is its ability to enable active learning by recommending precise regions to sample after an optimal metric is computed to improve classification performance. This targeted acquisition can significantly reduce computational burden by ensuring training data completeness, representativeness, and economy. We demonstrate classification and computational performance of the algorithms through several simple and intuitive examples, followed by results on real image and medical datasets.
One of the most common tasks in medical imaging is semantic segmentation. Achieving this segmentation automatically has been an active area of research, but the task has been proven very challenging due to the large variation of anatomy across different patients. However, recent advances in deep learning have made it possible to significantly improve the performance of image recognition and semantic segmentation methods in the field of computer vision. Due to the data driven approaches of hierarchical feature learning in deep learning frameworks, these advances can be translated to medical images without much difficulty. Several variations of deep convolutional neural networks have been successfully applied to medical images. Especially fully convolutional architectures have been proven efficient for segmentation of 3D medical images. In this article, we describe how to build a 3D fully convolutional network (FCN) that can process 3D images in order to produce automatic semantic segmentations. The model is trained and evaluated on a clinical computed tomography (CT) dataset and shows state-of-the-art performance in multi-organ segmentation.
Recent advances in 3D fully convolutional networks (FCN) have made it feasible to produce dense voxel-wise predictions of volumetric images. In this work, we show that a multi-class 3D FCN trained on manually labeled CT scans of several anatomical structures (ranging from the large organs to thin vessels) can achieve competitive segmentation results, while avoiding the need for handcrafting features or training class-specific models. To this end, we propose a two-stage, coarse-to-fine approach that will first use a 3D FCN to roughly define a candidate region, which will then be used as input to a second 3D FCN. This reduces the number of voxels the second FCN has to classify to ~10% and allows it to focus on more detailed segmentation of the organs and vessels. We utilize training and validation sets consisting of 331 clinical CT images and test our models on a completely unseen data collection acquired at a different hospital that includes 150 CT scans, targeting three anatomical organs (liver, spleen, and pancreas). In challenging organs such as the pancreas, our cascaded approach improves the mean Dice score from 68.5 to 82.2%, achieving the highest reported average score on this dataset. We compare with a 2D FCN method on a separate dataset of 240 CT scans with 18 classes and achieve a significantly higher performance in small organs and vessels. Furthermore, we explore fine-tuning our models to different datasets. Our experiments illustrate the promise and robustness of current 3D FCN based semantic segmentation of medical images, achieving state-of-the-art results. Our code and trained models are available for download: https://github.com/holgerroth/3Dunet_abdomen_cascade.