The performance of learning-based algorithms improves with the amount of labelled data used for training. Yet, manually annotating data can be tedious and expensive, especially in medical image segmentation. To reduce manual labelling, active learning (AL) targets the most informative samples from the unlabelled set to annotate and add to the labelled training set. On one hand, most active learning works have focused on the classification or limited segmentation of natural images, despite active learning being highly desirable in the difficult task of medical image segmentation. On the other hand, uncertainty-based AL approaches notoriously offer sub-optimal batch-query strategies, while diversity-based methods tend to be computationally expensive. Over and above methodological hurdles, random sampling has proven an extremely difficult baseline to outperform when varying learning and sampling conditions. This work aims to take advantage of the diversity and speed offered by random sampling to improve the selection of uncertainty-based AL methods for segmenting medical images. More specifically, we propose to compute uncertainty at the level of batches instead of samples through an original use of stochastic batches during sampling in AL. Exhaustive experiments on medical image segmentation, with an illustration on MRI prostate imaging, show that the benefits of stochastic batches during sample selection are robust to a variety of changes in the training and sampling procedures.
Deep learning methods typically depend on the availability of labeled data, which is expensive and time-consuming to obtain. Active learning addresses such effort by prioritizing which samples are best to annotate in order to maximize the performance of the task model. While frameworks for active learning have been widely explored in the context of classification of natural images, they have been only sparsely used in medical image segmentation. The challenge resides in obtaining an uncertainty measure that reveals the best candidate data for annotation. This paper proposes Test-time Augmentation for Active Learning (TAAL), a novel semi-supervised active learning approach for segmentation that exploits the uncertainty information offered by data transformations. Our method applies cross-augmentation consistency during training and inference to both improve model learning in a semi-supervised fashion and identify the most relevant unlabeled samples to annotate next. In addition, our consistency loss uses a modified version of the JSD to further improve model performance. By relying on data transformations rather than on external modules or simple heuristics typically used in uncertainty-based strategies, TAAL emerges as a simple, yet powerful task-agnostic semi-supervised active learning approach applicable to the medical domain. Our results on a publicly-available dataset of cardiac images show that TAAL outperforms existing baseline methods in both fully-supervised and semi-supervised settings. Our implementation is publicly available on https://github.com/melinphd/TAAL.
* Accepted to MICCAI-DALI 2022 (LNCS Proceedings, vol.13567), 11 pages
Undersampling the k-space in MRI allows saving precious acquisition time, yet results in an ill-posed inversion problem. Recently, many deep learning techniques have been developed, addressing this issue of recovering the fully sampled MR image from the undersampled data. However, these learning based schemes are susceptible to differences between the training data and the image to be reconstructed at test time. One such difference can be attributed to the bias field present in MR images, caused by field inhomogeneities and coil sensitivities. In this work, we address the sensitivity of the reconstruction problem to the bias field and propose to model it explicitly in the reconstruction, in order to decrease this sensitivity. To this end, we use an unsupervised learning based reconstruction algorithm as our basis and combine it with a N4-based bias field estimation method, in a joint optimization scheme. We use the HCP dataset as well as in-house measured images for the evaluations. We show that the proposed method improves the reconstruction quality, both visually and in terms of RMSE.