In medical image segmentation, it is often necessary to collect opinions from multiple experts to make the final decision. This clinical routine helps to mitigate individual bias. But when data is multiply annotated, standard deep learning models are often not applicable. In this paper, we propose a novel neural network framework, called Multi-Rater Prism (MrPrism) to learn the medical image segmentation from multiple labels. Inspired by the iterative half-quadratic optimization, the proposed MrPrism will combine the multi-rater confidences assignment task and calibrated segmentation task in a recurrent manner. In this recurrent process, MrPrism can learn inter-observer variability taking into account the image semantic properties, and finally converges to a self-calibrated segmentation result reflecting the inter-observer agreement. Specifically, we propose Converging Prism (ConP) and Diverging Prism (DivP) to process the two tasks iteratively. ConP learns calibrated segmentation based on the multi-rater confidence maps estimated by DivP. DivP generates multi-rater confidence maps based on the segmentation masks estimated by ConP. The experimental results show that by recurrently running ConP and DivP, the two tasks can achieve mutual improvement. The final converged segmentation result of MrPrism outperforms state-of-the-art (SOTA) strategies on a wide range of medical image segmentation tasks.
Different from the general visual classification, some classification tasks are more challenging as they need the professional categories of the images. In the paper, we call them expert-level classification. Previous fine-grained vision classification (FGVC) has made many efforts on some of its specific sub-tasks. However, they are difficult to expand to the general cases which rely on the comprehensive analysis of part-global correlation and the hierarchical features interaction. In this paper, we propose Expert Network (ExpNet) to address the unique challenges of expert-level classification through a unified network. In ExpNet, we hierarchically decouple the part and context features and individually process them using a novel attentive mechanism, called Gaze-Shift. In each stage, Gaze-Shift produces a focal-part feature for the subsequent abstraction and memorizes a context-related embedding. Then we fuse the final focal embedding with all memorized context-related embedding to make the prediction. Such an architecture realizes the dual-track processing of partial and global information and hierarchical feature interactions. We conduct the experiments over three representative expert-level classification tasks: FGVC, disease classification, and artwork attributes classification. In these experiments, superior performance of our ExpNet is observed comparing to the state-of-the-arts in a wide range of fields, indicating the effectiveness and generalization of our ExpNet. The code will be made publicly available.
Diffusion probabilistic model (DPM) recently becomes one of the hottest topic in computer vision. Its image generation application such as Imagen, Latent Diffusion Models and Stable Diffusion have shown impressive generation capabilities, which aroused extensive discussion in the community. Many recent studies also found it useful in many other vision tasks, like image deblurring, super-resolution and anomaly detection. Inspired by the success of DPM, we propose the first DPM based model toward general medical image segmentation tasks, which we named MedSegDiff. In order to enhance the step-wise regional attention in DPM for the medical image segmentation, we propose dynamic conditional encoding, which establishes the state-adaptive conditions for each sampling step. We further propose Feature Frequency Parser (FF-Parser), to eliminate the negative effect of high-frequency noise component in this process. We verify MedSegDiff on three medical segmentation tasks with different image modalities, which are optic cup segmentation over fundus images, brain tumor segmentation over MRI images and thyroid nodule segmentation over ultrasound images. The experimental results show that MedSegDiff outperforms state-of-the-art (SOTA) methods with considerable performance gap, indicating the generalization and effectiveness of the proposed model.
Clinically, the accurate annotation of lesions/tissues can significantly facilitate the disease diagnosis. For example, the segmentation of optic disc/cup (OD/OC) on fundus image would facilitate the glaucoma diagnosis, the segmentation of skin lesions on dermoscopic images is helpful to the melanoma diagnosis, etc. With the advancement of deep learning techniques, a wide range of methods proved the lesions/tissues segmentation can also facilitate the automated disease diagnosis models. However, existing methods are limited in the sense that they can only capture static regional correlations in the images. Inspired by the global and dynamic nature of Vision Transformer, in this paper, we propose Segmentation-Assisted diagnosis Transformer (SeATrans) to transfer the segmentation knowledge to the disease diagnosis network. Specifically, we first propose an asymmetric multi-scale interaction strategy to correlate each single low-level diagnosis feature with multi-scale segmentation features. Then, an effective strategy called SeA-block is adopted to vitalize diagnosis feature via correlated segmentation features. To model the segmentation-diagnosis interaction, SeA-block first embeds the diagnosis feature based on the segmentation information via the encoder, and then transfers the embedding back to the diagnosis feature space by a decoder. Experimental results demonstrate that SeATrans surpasses a wide range of state-of-the-art (SOTA) segmentation-assisted diagnosis methods on several disease diagnosis tasks.
The segmentation of optic disc(OD) and optic cup(OC) from fundus images is an important fundamental task for glaucoma diagnosis. In the clinical practice, it is often necessary to collect opinions from multiple experts to obtain the final OD/OC annotation. This clinical routine helps to mitigate the individual bias. But when data is multiply annotated, standard deep learning models will be inapplicable. In this paper, we propose a novel neural network framework to learn OD/OC segmentation from multi-rater annotations. The segmentation results are self-calibrated through the iterative optimization of multi-rater expertness estimation and calibrated OD/OC segmentation. In this way, the proposed method can realize a mutual improvement of both tasks and finally obtain a refined segmentation result. Specifically, we propose Diverging Model(DivM) and Converging Model(ConM) to process the two tasks respectively. ConM segments the raw image based on the multi-rater expertness map provided by DivM. DivM generates multi-rater expertness map from the segmentation mask provided by ConM. The experiment results show that by recurrently running ConM and DivM, the results can be self-calibrated so as to outperform a range of state-of-the-art(SOTA) multi-rater segmentation methods.
Pre-training is essential to deep learning model performance, especially in medical image analysis tasks where limited training data are available. However, existing pre-training methods are inflexible as the pre-trained weights of one model cannot be reused by other network architectures. In this paper, we propose an architecture-irrelevant hyper-initializer, which can initialize any given network architecture well after being pre-trained for only once. The proposed initializer is a hypernetwork which takes a downstream architecture as input graphs and outputs the initialization parameters of the respective architecture. We show the effectiveness and efficiency of the hyper-initializer through extensive experimental results on multiple medical imaging modalities, especially in data-limited fields. Moreover, we prove that the proposed algorithm can be reused as a favorable plug-and-play initializer for any downstream architecture and task (both classification and segmentation) of the same modality.
Deep learning based medical imaging classification models usually suffer from the domain shift problem, where the classification performance drops when training data and real-world data differ in imaging equipment manufacturer, image acquisition protocol, patient populations, etc. We propose Feature Centroid Contrast Learning (FCCL), which can improve target domain classification performance by extra supervision during training with contrastive loss between instance and class centroid. Compared with current unsupervised domain adaptation and domain generalization methods, FCCL performs better while only requires labeled image data from a single source domain and no target domain. We verify through extensive experiments that FCCL can achieve superior performance on at least three imaging modalities, i.e. fundus photographs, dermatoscopic images, and H & E tissue images.
We present an effective method for Intracranial Hemorrhage Detection (IHD) which exceeds the performance of the winner solution in RSNA-IHD competition (2019). Meanwhile, our model only takes quarter parameters and ten percent FLOPs compared to the winner's solution. The IHD task needs to predict the hemorrhage category of each slice for the input brain CT. We review the top-5 solutions for the IHD competition held by the Radiological Society of North America(RSNA) in 2019. Nearly all the top solutions rely on 2D convolutional networks and sequential models (Bidirectional GRU or LSTM) to extract intra-slice and inter-slice features, respectively. All the top solutions enhance the performance by leveraging the model ensemble, and the model number varies from 7 to 31. In the past years, since much progress has been made in the computer vision regime especially Transformer-based models, we introduce the Transformer-based techniques to extract the features in both intra-slice and inter-slice views for IHD tasks. Additionally, a semi-supervised method is embedded into our workflow to further improve the performance. The code is available in the manuscript.