Quantization of Fully Convolutional Networks for Accurate Biomedical Image Segmentation

Xiaowei Xu, Qing Lu, Lin Yang, Sharon Hu, Danny Chen, Yu Hu, Yiyu Shi; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018, pp. 8300-8308


With pervasive applications of medical imaging in healthcare, biomedical image segmentation plays a central role in quantitative analysis, clinical diagnosis, and medical intervention. Since manual annotation suffers limited reproducibility, arduous efforts, and excessive time, automatic segmentation is desired to process increasingly larger scale histopathological data. Recently, deep neural networks (DNNs), particularly fully convolutional networks (FCNs), have been widely applied to biomedical image segmentation, attaining much improved performance. At the same time, quantization of DNNs has become an active research topic, which aims to represent weights with less memory (precision) to considerably reduce memory and computation requirements of DNNs while maintaining acceptable accuracy. In this paper, we apply quantization techniques to FCNs for accurate biomedical image segmentation. Unlike existing literature on quantization which primarily targets memory and computation complexity reduction, we apply quantization as a method to reduce overfitting in FCNs for better accuracy. Specifically, we focus on a state-of-the-art segmentation framework, suggestive annotation [22], which judiciously extracts representative annotation samples from the original training dataset, obtaining an effective small-sized balanced training dataset. We develop two new quantization processes for this framework: (1) suggestive annotation with quantization for highly representative training samples, and (2) network training with quantization for high accuracy. Extensive experiments on the MICCAI Gland dataset show that both quantization processes can improve the segmentation performance, and our proposed method exceeds the current state-of-the-art performance by up to 1%. In addition, our method have a reduction of up to 6.4x on memory usage.

Related Material

[pdf] [arXiv]
author = {Xu, Xiaowei and Lu, Qing and Yang, Lin and Hu, Sharon and Chen, Danny and Hu, Yu and Shi, Yiyu},
title = {Quantization of Fully Convolutional Networks for Accurate Biomedical Image Segmentation},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2018}