Recurrent Saliency Transformation Network: Incorporating Multi-Stage Visual Cues for Small Organ Segmentation

Qihang Yu, Lingxi Xie, Yan Wang, Yuyin Zhou, Elliot K. Fishman, Alan L. Yuille; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018, pp. 8280-8289

Abstract


We aim at segmenting small organs (e.g., the pancreas) from abdominal CT scans. As the target often occupies a relatively small region in the input image, deep neural networks can be easily confused by the complex and variable background. To alleviate this, researchers proposed a coarse-to-fine approach, which used prediction from the first (coarse) stage to indicate a smaller input region for the second (fine) stage. Despite its effectiveness, this algorithm dealt with two stages individually, which lacked optimizing a global energy function, and limited its ability to incorporate multi-stage visual cues. Missing contextual information led to unsatisfying convergence in iterations, and that the fine stage sometimes produced even lower segmentation accuracy than the coarse stage. This paper presents a Recurrent Saliency Transformation Network. The key innovation is a saliency transformation module, which repeatedly converts the segmentation probability map from the previous iteration as spatial weights and applies these weights to the current iteration. This brings us two-fold benefits. In training, it allows joint optimization over the deep networks dealing with different input scales. In testing, it propagates multi-stage visual information throughout iterations to improve segmentation accuracy. Experiments in the NIH pancreas segmentation dataset demonstrate the state-of-the-art accuracy, which outperforms the previous best by an average of over 2%. Much higher accuracies are also reported on several small organs in a larger dataset collected by ourselves. In addition, our approach enjoys better convergence properties, making it more efficient and reliable in practice.

Related Material


[pdf] [arXiv]
[bibtex]
@InProceedings{Yu_2018_CVPR,
author = {Yu, Qihang and Xie, Lingxi and Wang, Yan and Zhou, Yuyin and Fishman, Elliot K. and Yuille, Alan L.},
title = {Recurrent Saliency Transformation Network: Incorporating Multi-Stage Visual Cues for Small Organ Segmentation},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2018}
}