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Not End-to-End: Explore Multi-Stage Architecture for Online Surgical Phase Recognition
Surgical phase recognition is of particular interest to computer assisted surgery systems, in which the goal is to predict what phase is occurring at each frame for a surgery video. Networks with multi-stage architecture have been widely applied in many computer vision tasks with rich patterns, where a predictor stage first outputs initial predictions and an additional refinement stage operates on the initial predictions to perform further refinement. Existing works show that surgical video contents are well ordered and contain rich temporal patterns, making the multi-stage architecture well suited for the surgical phase recognition task. However, we observe that when simply applying the multi-stage architecture to the surgical phase recognition task, the end-to-end training manner will make the refinement ability fall short of its wishes. To address the problem, we propose a new non end-to-end training strategy and explore different designs of multi-stage architecture for surgical phase recognition task. For the non end-to-end training strategy, the refinement stage is trained separately with proposed two types of disturbed sequences. Meanwhile, we evaluate three different choices of refinement models to show that our analysis and solution are robust to the choices of specific multi-stage models. We conduct experiments on two public benchmarks, the M2CAI16 Workflow Challenge and the Cholec80 dataset. The SOTA comparable results show that the multi-stage architecture holds the great potential to boost the performance of existing single-stage models. Code is available at https://github.com/ChinaYi/NETE.