Contour-Hugging Heatmaps for Landmark Detection

James McCouat, Irina Voiculescu; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2022, pp. 20597-20605


We propose an effective and easy-to-implement method for simultaneously performing landmark detection in images and obtaining an ingenious uncertainty measurement for each landmark. Uncertainty measurements for landmarks are particularly useful in medical imaging applications: rather than giving an erroneous reading, a landmark detection system is more useful when it flags its level of confidence in its prediction. When an automated system is unsure of its predictions, the accuracy of the results can be further improved manually by a human. In the medical domain, being able to review an automated system's level of certainty significantly improves a clinician's trust in it. This paper obtains landmark predictions with uncertainty measurements using a three stage method: 1) We train our network on one-hot heatmap images, 2) We calibrate the uncertainty of the network using temperature scaling, 3) We calculate a novel statistic called 'Expected Radial Error' to obtain uncertainty measurements. We find that this method not only achieves localisation results on par with other state-of-the-art methods but also an uncertainty score which correlates with the true error for each landmark thereby bringing an overall step change in what a generic computer vision method for landmark detection should be capable of. In addition, we show that our uncertainty measurement can be used to classify, with good accuracy, what landmark predictions are likely to be inaccurate. Code available at:

Related Material

[pdf] [supp]
@InProceedings{McCouat_2022_CVPR, author = {McCouat, James and Voiculescu, Irina}, title = {Contour-Hugging Heatmaps for Landmark Detection}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, month = {June}, year = {2022}, pages = {20597-20605} }