Exemplar Learning for Medical Image Segmentation

Qing En (Carleton University),* Yuhong Guo (Carleton University)
The 33rd British Machine Vision Conference


Medical image annotation typically requires expert knowledge and hence incurs time-consuming and expensive data annotation costs. To alleviate this burden, we propose a novel learning scenario, Exemplar Learning (EL), to explore automated learning processes for medical image segmentation with a single annotated image example. This innovative learning task is particularly suitable for medical image segmentation, where all categories of organs can be presented in one single image and annotated all at once. To address this challenging EL task, we propose an Exemplar Learning-based Synthesis Net (ELSNet) framework for medical image segmentation that enables innovative exemplar-based data synthesis, pixel-prototype based contrastive embedding learning, and pseudo-label based exploitation of the unlabeled data. Specifically, ELSNet introduces two new modules for image segmentation: an exemplar-guided synthesis module, which enriches and diversifies the training set by synthesizing annotated samples from the given exemplar, and a pixel-prototype based contrastive embedding module, which enhances the discriminative capacity of the base segmentation model via contrastive representation learning. Moreover, we deploy a two-stage process for segmentation model training, which exploits the unlabeled data with predicted pseudo segmentation labels. To evaluate this new learning framework, we conduct extensive experiments on several organ segmentation datasets and present an in-depth analysis. The empirical results show that the proposed exemplar learning framework produces effective segmentation results.



author    = {Qing En and Yuhong Guo},
title     = {Exemplar Learning for Medical Image Segmentation},
booktitle = {33rd British Machine Vision Conference 2022, {BMVC} 2022, London, UK, November 21-24, 2022},
publisher = {{BMVA} Press},
year      = {2022},
url       = {https://bmvc2022.mpi-inf.mpg.de/0296.pdf}

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