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Accelerating 2D Abdominal Organ Segmentation with Active Learning

Posted by on Friday, December 10, 2021 in News.

Xin Yu, Yucheng Tang, Qi Yang, Ho Hin Lee, Shunxing Bao, Ann Zenobia Moore, Luigi Ferrucci, Bennett A. Landman



Abdominal computed tomography CT imaging enables assessment of body habitus and organ health. Quantification of these health factors necessitates semantic segmentation of key structures. Deep learning efforts have shown remarkable success in automating segmentation of abdominal CT, but these methods largely rely on 3D volumes. Current approaches are not applicable when single slice imaging is used to minimize radiation dose. For 2D abdominal organ segmentation, lack of 3D context and variety in acquired image levels are major challenges. Deep learning approaches for 2D abdominal organ segmentation benefit by adding more images with manual annotation, but annotation is resource intensive to acquire given the large quantity and the requirement of expertise. Herein, we designed a gradient based active learning annotation framework by meta-parameterizing and optimizing the exemplars to dynamically select the ‘hard cases’ to achieve better results with fewer annotated slices to reduce the annotation effort. With the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging (BLSA) cohort, we evaluated the performance with starting from 286 subjects and added 50 more subjects iteratively to 586 subjects in total. We compared the amount of data required to add to achieve the same Dice score between using our proposed method and the random selection in terms of Dice. When achieving 0.97 of the maximum Dice, the random selection needed 4.4 times more data compared with our active learning framework. The proposed framework maximizes the efficacy of manual efforts and accelerates learning.