3D CT point clouds reconstructed from the original CT images are naturally represented in real-world coordinates. Compared with CT images, 3D CT point clouds contain invariant geometric features with irregular spatial distributions from multiple viewpoints. This paper rethinks pulmonary nodule detection in CT point cloud representations. We first extract the multi-view features from a sparse convolutional (SparseConv) encoder by rotating the point clouds with different angles in the world coordinate. Then, to simultaneously learn the discriminative and robust spatial features from various viewpoints, a nodule proposal optimization schema is proposed to obtain coarse nodule regions by aggregating consistent nodule proposals prediction from multi-view features. Last, the multi-level features and semantic segmentation features extracted from a SparseConv decoder are concatenated with multi-view features for final nodule region regression. Experiments on the benchmark dataset (LUNA16) demonstrate the feasibility of applying CT point clouds in lung nodule detection task. Furthermore, we observe that by combining multi-view predictions, the performance of the proposed framework is greatly improved compared to single-view, while the interior texture features of nodules from images are more suitable for detecting nodules in small sizes.
Multi-level 3D CNN for Learning Multi-scale Spatial Features
3D object recognition accuracy can be improved by learning the multi-scale spatial features from 3D spatial geometric representations of objects such as point clouds, 3D models, surfaces, and RGB-D data. Current deep learning approaches learn such features either using structured data representations (voxel grids and octrees) or from unstructured representations (graphs and point clouds). Learning features from such structured representations is limited by the restriction on resolution and tree depth while unstructured representations creates a challenge due to non-uniformity among data samples. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end multi-level learning approach on a multi-level voxel grid to overcome these drawbacks. To demonstrate the utility of the proposed multi-level learning, we use a multi-level voxel representation of 3D objects to perform object recognition. The multi-level voxel representation consists of a coarse voxel grid that contains volumetric information of the 3D object. In addition, each voxel in the coarse grid that contains a portion of the object boundary is subdivided into multiple fine-level voxel grids. The performance of our multi-level learning algorithm for object recognition is comparable to dense voxel representations while using significantly lower memory.
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- Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops
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- National Science Foundation
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