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Title: Test-Time Training Can Close the Natural Distribution Shift Performance Gap in Deep Learning Based Compressed Sensing
Deep learning based image reconstruction methods outperform traditional methods. However, neural networks suffer from a performance drop when applied to images from a different distribution than the training images. For example, a model trained for reconstructing knees in accelerated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) does not reconstruct brains well, even though the same network trained on brains reconstructs brains perfectly well. Thus there is a distribution shift performance gap for a given neural network, defined as the difference in performance when training on a distribution P and training on another distribution Q, and evaluating both models on Q. In this work, we propose a domain adaptation method for deep learning based compressive sensing that relies on self-supervision during training paired with test-time training at inference. We show that for four natural distribution shifts, this method essentially closes the distribution shift performance gap for state-of-the-art architectures for accelerated MRI.  more » « less
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International Conference on Machine Learning
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National Science Foundation
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  1. null (Ed.)
    Deep neural networks give state-of-the-art accuracy for reconstructing images from few and noisy measurements, a problem arising for example in accelerated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, recent works have raised concerns that deep-learning-based image reconstruction methods are sensitive to perturbations and are less robust than traditional methods: Neural networks (i) may be sensitive to small, yet adversarially-selected perturbations, (ii) may perform poorly under distribution shifts, and (iii) may fail to recover small but important features in an image. In order to understand the sensitivity to such perturbations, in this work, we measure the robustness of different approaches for image reconstruction including trained and un-trained neural networks as well as traditional sparsity-based methods. We find, contrary to prior works, that both trained and un-trained methods are vulnerable to adversarial perturbations. Moreover, both trained and un-trained methods tuned for a particular dataset suffer very similarly from distribution shifts. Finally, we demonstrate that an image reconstruction method that achieves higher reconstruction quality, also performs better in terms of accurately recovering fine details. Our results indicate that the state-of-the-art deep-learning-based image reconstruction methods provide improved performance than traditional methods without compromising robustness. 
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  2. Obeid, I. (Ed.)
    The Neural Engineering Data Consortium (NEDC) is developing the Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus (TUDP), an open source database of high-resolution images from scanned pathology samples [1], as part of its National Science Foundation-funded Major Research Instrumentation grant titled “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning” [2]. The long-term goal of this project is to release one million images. We have currently scanned over 100,000 images and are in the process of annotating breast tissue data for our first official corpus release, v1.0.0. This release contains 3,505 annotated images of breast tissue including 74 patients with cancerous diagnoses (out of a total of 296 patients). In this poster, we will present an analysis of this corpus and discuss the challenges we have faced in efficiently producing high quality annotations of breast tissue. It is well known that state of the art algorithms in machine learning require vast amounts of data. Fields such as speech recognition [3], image recognition [4] and text processing [5] are able to deliver impressive performance with complex deep learning models because they have developed large corpora to support training of extremely high-dimensional models (e.g., billions of parameters). Other fields that do not have access to such data resources must rely on techniques in which existing models can be adapted to new datasets [6]. A preliminary version of this breast corpus release was tested in a pilot study using a baseline machine learning system, ResNet18 [7], that leverages several open-source Python tools. The pilot corpus was divided into three sets: train, development, and evaluation. Portions of these slides were manually annotated [1] using the nine labels in Table 1 [8] to identify five to ten examples of pathological features on each slide. Not every pathological feature is annotated, meaning excluded areas can include focuses particular to these labels that are not used for training. A summary of the number of patches within each label is given in Table 2. To maintain a balanced training set, 1,000 patches of each label were used to train the machine learning model. Throughout all sets, only annotated patches were involved in model development. The performance of this model in identifying all the patches in the evaluation set can be seen in the confusion matrix of classification accuracy in Table 3. The highest performing labels were background, 97% correct identification, and artifact, 76% correct identification. A correlation exists between labels with more than 6,000 development patches and accurate performance on the evaluation set. Additionally, these results indicated a need to further refine the annotation of invasive ductal carcinoma (“indc”), inflammation (“infl”), nonneoplastic features (“nneo”), normal (“norm”) and suspicious (“susp”). This pilot experiment motivated changes to the corpus that will be discussed in detail in this poster presentation. To increase the accuracy of the machine learning model, we modified how we addressed underperforming labels. One common source of error arose with how non-background labels were converted into patches. Large areas of background within other labels were isolated within a patch resulting in connective tissue misrepresenting a non-background label. In response, the annotation overlay margins were revised to exclude benign connective tissue in non-background labels. Corresponding patient reports and supporting immunohistochemical stains further guided annotation reviews. The microscopic diagnoses given by the primary pathologist in these reports detail the pathological findings within each tissue site, but not within each specific slide. The microscopic diagnoses informed revisions specifically targeting annotated regions classified as cancerous, ensuring that the labels “indc” and “dcis” were used only in situations where a micropathologist diagnosed it as such. Further differentiation of cancerous and precancerous labels, as well as the location of their focus on a slide, could be accomplished with supplemental immunohistochemically (IHC) stained slides. When distinguishing whether a focus is a nonneoplastic feature versus a cancerous growth, pathologists employ antigen targeting stains to the tissue in question to confirm the diagnosis. For example, a nonneoplastic feature of usual ductal hyperplasia will display diffuse staining for cytokeratin 5 (CK5) and no diffuse staining for estrogen receptor (ER), while a cancerous growth of ductal carcinoma in situ will have negative or focally positive staining for CK5 and diffuse staining for ER [9]. Many tissue samples contain cancerous and non-cancerous features with morphological overlaps that cause variability between annotators. The informative fields IHC slides provide could play an integral role in machine model pathology diagnostics. Following the revisions made on all the annotations, a second experiment was run using ResNet18. Compared to the pilot study, an increase of model prediction accuracy was seen for the labels indc, infl, nneo, norm, and null. This increase is correlated with an increase in annotated area and annotation accuracy. Model performance in identifying the suspicious label decreased by 25% due to the decrease of 57% in the total annotated area described by this label. A summary of the model performance is given in Table 4, which shows the new prediction accuracy and the absolute change in error rate compared to Table 3. The breast tissue subset we are developing includes 3,505 annotated breast pathology slides from 296 patients. The average size of a scanned SVS file is 363 MB. The annotations are stored in an XML format. A CSV version of the annotation file is also available which provides a flat, or simple, annotation that is easy for machine learning researchers to access and interface to their systems. Each patient is identified by an anonymized medical reference number. Within each patient’s directory, one or more sessions are identified, also anonymized to the first of the month in which the sample was taken. These sessions are broken into groupings of tissue taken on that date (in this case, breast tissue). A deidentified patient report stored as a flat text file is also available. Within these slides there are a total of 16,971 total annotated regions with an average of 4.84 annotations per slide. Among those annotations, 8,035 are non-cancerous (normal, background, null, and artifact,) 6,222 are carcinogenic signs (inflammation, nonneoplastic and suspicious,) and 2,714 are cancerous labels (ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive ductal carcinoma in situ.) The individual patients are split up into three sets: train, development, and evaluation. Of the 74 cancerous patients, 20 were allotted for both the development and evaluation sets, while the remain 34 were allotted for train. The remaining 222 patients were split up to preserve the overall distribution of labels within the corpus. This was done in hope of creating control sets for comparable studies. Overall, the development and evaluation sets each have 80 patients, while the training set has 136 patients. In a related component of this project, slides from the Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) Biosample Repository ( -facility) are being digitized in addition to slides provided by Temple University Hospital. This data includes 18 different types of tissue including approximately 38.5% urinary tissue and 16.5% gynecological tissue. These slides and the metadata provided with them are already anonymized and include diagnoses in a spreadsheet with sample and patient ID. We plan to release over 13,000 unannotated slides from the FCCC Corpus simultaneously with v1.0.0 of TUDP. Details of this release will also be discussed in this poster. Few digitally annotated databases of pathology samples like TUDP exist due to the extensive data collection and processing required. The breast corpus subset should be released by November 2021. By December 2021 we should also release the unannotated FCCC data. We are currently annotating urinary tract data as well. We expect to release about 5,600 processed TUH slides in this subset. We have an additional 53,000 unprocessed TUH slides digitized. Corpora of this size will stimulate the development of a new generation of deep learning technology. In clinical settings where resources are limited, an assistive diagnoses model could support pathologists’ workload and even help prioritize suspected cancerous cases. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This material is supported by the National Science Foundation under grants nos. CNS-1726188 and 1925494. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. REFERENCES [1] N. Shawki et al., “The Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus,” in Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology: Emerging Trends in Research and Applications, 1st ed., I. Obeid, I. Selesnick, and J. Picone, Eds. New York City, New York, USA: Springer, 2020, pp. 67 104. [2] J. Picone, T. Farkas, I. Obeid, and Y. Persidsky, “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning.” Major Research Instrumentation (MRI), Division of Computer and Network Systems, Award No. 1726188, January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2021. https://www. [3] A. Gulati et al., “Conformer: Convolution-augmented Transformer for Speech Recognition,” in Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 2020, pp. 5036-5040. [4] C.-J. Wu et al., “Machine Learning at Facebook: Understanding Inference at the Edge,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA), 2019, pp. 331–344. [5] I. Caswell and B. Liang, “Recent Advances in Google Translate,” Google AI Blog: The latest from Google Research, 2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 01-Aug-2021]. [6] V. Khalkhali, N. Shawki, V. Shah, M. Golmohammadi, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Low Latency Real-Time Seizure Detection Using Transfer Deep Learning,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2021, pp. 1 7. https://www.isip. [7] J. Picone, T. Farkas, I. Obeid, and Y. Persidsky, “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2020. [8] I. Hunt, S. Husain, J. Simons, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Recent Advances in the Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2019, pp. 1–4. [9] A. P. Martinez, C. Cohen, K. Z. Hanley, and X. (Bill) Li, “Estrogen Receptor and Cytokeratin 5 Are Reliable Markers to Separate Usual Ductal Hyperplasia From Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia and Low-Grade Ductal Carcinoma In Situ,” Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med., vol. 140, no. 7, pp. 686–689, Apr. 2016. 
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  3. Abstract Background

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are known to suffer from a variety of acquisition artifacts as well as equipment‐based variations that impact image appearance and segmentation performance. It is still unclear whether a direct relationship exists between magnetic resonance (MR) image quality metrics (IQMs) (e.g., signal‐to‐noise, contrast‐to‐noise) and segmentation accuracy.


    Deep learning (DL) approaches have shown significant promise for automated segmentation of brain tumors on MRI but depend on the quality of input training images. We sought to evaluate the relationship between IQMs of input training images and DL‐based brain tumor segmentation accuracy toward developing more generalizable models for multi‐institutional data.


    We trained a 3D DenseNet model on the BraTS 2020 cohorts for segmentation of tumor subregions enhancing tumor (ET), peritumoral edematous, and necrotic and non‐ET on MRI; with performance quantified via a 5‐fold cross‐validated Dice coefficient. MRI scans were evaluated through the open‐source quality control tool MRQy, to yield 13 IQMs per scan. The Pearson correlation coefficient was computed between whole tumor (WT) dice values and IQM measures in the training cohorts to identify quality measures most correlated with segmentation performance. Each selected IQM was used to group MRI scans as “better” quality (BQ) or “worse” quality (WQ), via relative thresholding. Segmentation performance was re‐evaluated for the DenseNet model when (i) training on BQ MRI images with validation on WQ images, as well as (ii) training on WQ images, and validation on BQ images. Trends were further validated on independent test sets derived from the BraTS 2021 training cohorts.


    For this study, multimodal MRI scans from the BraTS 2020 training cohorts were used to train the segmentation model and validated on independent test sets derived from the BraTS 2021 cohort. Among the selected IQMs, models trained on BQ images based on inhomogeneity measurements (coefficient of variance, coefficient of joint variation, coefficient of variation of the foreground patch) and the models trained on WQ images based on noise measurement peak signal‐to‐noise ratio (SNR) yielded significantly improved tumor segmentation accuracy compared to their inverse models.


    Our results suggest that a significant correlation may exist between specific MR IQMs and DenseNet‐based brain tumor segmentation performance. The selection of MRI scans for model training based on IQMs may yield more accurate and generalizable models in unseen validation.

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  4. Purpose

    To develop an improved k‐space reconstruction method using scan‐specific deep learning that is trained on autocalibration signal (ACS) data.


    Robust artificial‐neural‐networks for k‐space interpolation (RAKI) reconstruction trains convolutional neural networks on ACS data. This enables nonlinear estimation of missing k‐space lines from acquired k‐space data with improved noise resilience, as opposed to conventional linear k‐space interpolation‐based methods, such as GRAPPA, which are based on linear convolutional kernels.


    The training algorithm is implemented using a mean square error loss function over the target points in the ACS region, using a gradient descent algorithm. The neural network contains 3 layers of convolutional operators, with 2 of these including nonlinear activation functions. The noise performance and reconstruction quality of the RAKI method was compared with GRAPPA in phantom, as well as in neurological and cardiac in vivo data sets.


    Phantom imaging shows that the proposed RAKI method outperforms GRAPPA at high (≥4) acceleration rates, both visually and quantitatively. Quantitative cardiac imaging shows improved noise resilience at high acceleration rates (rate 4:23% and rate 5:48%) over GRAPPA. The same trend of improved noise resilience is also observed in high‐resolution brain imaging at high acceleration rates.


    The RAKI method offers a training database‐free deep learning approach for MRI reconstruction, with the potential to improve many existing reconstruction approaches, and is compatible with conventional data acquisition protocols.

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  5. Purpose

    To develop a strategy for training a physics‐guided MRI reconstruction neural network without a database of fully sampled data sets.


    Self‐supervised learning via data undersampling (SSDU) for physics‐guided deep learning reconstruction partitions available measurements into two disjoint sets, one of which is used in the data consistency (DC) units in the unrolled network and the other is used to define the loss for training. The proposed training without fully sampled data is compared with fully supervised training with ground‐truth data, as well as conventional compressed‐sensing and parallel imaging methods using the publicly available fastMRI knee database. The same physics‐guided neural network is used for both proposed SSDU and supervised training. The SSDU training is also applied to prospectively two‐fold accelerated high‐resolution brain data sets at different acceleration rates, and compared with parallel imaging.


    Results on five different knee sequences at an acceleration rate of 4 shows that the proposed self‐supervised approach performs closely with supervised learning, while significantly outperforming conventional compressed‐sensing and parallel imaging, as characterized by quantitative metrics and a clinical reader study. The results on prospectively subsampled brain data sets, in which supervised learning cannot be used due to lack of ground‐truth reference, show that the proposed self‐supervised approach successfully performs reconstruction at high acceleration rates (4, 6, and 8). Image readings indicate improved visual reconstruction quality with the proposed approach compared with parallel imaging at acquisition acceleration.


    The proposed SSDU approach allows training of physics‐guided deep learning MRI reconstruction without fully sampled data, while achieving comparable results with supervised deep learning MRI trained on fully sampled data.

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