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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  3. An organ segmentation method that can generalize to unseen contrasts and scanner settings can significantly reduce the need for retraining of deep learning models. Domain Generalization (DG) aims to achieve this goal. However, most DG methods for segmentation require training data from multiple domains during training. We propose a novel adversarial domain generalization method for organ segmentation trained on data from a single domain. We synthesize the new domains via learning an adversarial domain synthesizer (ADS) and presume that the synthetic domains cover a large enough area of plausible distributions so that unseen domains can be interpolated from synthetic domains. We propose a mutual information regularizer to enforce the semantic consistency between images from the synthetic domains, which can be estimated by patch-level contrastive learning. We evaluate our method for various organ segmentation for unseen modalities, scanning protocols, and scanner sites.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  4. Creating a large-scale dataset of abnormality annotation on medical images is a labor-intensive and costly task. Leveraging weak supervision from readily available data such as radiology reports can compensate lack of large-scale data for anomaly detection methods. However, most of the current methods only use image-level pathological observations, failing to utilize the relevant anatomy mentions in reports. Furthermore, Natural Language Processing (NLP)-mined weak labels are noisy due to label sparsity and linguistic ambiguity. We propose an Anatomy-Guided chest X-ray Network (AGXNet) to address these issues of weak annotation. Our framework consists of a cascade of two net- works, one responsible for identifying anatomical abnormalities and the second responsible for pathological observations. The critical component in our framework is an anatomy-guided attention module that aids the downstream observation network in focusing on the relevant anatomical regions generated by the anatomy network. We use Positive Unlabeled (PU) learning to account for the fact that lack of mention does not nec- essarily mean a negative label. Our quantitative and qualitative results on the MIMIC-CXR dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of AGXNet in disease and anatomical abnormality localization. Experiments on the NIH Chest X-ray dataset show that the learned feature representations are transferable and canmore »achieve the state-of-the-art performances in dis- ease classification and competitive disease localization results. Our code is available at« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  6. Unpaired image-to-image translation (I2I) is an ill-posed problem, as an infinite number of translation functions can map the source domain distribution to the target distribution. Therefore, much effort has been put into designing suitable constraints, e.g., cycle consistency (CycleGAN), geometry consistency (GCGAN), and contrastive learning-based constraints (CUTGAN), that help better pose the problem. However, these well-known constraints have limitations: (1) they are either too restrictive or too weak for specific I2I tasks; (2) these methods result in content distortion when there is a significant spatial variation between the source and target domains. This paper proposes a universal regularization technique called maximum spatial perturbation consistency (MSPC), which enforces a spatial perturbation function (T) and the translation operator (G) to be commutative (i.e., T \circ G = G \circ T ). In addition, we introduce two adversarial training components for learning the spatial perturbation function. The first one lets T compete with G to achieve maximum perturbation. The second one lets G and T compete with discriminators to align the spatial variations caused by the change of object size, object distortion, background interruptions, etc. Our method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods on most I2I benchmarks. We also introduce a new benchmark, namely themore »front face to profile face dataset, to emphasize the underlying challenges of I2I for real-world applications. We finally perform ablation experiments to study the sensitivity of our method to the severity of spatial perturbation and its effectiveness for distribution alignment.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  7. A highly accurate but overconfident model is ill-suited for deployment in critical applications such as healthcare and autonomous driving. The classification outcome should reflect a high uncertainty on ambiguous in-distribution samples that lie close to the decision boundary. The model should also refrain from making overconfident decisions on samples that lie far outside its training distribution, far-out-of-distribution (far-OOD), or on unseen samples from novel classes that lie near its training distribution (near-OOD). This paper proposes an application of counterfactual explanations in fixing an over-confident classifier. Specifically, we propose to fine-tune a given pre-trained classifier using augmentations from a counterfactual explainer (ACE) to fix its uncertainty characteristics while retaining its predictive performance. We perform extensive experiments with detecting far-OOD, near-OOD, and ambiguous samples. Our empirical results show that the revised model has improved uncertainty measures, and its performance is competitive to the state-of-the-art methods.
  8. Vessel segmentation is an essential task in many clinical applications. Although supervised methods have achieved state-of-art performance, acquiring expert annotation is laborious and mostly limited for two-dimensional datasets with a small sample size. On the contrary, unsupervised methods rely on handcrafted features to detect tube-like structures such as vessels. However, those methods require complex pipelines involving several hyper-parameters and design choices rendering the procedure sensitive, dataset-specific, and not generalizable. We propose a self-supervised method with a limited number of hyper-parameters that is generalizable across modalities. Our method uses tube-like structure properties, such as connectivity, profile consistency, and bifurcation, to introduce inductive bias into a learning algorithm. To model those properties, we generate a vector field that we refer to as a flow. Our experiments on various public datasets in 2D and 3D show that our method performs better than unsupervised methods while learning useful transferable features from unlabeled data. Unlike generic self-supervised methods, the learned features learn vessel-relevant features that are transferable for supervised approaches, which is essential when the number of annotated data is limited.
  9. Model explainability is essential for the creation of trustworthy Machine Learning models in healthcare. An ideal explanation resembles the decision-making process of a domain expert and is expressed using concepts or terminology that is meaningful to the clinicians. To provide such explanation, we first associate the hidden units of the classifier to clinically relevant concepts. We take advantage of radiology reports accompanying the chest X-ray images to define concepts. We discover sparse associations between concepts and hidden units using a linear sparse logistic regression. To ensure that the identified units truly influence the classifier’s outcome, we adopt tools from Causal Inference literature and, more specifically, mediation analysis through counterfactual interventions. Finally, we construct a low-depth decision tree to translate all the discovered concepts into a straightforward decision rule, expressed to the radiologist. We evaluated our approach on a large chest x-ray dataset, where our model produces a global explanation consistent with clinical knowledge.
  10. The generalization of representations learned via contrastive learning depends crucially on what features of the data are extracted. However, we observe that the contrastive loss does not always sufficiently guide which features are extracted, a behavior that can negatively impact the performance on downstream tasks via "shortcuts", i.e., by inadvertently suppressing important predictive features. We find that feature extraction is influenced by the difficulty of the so-called instance discrimination task (i.e., the task of discriminating pairs of similar points from pairs of dissimilar ones). Although harder pairs improve the representation of some features, the improvement comes at the cost of suppressing previously well-represented features. In response, we propose implicit feature modification (IFM), a method for altering positive and negative samples in order to guide contrastive models towards capturing a wider variety of predictive features. Empirically, we observe that IFM reduces feature suppression, and as a result, improves performance on vision and medical imaging tasks.