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  1. null (Ed.)
    Instance segmentation, which seeks to obtain both class and instance labels for each pixel in the input image, is a challenging task in computer vision. State-ofthe-art algorithms often employ a search-based strategy, which first divides the output image with a regular grid and generate proposals at each grid cell, then the proposals are classified and boundaries refined. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm that directly utilizes a fully convolutional network (FCN) to predict instance labels. Specifically, we propose a variational relaxation of instance segmentation as minimizing an optimization functional for a piecewise-constant segmentation problem, which can be used to train an FCN end-to-end. It extends the classical Mumford-Shah variational segmentation algorithm to be able to handle the permutation-invariant ground truth in instance segmentation. Experiments on PASCAL VOC 2012 and the MSCOCO 2017 dataset show that the proposed approach efficiently tackles the instance segmentation task. The source code and trained models are released at https://github.com/jia2lin3yuan1/2020-instanceSeg. 
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  2. Segmentation algorithms are prone to make topological errors on fine-scale structures, e.g., broken connections. We propose a novel method that learns to segment with correct topology. In particular, we design a continuous-valued loss function that enforces a segmentation to have the same topology as the ground truth, i.e., having the same Betti number. The proposed topology-preserving loss function is differentiable and we incorporate it into end-to-end training of a deep neural network. Our method achieves much better performance on the Betti number error, which directly accounts for the topological correctness. It also performs superiorly on other topology-relevant metrics, e.g., the Adjusted Rand Index and the Variation of Information. We illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method on a broad spectrum of natural and biomedical datasets. 
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