Iterative learning to make the most of unlabeled and quickly obtained labeled data in histology


Laxmi Gupta, Barbara Mara Klinkhammer, Peter Boor, Dorit Merhof, Michael Gadermayr ;
Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Medical Imaging with Deep Learning, PMLR 102:215-224, 2019.


Due to the increasing availability of digital whole slide scanners, the importance of image analysis in the field of digital pathology increased significantly. A major challenge and an equally big opportunity for analyses in this field is given by the wide range of tasks and different histological stains. Although sufficient image data is often available for training, the requirement for corresponding expert annotations inhibits clinical deployment. Thus, there is an urgent need for methods which can be effectively trained with or adapted to a small amount of labeled training data. Here, we propose a method to find an optimum trade-off between (low) annotation effort and (high) segmentation accuracy. For this purpose, we propose an approach based on a weakly supervised and an unsupervised learning stage relying on few roughly labeled samples and many unlabeled samples. Although the idea of weakly annotated data is not new, we firstly investigate the applicability to digital pathology in a state-of-the-art machine learning setting.

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