Weakly Supervised Deep Nuclei Segmentation using Points Annotation in Histopathology Images

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Hui Qu, Pengxiang Wu, Qiaoying Huang, Jingru Yi, Gregory M. Riedlinger, Subhajyoti De, Dimitris N. Metaxas ;
Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Medical Imaging with Deep Learning, PMLR 102:390-400, 2019.

Abstract

Nuclei segmentation is a fundamental task in histopathological image analysis. Typically, such segmentation tasks require significant effort to manually generate pixel-wise annotations for fully supervised training. To alleviate the manual effort, in this paper we propose a novel approach using points only annotation. Two types of coarse labels with complementary information are derived from the points annotation, and are then utilized to train a deep neural network. The fully-connected conditional random field loss is utilized to further refine the model without introducing extra computational complexity during inference. Experimental results on two nuclei segmentation datasets reveal that the proposed method is able to achieve competitive performance compared to the fully supervised counterpart and the state-of-the-art methods while requiring significantly less annotation effort. Our code is publicly available.

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