ECONet: Efficient Convolutional Online Likelihood Network for Scribble-based Interactive Segmentation
Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Medical Imaging with Deep Learning, PMLR 172:35-47, 2022.
Automatic segmentation of lung lesions associated with COVID-19 in CT images requires large amount of annotated volumes. Annotations mandate expert knowledge and are time-intensive to obtain through fully manual segmentation methods. Additionally, lung lesions have large inter-patient variations, with some pathologies having similar visual appearance as healthy lung tissues. This poses a challenge when applying existing semi-automatic interactive segmentation techniques for data labelling. To address these challenges, we propose an efficient convolutional neural networks (CNNs) that can be learned online while the annotator provides scribble-based interaction. To accelerate learning from only the samples labelled through user-interactions, a patch-based approach is used for training the network. Moreover, we use weighted cross-entropy loss to address the class imbalance that may result from user-interactions. During online inference, the learned network is applied to the whole input volume using a fully convolutional approach. We compare our proposed method with state-of-the-art using synthetic scribbles and show that it outperforms existing methods on the task of annotating lung lesions associated with COVID-19, achieving 16% higher Dice score while reducing execution time by 3× and requiring 9000 lesser scribble-sbased labelled voxels. Due to the online learning aspect, our approach adapts quickly to user input, resulting in high quality segmentation labels. Source code for ECONet is available at: https://github.com/masadcv/ECONet-MONAILabel.