Keywords: Few Shot Learning, Variational AutoEncoder, Hematopoietic Cell Classification
Abstract: We propose a few shot learning approach for the problem of hematopoietic cell classification in digital pathology. In hematopoiesis cell classification, the classes correspond to the different stages of the cellular maturation process. Two consecutive stage categories are considered to have a neighborhood relationship, which implies a visual similarity between the two categories. We propose RelationVAE which incorporates these relationships between hematopoietic cell classes to robustly generate more data for the classes with limited training data. Specifically, we first model these relationships using a graphical model, and propose RelationVAE, a deep generative model which implements the graphical model. RelationVAE is trained to optimize the lower bound of the pairwise data likelihood of the graphical model. In this way, it can identify class level features of a specific class from a small number of input images together with the knowledge transferred from visually similar classes, leading to more robust sample synthesis. The experiments on our collected hematopoietic dataset show the improved results of our proposed RelationVAE over a baseline VAE model and other few shot learning methods. Our code and data are available at https://github.com/cvlab-stonybrook/hematopoiesis-relationvae.