Keywords: Instance Segmentation, Reinforcement Learning, Biomedical Imaging
TL;DR: Instance segmentation can be learned from high-level rules only for objects following a regular shape prior.
Abstract: Instance segmentation is a fundamental computer vision problem which remains challenging despite impressive recent advances due to deep learning-based methods. Given sufficient training data, fully supervised methods can yield excellent performance, but annotation of groundtruth data remains a major bottleneck, especially for biomedical applications where it has to be performed by domain experts. The amount of labels required can be drastically reduced by using rules derived from prior knowledge to guide the segmentation. However, these rules are in general not differentiable and thus cannot be used with existing methods. Here, we revoke this requirement by using stateless actor critic reinforcement learning, which enables non-differentiable rewards. We formulate the instance segmentation problem as graph partitioning and the actor critic predicts the edge weights driven by the rewards, which are based on the conformity of segmented instances to high-level priors on object shape, position or size. The experiments on toy and real data demonstrate that a good set of priors is sufficient to reach excellent performance without any direct object-level supervision.
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