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Keywords: equivariance, Lie groups, B-Splines, G-CNNs, deep learning, group convolution, computer vision, medical image analysis
TL;DR: The paper describes a flexible framework for building CNNs that are equivariant to a large class of transformations groups.
Abstract: Group convolutional neural networks (G-CNNs) can be used to improve classical CNNs by equipping them with the geometric structure of groups. Central in the success of G-CNNs is the lifting of feature maps to higher dimensional disentangled representations, in which data characteristics are effectively learned, geometric data-augmentations are made obsolete, and predictable behavior under geometric transformations (equivariance) is guaranteed via group theory. Currently, however, the practical implementations of G-CNNs are limited to either discrete groups (that leave the grid intact) or continuous compact groups such as rotations (that enable the use of Fourier theory). In this paper we lift these limitations and propose a modular framework for the design and implementation of G-CNNs for arbitrary Lie groups. In our approach the differential structure of Lie groups is used to expand convolution kernels in a generic basis of B-splines that is defined on the Lie algebra. This leads to a flexible framework that enables localized, atrous, and deformable convolutions in G-CNNs by means of respectively localized, sparse and non-uniform B-spline expansions. The impact and potential of our approach is studied on two benchmark datasets: cancer detection in histopathology slides (PCam dataset) in which rotation equivariance plays a key role and facial landmark localization (CelebA dataset) in which scale equivariance is important. In both cases, G-CNN architectures outperform their classical 2D counterparts and the added value of atrous and localized group convolutions is studied in detail.