Explainable Weakly-Supervised Cell Nuclei Segmentation by Canonical Shape Learning and TransformationDownload PDF

17 Dec 2021, 17:44 (edited 22 Jun 2022)MIDL 2022Readers: Everyone
  • Keywords: Segmentation, Weakly-Supervised Learning, Implicit-Functions, Explainable
  • TL;DR: A model for instance segmentation that learns a canonical shape of the objects of interest, and learns an affine transformation to place them in the correct location.
  • Abstract: Microscopy images have been increasingly analyzed quantitatively in biomedical research. Segmenting individual cell nucleus is an important step as many research studies involve counting cell nuclei and analysing their shape. We propose a novel weakly supervised instance segmentation method trained with image segmentation masks only. Our system comprises two models: an implicit shape Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) that learns the shape of the nuclei in canonical coordinates; and 2) an encoder that predicts the parameters of the affine transformation to deform the canonical shape into the correct location, scale, and orientation in the image. To further improve the performance of the model, we propose a loss that uses the total number of nuclei in an image as supervision. Our system is explainable, as the implicit shape MLP learns that the canonical shape of the cell nuclei is a circle, and interpretable as the output of the encoder are parameters of affine transformations. We obtain image segmentation performance close to DeepLabV3 and, additionally, obtain an F1-score$_{IoU=0.5}$ of $68.47\%$ at the instance segmentation task, even though the system was trained with image segmentations.
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  • Paper Type: both
  • Primary Subject Area: Segmentation
  • Secondary Subject Area: Interpretability and Explainable AI
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  • Code And Data: https://bbbc.broadinstitute.org/BBBC038
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