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CoTr: Efficiently Bridging CNN and Transformer for 3D Medical Image Segmentation

Abstract: Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been the de facto standard for nowadays 3D medical image segmentation. The convolutional operations used in these networks, however, inevitably have limitations in modeling the long-range dependency due to their inductive bias of locality and weight sharing. Although Transformer was born to address this issue, it suffers from extreme computational and spatial complexities in processing high-resolution 3D feature maps. In this paper, we propose a novel framework that efficiently bridges a {\bf Co}nvolutional neural network and a {\bf Tr}ansformer {\bf (CoTr)} for accurate 3D medical image segmentation. Under this framework, the CNN is constructed to extract feature representations and an efficient deformable Transformer (DeTrans) is built to model the long-range dependency on the extracted feature maps. Different from the vanilla Transformer which treats all image positions equally, our DeTrans pays attention only to a small set of key positions by introducing the deformable self-attention mechanism. Thus, the computational and spatial complexities of DeTrans have been greatly reduced, making it possible to process the multi-scale and high-resolution feature maps, which are usually of paramount importance for image segmentation. We conduct an extensive evaluation on the Multi-Atlas Labeling Beyond the Cranial Vault (BCV) dataset that covers 11 major human organs. The results indicate that our CoTr leads to a substantial performance improvement over other CNN-based, transformer-based, and hybrid methods on the 3D multi-organ segmentation task. Code is available at \def\UrlFont{\rm\small\ttfamily} \url{this https URL}

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15 results found


Open accessPosted Content
Yifan Jiang1, Shiyu Chang1, Zhangyang Wang2Institutions (2)
Abstract: The recent explosive interest on transformers has suggested their potential to become powerful ``universal" models for computer vision tasks, such as classification, detection, and segmentation. While those attempts mainly study the discriminative models, we explore transformers on some more notoriously difficult vision tasks, e.g., generative adversarial networks (GANs). Our goal is to conduct the first pilot study in building a GAN completely free of convolutions, using only pure transformer-based architectures. Our vanilla GAN architecture, dubbed TransGAN, consists of a memory-friendly transformer-based generator that progressively increases feature resolution, and correspondingly a multi-scale discriminator to capture simultaneously semantic contexts and low-level textures. On top of them, we introduce the new module of grid self-attention for alleviating the memory bottleneck further, in order to scale up TransGAN to high-resolution generation. We also develop a unique training recipe including a series of techniques that can mitigate the training instability issues of TransGAN, such as data augmentation, modified normalization, and relative position encoding. Our best architecture achieves highly competitive performance compared to current state-of-the-art GANs using convolutional backbones. Specifically, TransGAN sets new state-of-the-art inception score of 10.43 and FID of 18.28 on STL-10, outperforming StyleGAN-V2. When it comes to higher-resolution (e.g. 256 x 256) generation tasks, such as on CelebA-HQ and LSUN-Church, TransGAN continues to produce diverse visual examples with high fidelity and impressive texture details. In addition, we dive deep into the transformer-based generation models to understand how their behaviors differ from convolutional ones, by visualizing training dynamics. The code is available at this https URL.

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36 Citations


Open accessPosted Content
Abstract: Fully Convolutional Neural Networks (FCNNs) with contracting and expansive paths (e.g. encoder and decoder) have shown prominence in various medical image segmentation applications during the recent years. In these architectures, the encoder plays an integral role by learning global contextual representations which will be further utilized for semantic output prediction by the decoder. Despite their success, the locality of convolutional layers , as the main building block of FCNNs limits the capability of learning long-range spatial dependencies in such networks. Inspired by the recent success of transformers in Natural Language Processing (NLP) in long-range sequence learning, we reformulate the task of volumetric (3D) medical image segmentation as a sequence-to-sequence prediction problem. In particular, we introduce a novel architecture, dubbed as UNEt TRansformers (UNETR), that utilizes a pure transformer as the encoder to learn sequence representations of the input volume and effectively capture the global multi-scale information. The transformer encoder is directly connected to a decoder via skip connections at different resolutions to compute the final semantic segmentation output. We have extensively validated the performance of our proposed model across different imaging modalities(i.e. MR and CT) on volumetric brain tumour and spleen segmentation tasks using the Medical Segmentation Decathlon (MSD) dataset, and our results consistently demonstrate favorable benchmarks.

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Topics: Image segmentation (60%), Encoder (57%), Convolutional neural network (54%) ... read more

23 Citations


Open accessPosted Content
Abstract: In the past few years, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have achieved milestones in medical image analysis. Especially, the deep neural networks based on U-shaped architecture and skip-connections have been widely applied in a variety of medical image tasks. However, although CNN has achieved excellent performance, it cannot learn global and long-range semantic information interaction well due to the locality of the convolution operation. In this paper, we propose Swin-Unet, which is an Unet-like pure Transformer for medical image segmentation. The tokenized image patches are fed into the Transformer-based U-shaped Encoder-Decoder architecture with skip-connections for local-global semantic feature learning. Specifically, we use hierarchical Swin Transformer with shifted windows as the encoder to extract context features. And a symmetric Swin Transformer-based decoder with patch expanding layer is designed to perform the up-sampling operation to restore the spatial resolution of the feature maps. Under the direct down-sampling and up-sampling of the inputs and outputs by 4x, experiments on multi-organ and cardiac segmentation tasks demonstrate that the pure Transformer-based U-shaped Encoder-Decoder network outperforms those methods with full-convolution or the combination of transformer and convolution. The codes and trained models will be publicly available at this https URL.

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20 Citations


Open accessPosted Content
Hong-Yu Zhou, Jiansen Guo1, Yinghao Zhang1, Lequan Yu2  +2 moreInstitutions (3)
Abstract: Transformers, the default model of choices in natural language processing, have drawn scant attention from the medical imaging community. Given the ability to exploit long-term dependencies, transformers are promising to help atypical convolutional neural networks (convnets) to overcome its inherent shortcomings of spatial inductive bias. However, most of recently proposed transformer-based segmentation approaches simply treated transformers as assisted modules to help encode global context into convolutional representations without investigating how to optimally combine self-attention (i.e., the core of transformers) with convolution. To address this issue, in this paper, we introduce nnFormer (i.e., Not-aNother transFormer), a powerful segmentation model with an interleaved architecture based on empirical combination of self-attention and convolution. In practice, nnFormer learns volumetric representations from 3D local volumes. Compared to the naive voxel-level self-attention implementation, such volume-based operations help to reduce the computational complexity by approximate 98% and 99.5% on Synapse and ACDC datasets, respectively. In comparison to prior-art network configurations, nnFormer achieves tremendous improvements over previous transformer-based methods on two commonly used datasets Synapse and ACDC. For instance, nnFormer outperforms Swin-UNet by over 7 percents on Synapse. Even when compared to nnUNet, currently the best performing fully-convolutional medical segmentation network, nnFormer still provides slightly better performance on Synapse and ACDC.

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4 Citations


Open accessPosted Content
Xiangyi Yan, Hao Tang, Shanlin Sun, Haoyu Ma  +2 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: Recent advances in transformer-based models have drawn attention to exploring these techniques in medical image segmentation, especially in conjunction with the U-Net model (or its variants), which has shown great success in medical image segmentation, under both 2D and 3D settings. Current 2D based methods either directly replace convolutional layers with pure transformers or consider a transformer as an additional intermediate encoder between the encoder and decoder of U-Net. However, these approaches only consider the attention encoding within one single slice and do not utilize the axial-axis information naturally provided by a 3D volume. In the 3D setting, convolution on volumetric data and transformers both consume large GPU memory. One has to either downsample the image or use cropped local patches to reduce GPU memory usage, which limits its performance. In this paper, we propose Axial Fusion Transformer UNet (AFTer-UNet), which takes both advantages of convolutional layers' capability of extracting detailed features and transformers' strength on long sequence modeling. It considers both intra-slice and inter-slice long-range cues to guide the segmentation. Meanwhile, it has fewer parameters and takes less GPU memory to train than the previous transformer-based models. Extensive experiments on three multi-organ segmentation datasets demonstrate that our method outperforms current state-of-the-art methods.

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Topics: Transformer (machine learning model) (61%), Image segmentation (59%), Encoding (memory) (53%) ... read more

2 Citations


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28 results found


Open accessProceedings ArticleDOI: 10.1109/CVPR.2016.90
Kaiming He1, Xiangyu Zhang1, Shaoqing Ren1, Jian Sun1Institutions (1)
27 Jun 2016-
Abstract: Deeper neural networks are more difficult to train. We present a residual learning framework to ease the training of networks that are substantially deeper than those used previously. We explicitly reformulate the layers as learning residual functions with reference to the layer inputs, instead of learning unreferenced functions. We provide comprehensive empirical evidence showing that these residual networks are easier to optimize, and can gain accuracy from considerably increased depth. On the ImageNet dataset we evaluate residual nets with a depth of up to 152 layers—8× deeper than VGG nets [40] but still having lower complexity. An ensemble of these residual nets achieves 3.57% error on the ImageNet test set. This result won the 1st place on the ILSVRC 2015 classification task. We also present analysis on CIFAR-10 with 100 and 1000 layers. The depth of representations is of central importance for many visual recognition tasks. Solely due to our extremely deep representations, we obtain a 28% relative improvement on the COCO object detection dataset. Deep residual nets are foundations of our submissions to ILSVRC & COCO 2015 competitions1, where we also won the 1st places on the tasks of ImageNet detection, ImageNet localization, COCO detection, and COCO segmentation.

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Topics: Deep learning (53%), Residual (53%), Convolutional neural network (53%) ... read more

93,356 Citations


Open accessBook ChapterDOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-24574-4_28
05 Oct 2015-
Abstract: There is large consent that successful training of deep networks requires many thousand annotated training samples. In this paper, we present a network and training strategy that relies on the strong use of data augmentation to use the available annotated samples more efficiently. The architecture consists of a contracting path to capture context and a symmetric expanding path that enables precise localization. We show that such a network can be trained end-to-end from very few images and outperforms the prior best method (a sliding-window convolutional network) on the ISBI challenge for segmentation of neuronal structures in electron microscopic stacks. Using the same network trained on transmitted light microscopy images (phase contrast and DIC) we won the ISBI cell tracking challenge 2015 in these categories by a large margin. Moreover, the network is fast. Segmentation of a 512x512 image takes less than a second on a recent GPU. The full implementation (based on Caffe) and the trained networks are available at http://lmb.informatik.uni-freiburg.de/people/ronneber/u-net .

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Topics: Brain segmentation (57%), Deep learning (54%), Segmentation (50%)

28,273 Citations


Proceedings ArticleDOI: 10.18653/V1/N19-1423
11 Oct 2018-
Abstract: We introduce a new language representation model called BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. Unlike recent language representation models (Peters et al., 2018a; Radford et al., 2018), BERT is designed to pre-train deep bidirectional representations from unlabeled text by jointly conditioning on both left and right context in all layers. As a result, the pre-trained BERT model can be fine-tuned with just one additional output layer to create state-of-the-art models for a wide range of tasks, such as question answering and language inference, without substantial task-specific architecture modifications. BERT is conceptually simple and empirically powerful. It obtains new state-of-the-art results on eleven natural language processing tasks, including pushing the GLUE score to 80.5 (7.7 point absolute improvement), MultiNLI accuracy to 86.7% (4.6% absolute improvement), SQuAD v1.1 question answering Test F1 to 93.2 (1.5 point absolute improvement) and SQuAD v2.0 Test F1 to 83.1 (5.1 point absolute improvement).

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Topics: Question answering (54%), Language model (52%)

24,672 Citations


Open accessProceedings Article
Ashish Vaswani1, Noam Shazeer1, Niki Parmar2, Jakob Uszkoreit1  +4 moreInstitutions (2)
12 Jun 2017-
Abstract: The dominant sequence transduction models are based on complex recurrent orconvolutional neural networks in an encoder and decoder configuration. The best performing such models also connect the encoder and decoder through an attentionm echanisms. We propose a novel, simple network architecture based solely onan attention mechanism, dispensing with recurrence and convolutions entirely.Experiments on two machine translation tasks show these models to be superiorin quality while being more parallelizable and requiring significantly less timeto train. Our single model with 165 million parameters, achieves 27.5 BLEU onEnglish-to-German translation, improving over the existing best ensemble result by over 1 BLEU. On English-to-French translation, we outperform the previoussingle state-of-the-art with model by 0.7 BLEU, achieving a BLEU score of 41.1.

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Topics: Machine translation (58%), Encoder (52%), BLEU (51%) ... read more

21,996 Citations


Open accessProceedings ArticleDOI: 10.1109/CVPR.2017.660
Hengshuang Zhao1, Jianping Shi2, Xiaojuan Qi1, Xiaogang Wang1  +1 moreInstitutions (2)
21 Jul 2017-
Abstract: Scene parsing is challenging for unrestricted open vocabulary and diverse scenes. In this paper, we exploit the capability of global context information by different-region-based context aggregation through our pyramid pooling module together with the proposed pyramid scene parsing network (PSPNet). Our global prior representation is effective to produce good quality results on the scene parsing task, while PSPNet provides a superior framework for pixel-level prediction. The proposed approach achieves state-of-the-art performance on various datasets. It came first in ImageNet scene parsing challenge 2016, PASCAL VOC 2012 benchmark and Cityscapes benchmark. A single PSPNet yields the new record of mIoU accuracy 85.4% on PASCAL VOC 2012 and accuracy 80.2% on Cityscapes.

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Topics: Parsing (54%)

5,721 Citations


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