A Dempster-Shafer approach to trustworthy AI with application to fetal brain MRI segmentation

by   Lucas Fidon, et al.

Deep learning models for medical image segmentation can fail unexpectedly and spectacularly for pathological cases and for images acquired at different centers than those used for training, with labeling errors that violate expert knowledge about the anatomy and the intensity distribution of the regions to be segmented. Such errors undermine the trustworthiness of deep learning models developed for medical image segmentation. Mechanisms with a fallback method for detecting and correcting such failures are essential for safely translating this technology into clinics and are likely to be a requirement of future regulations on artificial intelligence (AI). Here, we propose a principled trustworthy AI theoretical framework and a practical system that can augment any backbone AI system using a fallback method and a fail-safe mechanism based on Dempster-Shafer theory. Our approach relies on an actionable definition of trustworthy AI. Our method automatically discards the voxel-level labeling predicted by the backbone AI that are likely to violate expert knowledge and relies on a fallback atlas-based segmentation method for those voxels. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed trustworthy AI approach on the largest reported annotated dataset of fetal T2w MRI consisting of 540 manually annotated fetal brain 3D MRIs with neurotypical or abnormal brain development and acquired from 13 sources of data across 6 countries. We show that our trustworthy AI method improves the robustness of a state-of-the-art backbone AI for fetal brain MRI segmentation on MRIs acquired across various centers and for fetuses with various brain abnormalities.


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