Learning Image Labels On-the-fly for Training Robust Classification Models

by   Xiaosong Wang, et al.

Current deep learning paradigms largely benefit from the tremendous amount of annotated data. However, the quality of the annotations often varies among labelers. Multi-observer studies have been conducted to study these annotation variances (by labeling the same data for multiple times) and its effects on critical applications like medical image analysis. This process indeed adds an extra burden to the already tedious annotation work that usually requires professional training and expertise in the specific domains. On the other hand, automated annotation methods based on NLP algorithms have recently shown promise as a reasonable alternative, relying on the existing diagnostic reports of those images that are widely available in the clinical system. Compared to human labelers, different algorithms provide labels with varying qualities that are even noisier. In this paper, we show how noisy annotations (e.g., from different algorithm-based labelers) can be utilized together and mutually benefit the learning of classification tasks. Specifically, the concept of attention-on-label is introduced to sample better label sets on-the-fly as the training data. A meta-training based label-sampling module is designed to attend the labels that benefit the model learning the most through additional back-propagation processes. We apply the attention-on-label scheme on the classification task of a synthetic noisy CIFAR-10 dataset to prove the concept, and then demonstrate superior results (3-5 disease classification AUCs) on the chest x-ray images from a hospital-scale dataset (MIMIC-CXR) and hand-labeled dataset (OpenI) in comparison to regular training paradigms.


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