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Pseudo-Labeling for Small Lesion Detection on Diabetic Retinopathy Images

by   Qilei Chen, et al.
UMass Lowell
Central South University
University of Massachusetts-Boston

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a primary cause of blindness in working-age people worldwide. About 3 to 4 million people with diabetes become blind because of DR every year. Diagnosis of DR through color fundus images is a common approach to mitigate such problem. However, DR diagnosis is a difficult and time consuming task, which requires experienced clinicians to identify the presence and significance of many small features on high resolution images. Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) has proved to be a promising approach for automatic biomedical image analysis recently. In this work, we investigate lesion detection on DR fundus images with CNN-based object detection methods. Lesion detection on fundus images faces two unique challenges. The first one is that our dataset is not fully labeled, i.e., only a subset of all lesion instances are marked. Not only will these unlabeled lesion instances not contribute to the training of the model, but also they will be mistakenly counted as false negatives, leading the model move to the opposite direction. The second challenge is that the lesion instances are usually very small, making them difficult to be found by normal object detectors. To address the first challenge, we introduce an iterative training algorithm for the semi-supervised method of pseudo-labeling, in which a considerable number of unlabeled lesion instances can be discovered to boost the performance of the lesion detector. For the small size targets problem, we extend both the input size and the depth of feature pyramid network (FPN) to produce a large CNN feature map, which can preserve the detail of small lesions and thus enhance the effectiveness of the lesion detector. The experimental results show that our proposed methods significantly outperform the baselines.


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