Robust White Matter Hyperintensity Segmentation on Unseen Domain

by   Xingchen Zhao, et al.

Typical machine learning frameworks heavily rely on an underlying assumption that training and test data follow the same distribution. In medical imaging which increasingly begun acquiring datasets from multiple sites or scanners, this identical distribution assumption often fails to hold due to systematic variability induced by site or scanner dependent factors. Therefore, we cannot simply expect a model trained on a given dataset to consistently work well, or generalize, on a dataset from another distribution. In this work, we address this problem, investigating the application of machine learning models to unseen medical imaging data. Specifically, we consider the challenging case of Domain Generalization (DG) where we train a model without any knowledge about the testing distribution. That is, we train on samples from a set of distributions (sources) and test on samples from a new, unseen distribution (target). We focus on the task of white matter hyperintensity (WMH) prediction using the multi-site WMH Segmentation Challenge dataset and our local in-house dataset. We identify how two mechanically distinct DG approaches, namely domain adversarial learning and mix-up, have theoretical synergy. Then, we show drastic improvements of WMH prediction on an unseen target domain.


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