SCPM-Net: An Anchor-free 3D Lung Nodule Detection Network using Sphere Representation and Center Points Matching

04/12/2021 ∙ by Xiangde Luo, et al. ∙ 8

Automatic and accurate lung nodule detection from 3D Computed Tomography scans plays a vital role in efficient lung cancer screening. Despite the state-of-the-art performance obtained by recent anchor-based detectors using Convolutional Neural Networks, they require predetermined anchor parameters such as the size, number, and aspect ratio of anchors, and have limited robustness when dealing with lung nodules with a massive variety of sizes. We propose a 3D sphere representation-based center-points matching detection network (SCPM-Net) that is anchor-free and automatically predicts the position, radius, and offset of nodules without the manual design of nodule/anchor parameters. The SCPM-Net consists of two novel pillars: sphere representation and center points matching. To mimic the nodule annotation in clinical practice, we replace the conventional bounding box with the newly proposed bounding sphere. A compatible sphere-based intersection over-union loss function is introduced to train the lung nodule detection network stably and efficiently.We empower the network anchor-free by designing a positive center-points selection and matching (CPM) process, which naturally discards pre-determined anchor boxes. An online hard example mining and re-focal loss subsequently enable the CPM process more robust, resulting in more accurate point assignment and the mitigation of class imbalance. In addition, to better capture spatial information and 3D context for the detection, we propose to fuse multi-level spatial coordinate maps with the feature extractor and combine them with 3D squeeze-and-excitation attention modules. Experimental results on the LUNA16 dataset showed that our proposed SCPM-Net framework achieves superior performance compared with existing used anchor-based and anchor-free methods for lung nodule detection.



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Code Repositories


[MICCAI2020]CPM-Net: A 3D Center-Points Matching Network for Pulmonary Nodule Detection in CT Scans

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