Boundary-aware Supervoxel-level Iteratively Refined Interactive 3D Image Segmentation with Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning

19 Mar 2023  ·  Chaofan Ma, Qisen Xu, Xiangfeng Wang, Bo Jin, Xiaoyun Zhang, Yanfeng Wang, Ya zhang ·

Interactive segmentation has recently been explored to effectively and efficiently harvest high-quality segmentation masks by iteratively incorporating user hints. While iterative in nature, most existing interactive segmentation methods tend to ignore the dynamics of successive interactions and take each interaction independently. We here propose to model iterative interactive image segmentation with a Markov decision process (MDP) and solve it with reinforcement learning (RL) where each voxel is treated as an agent. Considering the large exploration space for voxel-wise prediction and the dependence among neighboring voxels for the segmentation tasks, multi-agent reinforcement learning is adopted, where the voxel-level policy is shared among agents. Considering that boundary voxels are more important for segmentation, we further introduce a boundary-aware reward, which consists of a global reward in the form of relative cross-entropy gain, to update the policy in a constrained direction, and a boundary reward in the form of relative weight, to emphasize the correctness of boundary predictions. To combine the advantages of different types of interactions, i.e., simple and efficient for point-clicking, and stable and robust for scribbles, we propose a supervoxel-clicking based interaction design. Experimental results on four benchmark datasets have shown that the proposed method significantly outperforms the state-of-the-arts, with the advantage of fewer interactions, higher accuracy, and enhanced robustness.

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