Deep Learning for Medical Image Segmentation: Tricks, Challenges and Future Directions

21 Sep 2022  ·  Dong Zhang, Yi Lin, Hao Chen, Zhuotao Tian, Xin Yang, Jinhui Tang, Kwang Ting Cheng ·

Over the past few years, the rapid development of deep learning technologies for computer vision has greatly promoted the performance of medical image segmentation (MedISeg). However, the recent MedISeg publications usually focus on presentations of the major contributions (e.g., network architectures, training strategies, and loss functions) while unwittingly ignoring some marginal implementation details (also known as "tricks"), leading to a potential problem of the unfair experimental result comparisons. In this paper, we collect a series of MedISeg tricks for different model implementation phases (i.e., pre-training model, data pre-processing, data augmentation, model implementation, model inference, and result post-processing), and experimentally explore the effectiveness of these tricks on the consistent baseline models. Compared to paper-driven surveys that only blandly focus on the advantages and limitation analyses of segmentation models, our work provides a large number of solid experiments and is more technically operable. With the extensive experimental results on both the representative 2D and 3D medical image datasets, we explicitly clarify the effect of these tricks. Moreover, based on the surveyed tricks, we also open-sourced a strong MedISeg repository, where each of its components has the advantage of plug-and-play. We believe that this milestone work not only completes a comprehensive and complementary survey of the state-of-the-art MedISeg approaches, but also offers a practical guide for addressing the future medical image processing challenges including but not limited to small dataset learning, class imbalance learning, multi-modality learning, and domain adaptation. The code has been released at:

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