Dilated-UNet: A Fast and Accurate Medical Image Segmentation Approach using a Dilated Transformer and U-Net Architecture

22 Apr 2023  ·  Davoud Saadati, Omid Nejati Manzari, Sattar Mirzakuchaki ·

Medical image segmentation is crucial for the development of computer-aided diagnostic and therapeutic systems, but still faces numerous difficulties. In recent years, the commonly used encoder-decoder architecture based on CNNs has been applied effectively in medical image segmentation, but has limitations in terms of learning global context and spatial relationships. Some researchers have attempted to incorporate transformers into both the decoder and encoder components, with promising results, but this approach still requires further improvement due to its high computational complexity. This paper introduces Dilated-UNet, which combines a Dilated Transformer block with the U-Net architecture for accurate and fast medical image segmentation. Image patches are transformed into tokens and fed into the U-shaped encoder-decoder architecture, with skip-connections for local-global semantic feature learning. The encoder uses a hierarchical Dilated Transformer with a combination of Neighborhood Attention and Dilated Neighborhood Attention Transformer to extract local and sparse global attention. The results of our experiments show that Dilated-UNet outperforms other models on several challenging medical image segmentation datasets, such as ISIC and Synapse.

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