DUNet: A deformable network for retinal vessel segmentation

Automatic segmentation of retinal vessels in fundus images plays an important role in the diagnosis of some diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. In this paper, we propose Deformable U-Net (DUNet), which exploits the retinal vessels' local features with a U-shape architecture, in an end to end manner for retinal vessel segmentation. Inspired by the recently introduced deformable convolutional networks, we integrate the deformable convolution into the proposed network. The DUNet, with upsampling operators to increase the output resolution, is designed to extract context information and enable precise localization by combining low-level feature maps with high-level ones. Furthermore, DUNet captures the retinal vessels at various shapes and scales by adaptively adjusting the receptive fields according to vessels' scales and shapes. Three public datasets DRIVE, STARE and CHASE_DB1 are used to train and test our model. Detailed comparisons between the proposed network and the deformable neural network, U-Net are provided in our study. Results show that more detailed vessels are extracted by DUNet and it exhibits state-of-the-art performance for retinal vessel segmentation with a global accuracy of 0.9697/0.9722/0.9724 and AUC of 0.9856/0.9868/0.9863 on DRIVE, STARE and CHASE_DB1 respectively. Moreover, to show the generalization ability of the DUNet, we used another two retinal vessel data sets, one is named WIDE and the other is a synthetic data set with diverse styles, named SYNTHE, to qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed and compared with other methods. Results indicates that DUNet outperforms other state-of-the-arts.

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