Learning Euler's Elastica Model for Medical Image Segmentation

1 Nov 2020  ·  Xu Chen, Xiangde Luo, Yitian Zhao, Shaoting Zhang, Guotai Wang, Yalin Zheng ·

Image segmentation is a fundamental topic in image processing and has been studied for many decades. Deep learning-based supervised segmentation models have achieved state-of-the-art performance but most of them are limited by using pixel-wise loss functions for training without geometrical constraints. Inspired by Euler's Elastica model and recent active contour models introduced into the field of deep learning, we propose a novel active contour with elastica (ACE) loss function incorporating Elastica (curvature and length) and region information as geometrically-natural constraints for the image segmentation tasks. We introduce the mean curvature i.e. the average of all principal curvatures, as a more effective image prior to representing curvature in our ACE loss function. Furthermore, based on the definition of the mean curvature, we propose a fast solution to approximate the ACE loss in three-dimensional (3D) by using Laplace operators for 3D image segmentation. We evaluate our ACE loss function on four 2D and 3D natural and biomedical image datasets. Our results show that the proposed loss function outperforms other mainstream loss functions on different segmentation networks. Our source code is available at https://github.com/HiLab-git/ACELoss.

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