Noisy Labels are Treasure: Mean-Teacher-Assisted Confident Learning for Hepatic Vessel Segmentation

3 Jun 2021  ·  Zhe Xu, Donghuan Lu, Yixin Wang, Jie Luo, Jayender Jagadeesan, Kai Ma, Yefeng Zheng, Xiu Li ·

Manually segmenting the hepatic vessels from Computer Tomography (CT) is far more expertise-demanding and laborious than other structures due to the low-contrast and complex morphology of vessels, resulting in the extreme lack of high-quality labeled data. Without sufficient high-quality annotations, the usual data-driven learning-based approaches struggle with deficient training. On the other hand, directly introducing additional data with low-quality annotations may confuse the network, leading to undesirable performance degradation. To address this issue, we propose a novel mean-teacher-assisted confident learning framework to robustly exploit the noisy labeled data for the challenging hepatic vessel segmentation task. Specifically, with the adapted confident learning assisted by a third party, i.e., the weight-averaged teacher model, the noisy labels in the additional low-quality dataset can be transformed from "encumbrance" to "treasure" via progressive pixel-wise soft-correction, thus providing productive guidance. Extensive experiments using two public datasets demonstrate the superiority of the proposed framework as well as the effectiveness of each component.

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