Relational Graph Learning on Visual and Kinematics Embeddings for Accurate Gesture Recognition in Robotic Surgery

Automatic surgical gesture recognition is fundamentally important to enable intelligent cognitive assistance in robotic surgery. With recent advancement in robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, rich information including surgical videos and robotic kinematics can be recorded, which provide complementary knowledge for understanding surgical gestures. However, existing methods either solely adopt uni-modal data or directly concatenate multi-modal representations, which can not sufficiently exploit the informative correlations inherent in visual and kinematics data to boost gesture recognition accuracies. In this regard, we propose a novel online approach of multi-modal relational graph network (i.e., MRG-Net) to dynamically integrate visual and kinematics information through interactive message propagation in the latent feature space. In specific, we first extract embeddings from video and kinematics sequences with temporal convolutional networks and LSTM units. Next, we identify multi-relations in these multi-modal embeddings and leverage them through a hierarchical relational graph learning module. The effectiveness of our method is demonstrated with state-of-the-art results on the public JIGSAWS dataset, outperforming current uni-modal and multi-modal methods on both suturing and knot typing tasks. Furthermore, we validated our method on in-house visual-kinematics datasets collected with da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK) platforms in two centers, with consistent promising performance achieved.

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Results from the Paper

Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Action Segmentation JIGSAWS MRG-Net Edit Distance 89.3±5.2 # 1
Accuracy 87.9±4.2 # 1