Error-Correcting Mean-Teacher: Corrections instead of consistency-targets applied to semi-supervised medical image segmentation
Semantic segmentation is an essential task in medical imaging research. Many powerful deep-learning-based approaches can be employed for this problem, but they are dependent on the availability of an expansive labeled dataset. In this work, we augment such supervised segmentation models to be suitable for learning from unlabeled data. Our semi-supervised approach, termed Error-Correcting Mean-Teacher, uses an exponential moving average model like the original Mean Teacher but introduces our new paradigm of error correction.
The original segmentation network is augmented to handle this secondary correction task. Both tasks build upon the core feature extraction layers of the model. For the correction task, features detected in the input image are fused with features detected in the predicted segmentation and further processed with task-specific decoder layers. The combination of image and segmentation features allows the model to correct present mistakes in the given input pair. The correction task is trained jointly on the labeled data. On unlabeled data, the exponential moving average of the original network corrects the student's prediction. The combined outputs of the students' prediction with the teachers' correction form the basis for the semi-supervised update.
We evaluate our method with the 2017 and 2018 Robotic Scene Segmentation data, the ISIC 2017 and the BraTS 2020 Challenges, a proprietary Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection dataset, Cityscapes, and Pascal VOC 2012. Additionally, we analyze the impact of the individual components and examine the behavior when the amount of labeled data varies, with experiments performed on two distinct segmentation architectures. Our method shows improvements in terms of the mean Intersection over Union over the supervised baseline and competing methods.