Few-shot segmentation of medical images based on meta-learning with implicit gradients

Rabindra Khadga, Debesh Jha, Sharib Ali, Steven Hicks, Vajira Thambawita, Michael A. Riegler, Pål Halvorsen

Classical supervised methods commonly used often suffer from the requirement of an abudant number of training samples and are unable to generalize on unseen datasets. As a result, the broader application of any trained model is very limited in clinical settings. However, few-shot approaches can minimize the need for enormous reliable ground truth labels that are both labor intensive and expensive. To this end, we propose to exploit an optimization-based implicit model agnostic meta-learning {iMAML} algorithm in a few-shot setting for medical image segmentation. Our approach can leverage the learned weights from a diverse set of training samples and can be deployed on a new unseen dataset. We show that unlike classical few-shot learning approaches, our method has improved generalization capability. To our knowledge, this is the first work that exploits iMAML for medical image segmentation. Our quantitative results on publicly available skin and polyp datasets show that the proposed method outperforms the naive supervised baseline model and two recent few-shot segmentation approaches by large margins.

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