Inf-Net: Automatic COVID-19 Lung Infection Segmentation from CT Images

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IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread globally in early 2020, causing the world to face an existential health crisis. Automated detection of lung infections from computed tomography (CT) images offers a great potential to augment the traditional healthcare strategy for tackling COVID-19. However, segmenting infected regions from CT slices faces several challenges, including high variation in infection characteristics, and low intensity contrast between infections and normal tissues. Further, collecting a large amount of data is impractical within a short time period, inhibiting the training of a deep model. To address these challenges, a novel COVID-19 Lung Infection Segmentation Deep Network (Inf-Net) is proposed to automatically identify infected regions from chest CT slices. In our Inf-Net, a parallel partial decoder is used to aggregate the high-level features and generate a global map. Then, the implicit reverse attention and explicit edge-attention are utilized to model the boundaries and enhance the representations. Moreover, to alleviate the shortage of labeled data, we present a semi-supervised segmentation framework based on a randomly selected propagation strategy, which only requires a few labeled images and leverages primarily unlabeled data. Our semi-supervised framework can improve the learning ability and achieve a higher performance. Extensive experiments on our COVID-SemiSeg and real CT volumes demonstrate that the proposed Inf-Net outperforms most cutting-edge segmentation models and advances the state-of-the-art performance.

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COVID-19, CT image, infection segmentation, semi-supervised learning


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