On the Adaptability of Unsupervised CNN-Based Deformable Image Registration to Unseen Image Domains
Deformable image registration is a fundamental problem in medical image analysis. During the last years, several methods based on deep convolutional neural networks (CNN) proved to be highly accurate to perform this task. These models achieved state-of-the-art accuracy while drastically reducing the required computational time, but mainly focusing on images of specific organs and modalities. To date, no work has reported on how these models adapt across different domains. In this work, we ask the question: can we use CNN-based registration models to spatially align images coming from a domain different than the one/s used at training time? We explore the adaptability of CNN-based image registration to different organs/modalities. We employ a fully convolutional architecture trained following an unsupervised approach. We consider a simple transfer learning strategy to study the generalisation of such model to unseen target domains, and devise a one-shot learning scheme taking advantage of the unsupervised nature of the proposed method. Evaluation on two publicly available datasets of X-Ray lung images and cardiac cine magnetic resonance sequences is provided. Our experiments suggest that models learned in different domains can be transferred at the expense of a decrease in performance, and that one-shot learning in the context of unsupervised CNN-based registration is a valid alternative to achieve consistent registration performance when only a pair of images from the target domain is available.
EF is beneficiary of an AXA Research Grant. We thank NVIDIA Corporation for the donation of the Titan X GPU used for this project.
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