UNETR: Transformers for 3D Medical Image Segmentation
Ali Hatamizadeh, Dong Yang, Holger Roth, Daguang Xu
Fully Convolutional Neural Networks (FCNNs) with contracting and expansive paths (e.g. encoder and decoder) have shown prominence in various medical image segmentation applications during the recent years. In these architectures, the encoder plays an integral role by learning global contextual representations which will be further utilized for semantic output prediction by the decoder. Despite their success, the locality of convolutional layers , as the main building block of FCNNs limits the capability of learning long-range spatial dependencies in such networks. Inspired by the recent success of transformers in Natural Language Processing (NLP) in long-range sequence learning, we reformulate the task of volumetric (3D) medical image segmentation as a sequence-to-sequence prediction problem. In particular, we introduce a novel architecture, dubbed as UNEt TRansformers (UNETR), that utilizes a pure transformer as the encoder to learn sequence representations of the input volume and effectively capture the global multi-scale information. The transformer encoder is directly connected to a decoder via skip connections at different resolutions to compute the final semantic segmentation output. We have extensively validated the performance of our proposed model across different imaging modalities(i.e. MR and CT) on volumetric brain tumour and spleen segmentation tasks using the Medical Segmentation Decathlon (MSD) dataset, and our results consistently demonstrate favorable benchmarks.
Read Full Article Here: https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.10504