Information Fusion in Deep Convolutional Neural Networks for Biomedical Image Segmentation 1
We introduce a deep learning image segmentation framework that is extremely robust to missing imaging modalities. Instead of attempting to impute or synthesize missing data, the proposed approach learns, for each modality, an embedding of the input image into a single latent vector space for which arithmetic operations (such as taking the mean) are well defined. Points in that space, which are averaged over modalities available at inference time, can then be further processed to yield the desired segmentation. As such, any combinatorial subset of available modalities can be provided as input, without having to learn a combinatorial number of imputation models. Evaluated on two neurological magnetic resonance imaging datasets (brain tumors and multiple sclerosis lesions), the approach yields state-of-the-art segmentation results when provided with all modalities; moreover, its performance degrades remarkably gracefully when modalities are removed, significantly more so than alternative mean-filling or other synthesis approaches.