Towards Generic Semi-Supervised Framework for Volumetric Medical Image Segmentation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Haonan Wang, Xiaomeng Li


Volume-wise labeling in 3D medical images is a time-consuming task that requires expertise. As a result, there is growing interest in using semi-supervised learning (SSL) techniques to train models with limited labeled data. However, the challenges and practical applications extend beyond SSL to settings such as unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA) and semi-supervised domain generalization (SemiDG). This work aims to develop a generic SSL framework that can handle all three settings. We identify two main obstacles to achieving this goal in the existing SSL framework: 1) the weakness of capturing distribution-invariant features; and 2) the tendency for unlabeled data to be overwhelmed by labeled data, leading to over-fitting to the labeled data during training. To address these issues, we propose an Aggregating & Decoupling framework. The aggregating part consists of a Diffusion encoder that constructs a "common knowledge set" by extracting distribution-invariant features from aggregated information from multiple distributions/domains. The decoupling part consists of three decoders that decouple the training process with labeled and unlabeled data, thus avoiding over-fitting to labeled data, specific domains and classes. We evaluate our proposed framework on four benchmark datasets for SSL, Class-imbalanced SSL, UDA and SemiDG. The results showcase notable improvements compared to state-of-the-art methods across all four settings, indicating the potential of our framework to tackle more challenging SSL scenarios. Code and models are available at: