Ardizzone, Lynton, Kruse, Jakob, Lüth, Carsten, Bracher, Niels, Rother, Carsten, Köthe, Ullrich

We introduce a new architecture called a conditional invertible neural network (cINN), and use it to address the task of diverse image-to-image translation for natural images. This is not easily possible with existing INN models due to some fundamental limitations. The cINN combines the purely generative INN model with an unconstrained feed-forward network, which efficiently preprocesses the conditioning image into maximally informative features. All parameters of a cINN are jointly optimized with a stable, maximum likelihood-based training procedure. Even though INN-based models have received far less attention in the literature than GANs, they have been shown to have some remarkable properties absent in GANs, e.g. apparent immunity to mode collapse. We find that our cINNs leverage these properties for image-to-image translation, demonstrated on day to night translation and image colorization. Furthermore, we take advantage of our bidirectional cINN architecture to explore and manipulate emergent properties of the latent space, such as changing the image style in an intuitive way.

Nölke, Jan-Hinrich, Adler, Tim, Gröhl, Janek, Ardizzone, Lynton, Rother, Carsten, Köthe, Ullrich, Maier-Hein, Lena

Multispectral photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is an emerging imaging modality which enables the recovery of functional tissue parameters such as blood oxygenation. However, the underlying inverse problems are potentially ill-posed, meaning that radically different tissue properties may - in theory - yield comparable measurements. In this work, we present a new approach for handling this specific type of uncertainty by leveraging the concept of conditional invertible neural networks (cINNs). Specifically, we propose going beyond commonly used point estimates for tissue oxygenation and converting single-pixel initial pressure spectra to the full posterior probability density. This way, the inherent ambiguity of a problem can be encoded with multiple modes in the output. Based on the presented architecture, we demonstrate two use cases which leverage this information to not only detect and quantify but also to compensate for uncertainties: (1) photoacoustic device design and (2) optimization of photoacoustic image acquisition. Our in silico studies demonstrate the potential of the proposed methodology to become an important building block for uncertainty-aware reconstruction of physiological parameters with PAI.

Müller, Jens, Schmier, Robert, Ardizzone, Lynton, Rother, Carsten, Köthe, Ullrich

Standard supervised learning breaks down under data distribution shift. However, the principle of independent causal mechanisms (ICM, Peters et al. (2017)) can turn this weakness into an opportunity: one can take advantage of distribution shift between different environments during training in order to obtain more robust models. We propose a new gradient-based learning framework whose objective function is derived from the ICM principle. We show theoretically and experimentally that neural networks trained in this framework focus on relations remaining invariant across environments and ignore unstable ones. Moreover, we prove that the recovered stable relations correspond to the true causal mechanisms under certain conditions. In both regression and classification, the resulting models generalize well to unseen scenarios where traditionally trained models fail.

Radev, Stefan T., Mertens, Ulf K., Voss, Andreass, Ardizzone, Lynton, Köthe, Ullrich

Estimating the parameters of mathematical models is a common problem in almost all branches of science. However, this problem can prove notably difficult when processes and model descriptions become increasingly complex and an explicit likelihood function is not available. With this work, we propose a novel method for globally amortized Bayesian inference based on invertible neural networks which we call BayesFlow. The method uses simulation to learn a global estimator for the probabilistic mapping from observed data to underlying model parameters. A neural network pre-trained in this way can then, without additional training or optimization, infer full posteriors on arbitrary many real data sets involving the same model family. In addition, our method incorporates a summary network trained to embed the observed data into maximally informative summary statistics. Learning summary statistics from data makes the method applicable to modeling scenarios where standard inference techniques with hand-crafted summary statistics fail. We demonstrate the utility of BayesFlow on challenging intractable models from population dynamics, epidemiology, cognitive science and ecology. We argue that BayesFlow provides a general framework for building reusable Bayesian parameter estimation machines for any process model from which data can be simulated.

Ardizzone, Lynton, Mackowiak, Radek, Köthe, Ullrich, Rother, Carsten

The Information Bottleneck (IB) principle offers a unified approach to many learning and prediction problems. Although optimal in an information-theoretic sense, practical applications of IB are hampered by a lack of accurate high-dimensional estimators of mutual information, its main constituent. We propose to combine IB with invertible neural networks (INNs), which for the first time allows exact calculation of the required mutual information. Applied to classification, our proposed method results in a generative classifier we call IB-INN. It accurately models the class conditional likelihoods, generalizes well to unseen data and reliably recognizes out-of-distribution examples. In contrast to existing generative classifiers, these advantages incur only minor reductions in classification accuracy in comparison to corresponding discriminative methods such as feed-forward networks. Furthermore, we provide insight into why IB-INNs are superior to other generative architectures and training procedures and show experimentally that our method outperforms alternative models of comparable complexity.

Adler, Tim J., Ayala, Leonardo, Ardizzone, Lynton, Kenngott, Hannes G., Vemuri, Anant, Müller-Stich, Beat P., Rother, Carsten, Köthe, Ullrich, Maier-Hein, Lena

Multispectral optical imaging is becoming a key tool in the operating room. Recent research has shown that machine learning algorithms can be used to convert pixel-wise reflectance measurements to tissue parameters, such as oxygenation. However, the accuracy of these algorithms can only be guaranteed if the spectra acquired during surgery match the ones seen during training. It is therefore of great interest to detect so-called out of distribution (OoD) spectra to prevent the algorithm from presenting spurious results. In this paper we present an information theory based approach to OoD detection based on the widely applicable information criterion (WAIC). Our work builds upon recent methodology related to invertible neural networks (INN). Specifically, we make use of an ensemble of INNs as we need their tractable Jacobians in order to compute the WAIC. Comprehensive experiments with in silico, and in vivo multispectral imaging data indicate that our approach is well-suited for OoD detection. Our method could thus be an important step towards reliable functional imaging in the operating room.

Detommaso, Gianluca, Kruse, Jakob, Ardizzone, Lynton, Rother, Carsten, Köthe, Ullrich, Scheichl, Robert

In this paper, we introduce Hierarchical Invertible Neural Transport (HINT), an algorithm that merges Invertible Neural Networks and optimal transport to sample from a posterior distribution in a Bayesian framework. This method exploits a hierarchical architecture to construct a Knothe-Rosenblatt transport map between an arbitrary density and the joint density of hidden variables and observations. After training the map, samples from the posterior can be immediately recovered for any contingent observation. Any underlying model evaluation can be performed fully offline from training without the need of a model-gradient. Furthermore, no analytical evaluation of the prior is necessary, which makes HINT an ideal candidate for sequential Bayesian inference. We demonstrate the efficacy of HINT on two numerical experiments.

Adler, Tim J., Ardizzone, Lynton, Vemuri, Anant, Ayala, Leonardo, Gröhl, Janek, Kirchner, Thomas, Wirkert, Sebastian, Kruse, Jakob, Rother, Carsten, Köthe, Ullrich, Maier-Hein, Lena

Purpose: Optical imaging is evolving as a key technique for advanced sensing in the operating room. Recent research has shown that machine learning algorithms can be used to address the inverse problem of converting pixel-wise multispectral reflectance measurements to underlying tissue parameters, such as oxygenation. Assessment of the specific hardware used in conjunction with such algorithms, however, has not properly addressed the possibility that the problem may be ill-posed. Methods: We present a novel approach to the assessment of optical imaging modalities, which is sensitive to the different types of uncertainties that may occur when inferring tissue parameters. Based on the concept of invertible neural networks, our framework goes beyond point estimates and maps each multispectral measurement to a full posterior probability distribution which is capable of representing ambiguity in the solution via multiple modes. Performance metrics for a hardware setup can then be computed from the characteristics of the posteriors. Results: Application of the assessment framework to the specific use case of camera selection for physiological parameter estimation yields the following insights: (1) Estimation of tissue oxygenation from multispectral images is a well-posed problem, while (2) blood volume fraction may not be recovered without ambiguity. (3) In general, ambiguity may be reduced by increasing the number of spectral bands in the camera. Conclusion: Our method could help to optimize optical camera design in an application-specific manner.

Ardizzone, Lynton, Kruse, Jakob, Wirkert, Sebastian, Rahner, Daniel, Pellegrini, Eric W., Klessen, Ralf S., Maier-Hein, Lena, Rother, Carsten, Köthe, Ullrich

In many tasks, in particular in natural science, the goal is to determine hidden system parameters from a set of measurements. Often, the forward process from parameter- to measurement-space is a well-defined function, whereas the inverse problem is ambiguous: one measurement may map to multiple different sets of parameters. In this setting, the posterior parameter distribution, conditioned on an input measurement, has to be determined. We argue that a particular class of neural networks is well suited for this task -- so-called Invertible Neural Networks (INNs). Although INNs are not new, they have, so far, received little attention in literature. While classical neural networks attempt to solve the ambiguous inverse problem directly, INNs are able to learn it jointly with the well-defined forward process, using additional latent output variables to capture the information otherwise lost. Given a specific measurement and sampled latent variables, the inverse pass of the INN provides a full distribution over parameter space. We verify experimentally, on artificial data and real-world problems from astrophysics and medicine, that INNs are a powerful analysis tool to find multi-modalities in parameter space, to uncover parameter correlations, and to identify unrecoverable parameters.