Collaborating Authors

Maier-Hein, Lena

Invertible Neural Networks for Uncertainty Quantification in Photoacoustic Imaging Artificial Intelligence

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.

Deep learning for biomedical photoacoustic imaging: A review Artificial Intelligence

Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is a promising emerging imaging modality that enables spatially resolved imaging of optical tissue properties up to several centimeters deep in tissue, creating the potential for numerous exciting clinical applications. However, extraction of relevant tissue parameters from the raw data requires the solving of inverse image reconstruction problems, which have proven extremely difficult to solve. The application of deep learning methods has recently exploded in popularity, leading to impressive successes in the context of medical imaging and also finding first use in the field of PAI. Deep learning methods possess unique advantages that can facilitate the clinical translation of PAI, such as extremely fast computation times and the fact that they can be adapted to any given problem. In this review, we examine the current state of the art regarding deep learning in PAI and identify potential directions of research that will help to reach the goal of clinical applicability

Out of distribution detection for intra-operative functional imaging Machine Learning

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.

Generating large labeled data sets for laparoscopic image processing tasks using unpaired image-to-image translation Machine Learning

In the medical domain, the lack of large training data sets and benchmarks is often a limiting factor for training deep neural networks. In contrast to expensive manual labeling, computer simulations can generate large and fully labeled data sets with a minimum of manual effort. However, models that are trained on simulated data usually do not translate well to real scenarios. To bridge the domain gap between simulated and real laparoscopic images, we exploit recent advances in unpaired image-to-image translation. We extent an image-to-image translation method to generate a diverse multitude of realistically looking synthetic images based on images from a simple laparoscopy simulation. By incorporating means to ensure that the image content is preserved during the translation process, we ensure that the labels given for the simulated images remain valid for their realistically looking translations. This way, we are able to generate a large, fully labeled synthetic data set of laparoscopic images with realistic appearance. We show that this data set can be used to train models for the task of liver segmentation of laparoscopic images. We achieve average dice scores of up to 0.89 in some patients without manually labeling a single laparoscopic image and show that using our synthetic data to pre-train models can greatly improve their performance.

Uncertainty-aware performance assessment of optical imaging modalities with invertible neural networks Machine Learning

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.

Analyzing Inverse Problems with Invertible Neural Networks Machine Learning

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.