DTFD-MIL: Double-Tier Feature Distillation Multiple Instance Learning for Histopathology Whole Slide Image Classification

by   Hongrun Zhang, et al.
University of Liverpool

Multiple instance learning (MIL) has been increasingly used in the classification of histopathology whole slide images (WSIs). However, MIL approaches for this specific classification problem still face unique challenges, particularly those related to small sample cohorts. In these, there are limited number of WSI slides (bags), while the resolution of a single WSI is huge, which leads to a large number of patches (instances) cropped from this slide. To address this issue, we propose to virtually enlarge the number of bags by introducing the concept of pseudo-bags, on which a double-tier MIL framework is built to effectively use the intrinsic features. Besides, we also contribute to deriving the instance probability under the framework of attention-based MIL, and utilize the derivation to help construct and analyze the proposed framework. The proposed method outperforms other latest methods on the CAMELYON-16 by substantially large margins, and is also better in performance on the TCGA lung cancer dataset. The proposed framework is ready to be extended for wider MIL applications. The code is available at: https://github.com/hrzhang1123/DTFD-MIL


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