Deeply Supervised Layer Selective Attention Network: Towards Label-Efficient Learning for Medical Image Classification

by   Peng Jiang, et al.

Labeling medical images depends on professional knowledge, making it difficult to acquire large amount of annotated medical images with high quality in a short time. Thus, making good use of limited labeled samples in a small dataset to build a high-performance model is the key to medical image classification problem. In this paper, we propose a deeply supervised Layer Selective Attention Network (LSANet), which comprehensively uses label information in feature-level and prediction-level supervision. For feature-level supervision, in order to better fuse the low-level features and high-level features, we propose a novel visual attention module, Layer Selective Attention (LSA), to focus on the feature selection of different layers. LSA introduces a weight allocation scheme which can dynamically adjust the weighting factor of each auxiliary branch during the whole training process to further enhance deeply supervised learning and ensure its generalization. For prediction-level supervision, we adopt the knowledge synergy strategy to promote hierarchical information interactions among all supervision branches via pairwise knowledge matching. Using the public dataset, MedMNIST, which is a large-scale benchmark for biomedical image classification covering diverse medical specialties, we evaluate LSANet on multiple mainstream CNN architectures and various visual attention modules. The experimental results show the substantial improvements of our proposed method over its corresponding counterparts, demonstrating that LSANet can provide a promising solution for label-efficient learning in the field of medical image classification.


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