Unsupervised anomaly localization in high-resolution breast scans using deep pluralistic image completion


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Automated tumor detection in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) is a difficult task due to natural tumor rarity, breast tissue variability, and high resolution. Given the scarcity of abnormal images and the abundance of normal images for this problem, an anomaly detection/localization approach could be well-suited. However, most anomaly localization research in machine learning focuses on non-medical datasets, and we find that these methods fall short when adapted to medical imaging datasets. The problem is alleviated when we solve the task from the image completion perspective, in which the presence of anomalies can be indicated by a discrepancy between the original appearance and its auto-completion conditioned on the surroundings. However, there are often many valid normal completions given the same surroundings, especially in the DBT dataset, making this evaluation criterion less precise. To address such an issue, we consider pluralistic image completion by exploring the distribution of possible completions instead of generating fixed predictions. This is achieved through our novel application of spatial dropout on the completion network during inference time only, which requires no additional training cost and is effective at generating diverse completions. We further propose minimum completion distance (MCD), a new metric for detecting anomalies, thanks to these stochastic completions. We provide theoretical as well as empirical support for the superiority over existing methods of using the proposed method for anomaly localization. On the DBT dataset, our model outperforms other state-of-the-art methods by at least 10\% AUROC for pixel-level detection.
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Key words
Anomaly detection, Anomaly localization, Image completion, Unsupervised learning, Digital breast tomosynthesis
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