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PH-Net: Semi-Supervised Breast Lesion Segmentation via Patch-wise Hardness

Siyao Jiang · Huisi Wu · Junyang Chen · Qin Zhang · Jing Qin

Arch 4A-E Poster #171
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Thu 20 Jun 10:30 a.m. PDT — noon PDT


We present a novel semi-supervised framework for breast ultrasound (BUS) image segmentation, which is a very challenging task owing to (1) large scale and shape variations of breast lesions and (2) extremely ambiguous boundaries caused by massive speckle noise and artifacts in BUS images. While existing models achieved certain progress in this task, we believe the main bottleneck nowadays for further improvement is that we still cannot deal with hard cases well. Our framework aims to break through this bottleneck, which includes two innovative components: an adaptive patch augmentation scheme and a hard-patch contrastive learning module. We first identify hard patches by computing the average entropy of each patch and then shield hard patches to prevent them from being cropped out while performing random patch cutmix. Such a scheme is able to prevent hard regions from being inadequately trained under strong augmentation. We further develop a new hard-patch contrastive learning algorithm to direct model attention to hard regions by applying extra contrast to pixels in hard patches, further improving segmentation performance on hard cases. We demonstrate the superiority of our framework to state-of-the-art approaches on two famous BUS datasets, achieving better performance under different labeling conditions. The code is available at

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