Retinal Vessel Segmentation in Fundoscopic Images with Generative Adversarial Networks

Retinal Vessel Segmentation in Fundoscopic Images with Generative Adversarial Networks


C5em C5em Model& DRIVE  & STARE
& ROC & PR & ROC& PR
U-Net (No discriminator) &0.9700&0.8867&0.9739& 0.9023
Pixel GAN $(1×1)$ &0.9710&0.8892&0.9671&0.8978
Patch GAN-1 $(10×10)$&0.9706&0.8898&0.9760&0.9037
Patch GAN-2 $(80×80)$&0.9720&0.8933&0.9775&0.9086
Image GAN $(640×640)$&
U-Net, which has no discriminator, shows inferior performance to patch GANs and image GAN suggesting that GANs framework improves quality of segmentation. Also, image GAN, which has the most discriminatory capability, outperforms others. This observation is consistent to claims that a powerful discriminator is key to successful training with GANs~[4, 12].

Fig.~1 compares ROC and PR curves for the image GAN (V-GAN) with existing methods and Table~1 summarizes AUC for ROC and PR and dice coefficient. We retrieved dice coefficients and output images of other methods from [7] and the curves are computed from the images. Our method shows better performance in other methods in all operating regime except DRIU. Still, our method shows superior AUC and dice coefficient to DRIU. Also, our method surpasses the human annotator's ability on DRIVE dataset.

Figure 1: Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve and Precision and Recall (PR) curve for various methods on DRIVE dataset (Top) and STARE dataset (Bottom).
& ROC & PR & Dice&ROC& PR & Dice
Kernel Boost~[1]&0.9306&0.8464&0.800&-&-&-
HED ~[16]&0.9696&0.8773&0.796&0.9764&0.8888&0.805
Wavelets~[15]&0.9436&0.8149&0.762& 0.9694&0.8433&0.774
Human Expert &-&-&0.791&-&-&0.760
V-GAN &0.9803&0.9149&0.829&0.9838&0.9167&0.834
Table 1: Comparison of different methods on two datasets with respect to Area Under Curve (AUC) for Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC), Precision and Recall (PR) and Dice Coefficient.

Fig.~2 illustrates qualitative difference of our method from the best existing method (DRIU). As shown in the figure, our method generates concordant probability maps to the gold standard while DRIU assigns overconfident probability on fine vessels and boundary between vessels and fundus background which may results over-segmentation.

Figure 2: (From left to right) fundoscopic images, gold standard, probability maps of best existing technique (DRIU~[7]) and probability maps of our method on DRIVE (top) and STARE (bottom) dataset.

For further comparison, we converted the probability maps into binary vessel images with Otsu threshold as is done in [2]. We can see in Fig~3 that DRIU generally yields more false positives than our method due to the overconfident probability maps. In contrast, our proposed method allows more false negatives around terminal vessels due to its tendency to assign low probability around uncertain regions as human annotators would do.

Figure 3: Comparison of our method (2nd, 4th columns) with DRIU~[7] (1st, 3rd columns) on DRIVE (top) and STARE (bottom) dataset. Green marks correct segmentation while blue and red indicate false positive and false negative.

4 Conclusion and Discussion

We introduced GANs framework to retinal vessel segmentation and experimental results suggest that presence of a discriminator can help segment vessels more accurately and clearly. Also, our method outperformed other existing methods in ROC AUC, PR AUC and dice coefficient. Compared to best existing method, our method included less false positives at fine vessels and stroked more clear lines with adequate details like the human annotator. Still, our results fail to detect very thin vessels that span only 1 pixel. We expect that additional prior knowledge on the vessel structures such as connectivity may leverage the performance further.


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