ElixirNet: Relation-Aware Network Architecture Adaptation for Medical Lesion Detection

  • Chenhan Jiang Huawei Noah's Ark Lab
  • Shaoju Wang Sun Yat-Sen University
  • Xiaodan Liang Sun Yat-Sen University
  • Hang Xu Huawei Noah's Ark Lab
  • Nong Xiao Sun Yat-Sen University


Most advances in medical lesion detection network are limited to subtle modification on the conventional detection network designed for natural images. However, there exists a vast domain gap between medical images and natural images where the medical image detection often suffers from several domain-specific challenges, such as high lesion/background similarity, dominant tiny lesions, and severe class imbalance. Is a hand-crafted detection network tailored for natural image undoubtedly good enough over a discrepant medical lesion domain? Is there more powerful operations, filters, and sub-networks that better fit the medical lesion detection problem to be discovered? In this paper, we introduce a novel ElixirNet that includes three components: 1) TruncatedRPN balances positive and negative data for false positive reduction; 2) Auto-lesion Block is automatically customized for medical images to incorporates relation-aware operations among region proposals, and leads to more suitable and efficient classification and localization. 3) Relation transfer module incorporates the semantic relationship and transfers the relevant contextual information with an interpretable graph, thus alleviates the problem of lack of annotations for all types of lesions. Experiments on DeepLesion and Kits19 prove the effectiveness of ElixirNet, achieving improvement of both sensitivity and precision over FPN with fewer parameters.

AAAI Technical Track: Vision