LNPL-MIL: Learning from Noisy Pseudo Labels for Promoting Multiple Instance Learning in Whole Slide Image.

Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)(2023)

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Gigapixel Whole Slide Images (WSIs) aided patient diagnosis and prognosis analysis are promising directions in computational pathology. However, limited by expensive and time-consuming annotation costs, WSIs usually only have weak annotations, including 1) WSI-level Annotations (WA) and 2) Limited Patch-level Annotations (LPA). Currently, Multiple Instance Learning (MIL) often exploits WA, while LPA usually assign pseudo-labels for unlabeled data. Intuitively, pseudo-labels can serve as a practical guide for MIL, but the unreliable prediction caused by LPA inevitably introduce noise. Furthermore, WA-supervised MIL training inevitably suffers from the semantical unalignment between instances and bag-level labels. To address these problems, we design a framework called Learning from Noisy Pseudo Labels for promoting Multiple Instance Learning (LNPL-MIL), which considers both types of weak annotation. Specifically, for the LPA-trained weak classifier, we design a Super-Patch-based LNPL (SP-LNPL) method to reduce false positives in the noisy pseudo-labels and then select more accurate Top-K key instances. In MIL, we propose a Transformer aware of instance Order and Distribution (TOD-MIL) that strengthens instances correlation and weakens semantical unalignment in the bag. We validate our LNPL-MIL on Tumor Diagnosis and Survival Prediction, achieving state-of-the-art performance with at least 2.7%/2.9% AUC and 2.6%/2.3% C-Index improvement with the patches labeled for two scale. Ablation study and visualization analysis further verify the effectiveness.
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