Published in

MDPI, Sensors, 13(23), p. 6228, 2023

DOI: 10.3390/s23136228



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RFE-UNet: Remote Feature Exploration with Local Learning for Medical Image Segmentation

Journal article published in 2023 by Xiuxian Zhong, Lianghui Xu, Chaoqun Li, Lijing An, Liejun Wang ORCID
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Although convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have produced great achievements in various fields, many scholars are still exploring better network models, since CNNs have an inherent limitation—that is, the remote modeling ability of convolutional kernels is limited. On the contrary, the transformer has been applied by many scholars to the field of vision, and although it has a strong global modeling capability, its close-range modeling capability is mediocre. While the foreground information to be segmented in medical images is usually clustered in a small interval in the image, the distance between different categories of foreground information is uncertain. Therefore, in order to obtain a perfect medical segmentation prediction graph, the network should not only have a strong learning ability for local details, but also have a certain distance modeling ability. To solve these problems, a remote feature exploration (RFE) module is proposed in this paper. The most important feature of this module is that remote elements can be used to assist in the generation of local features. In addition, in order to better verify the feasibility of the innovation in this paper, a new multi-organ segmentation dataset (MOD) was manually created. While both the MOD and Synapse datasets label eight categories of organs, there are some images in the Synapse dataset that label only a few categories of organs. The proposed method achieved 79.77% and 75.12% DSC on the Synapse and MOD datasets, respectively. Meanwhile, the HD95 (mm) scores were 21.75 on Synapse and 7.43 on the MOD dataset.