AP-MTL: Attention Pruned Multi-task Learning Model for Real-time Instrument Detection and Segmentation in Robot-assisted Surgery

by   Mobarakol Islam, et al.

Surgical scene understanding and multi-tasking learning are crucial for image-guided robotic surgery. Training a real-time robotic system for the detection and segmentation of high-resolution images provides a challenging problem with the limited computational resource. The perception drawn can be applied in effective real-time feedback, surgical skill assessment, and human-robot collaborative surgeries to enhance surgical outcomes. For this purpose, we develop a novel end-to-end trainable real-time Multi-Task Learning (MTL) model with weight-shared encoder and task-aware detection and segmentation decoders. Optimization of multiple tasks at the same convergence point is vital and presents a complex problem. Thus, we propose an asynchronous task-aware optimization (ATO) technique to calculate task-oriented gradients and train the decoders independently. Moreover, MTL models are always computationally expensive, which hinder real-time applications. To address this challenge, we introduce a global attention dynamic pruning (GADP) by removing less significant and sparse parameters. We further design a skip squeeze and excitation (SE) module, which suppresses weak features, excites significant features and performs dynamic spatial and channel-wise feature re-calibration. Validating on the robotic instrument segmentation dataset of MICCAI endoscopic vision challenge, our model significantly outperforms state-of-the-art segmentation and detection models, including best-performed models in the challenge.


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