Tracking of anatomical structures has multiple applications in the field of biomedical imaging, including screening, diagnosing and monitoring the evolution of pathologies. Semi-automated tracking of elongated structures has been previously formulated as a problem suitable for deep reinforcement learning (DRL), but it remains a challenge. We introduce a maximum entropy continuous-action DRL neural tracker capable of training from scratch in a complex environment in the presence of high noise levels, Gaussian blurring and detractors. The trained model is evaluated on two-photon microscopy images of mouse cortex. At the expense of slightly worse robustness compared to a previously applied DRL tracker, we reach significantly higher accuracy, approaching the performance of the standard hand-engineered algorithm used for neuron tracing. The higher sample efficiency of our maximum entropy DRL tracker indicates its potential of being applied directly to small biomedical datasets.
|Title of host publication
|International Workshop on Machine Learning in Medical Imaging
|Number of pages
|Published - 2019