ResDO-UNet: A deep residual network for accurate retinal vessel segmentation from fundus images
Authors: Liu, Y., Shen, J., Yang, L., Bian, G. and Yu, H.
Journal: Biomedical Signal Processing and Control
For the clinical diagnosis, it is essential to obtain accurate morphology data of retinal blood vessels from patients, and the morphology of retinal blood vessels can well help doctors to judge the patient's condition and give targeted therapeutic measures. Conventional manual retinal blood vessel segmentation by the doctors from the fundus images is time-consuming and laborious, while it also requires the rich doctor's expertise. With the strong context feature expression ability of deep convolutional neural networks (DCNN), it has shown a promising performance on retinal blood vessel segmentation, specially U-shape network (U-Net) and its variant. However, due to the information loss issue caused by multiple pooling operations and insufficient process issue of local context features by skip connections, most of segmentation methods still exist a certain shortcoming on accurate fine vessel detection. To address this issue, based on the encoder–decoder framework, a novel retinal vessel segmentation network, called ResDO-UNet, is proposed to provide an automatic and end-to-end detection scheme from fundus images. To enhance feature extraction capabilities, combined with depth-wise over-parameterized convolutional layer (DO-conv), a residual DO-conv (ResDO-conv) network is proposed to act as the backbone network to acquire strong context features. In addition, to reduce the effect of information loss caused by multiple pooling operations, taking advantages of max pooling and average pooling layers, a pooling fusion block (PFB) is proposed to realize nonlinear fusion pooling. Meanwhile, faced with insufficient process of local context features by skip connections, an attention fusion block (AFB) is proposed to realize effective multi-scale feature expression. Combined with the three public available data sets on retinal vessel segmentation, including DRIVE, STARE and CHASE_DB1, the proposed segmentation network could reach a state-of-the-art detection performance compared to other related advanced work.