Parallel Multi-Dimensional LSTM, With Application to Fast Biomedical Volumetric Image Segmentation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Marijn F. Stollenga, Wonmin Byeon, Marcus Liwicki, Jürgen Schmidhuber


Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) can be shifted across 2D images or 3D videos to segment them. They have a fixed input size and typically perceive only small local contexts of the pixels to be classified as foreground or background. In contrast, Multi-Dimensional Recurrent NNs (MD-RNNs) can perceive the entire spatio-temporal context of each pixel in a few sweeps through all pixels, especially when the RNN is a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM). Despite these theoretical advantages, however, unlike CNNs, previous MD-LSTM variants were hard to parallelise on GPUs. Here we re-arrange the traditional cuboid order of computations in MD-LSTM in pyramidal fashion. The resulting PyraMiD-LSTM is easy to parallelise, especially for 3D data such as stacks of brain slice images. PyraMiD-LSTM achieved best known pixel-wise brain image segmentation results on MRBrainS13 (and competitive results on EM-ISBI12).