Single-shot self-supervised object detection
Benjamin Midtvedt, Jesus Pineda, Fredrik Skärberg, Erik Olsén, Harshith Bachimanchi, Emelie Wesén, Elin Esbjörner, Erik Selander, Fredrik Höök, Daniel Midtvedt, Giovanni Volpe
Submitted to SPIE-ETAI
Date: 23 August 2022
Time: 2:20 PM (PDT)
Object detection is a fundamental task in digital microscopy. Recently, machine-learning approaches have made great strides in overcoming the limitations of more classical approaches. The training of state-of-the-art machine-learning methods almost universally relies on either vast amounts of labeled experimental data or the ability to numerically simulate realistic datasets. However, the data produced by experiments are often challenging to label and cannot be easily reproduced numerically. Here, we propose a novel deep-learning method, named LodeSTAR (Low-shot deep Symmetric Tracking And Regression), that learns to detect small, spatially confined, and largely homogeneous objects that have sufficient contrast to the background with sub-pixel accuracy from a single unlabeled experimental image. This is made possible by exploiting the inherent roto-translational symmetries of the data. We demonstrate that LodeSTAR outperforms traditional methods in terms of accuracy. Furthermore, we analyze challenging experimental data containing densely packed cells or noisy backgrounds. We also exploit additional symmetries to extend the measurable particle properties to the particle’s vertical position by propagating the signal in Fourier space and its polarizability by scaling the signal strength. Thanks to the ability to train deep-learning models with a single unlabeled image, LodeSTAR can accelerate the development of high-quality microscopic analysis pipelines for engineering, biology, and medicine.