A Review of Self-supervised Learning Methods in the Field of Medical Image Analysis

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Jiashu Xu 1,*

1. National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, Kyiv, 03056, Ukraine

* Corresponding author.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5815/ijigsp.2021.04.03

Received: 6 Apr. 2021 / Revised: 2 May 2021 / Accepted: 20 May 2021 / Published: 8 Aug. 2021

Index Terms

Medical image analysis, Self-Supervised learning, Unsupervised learning, Visual feature learning, Contrastive Learning.


In the field of medical image analysis, supervised deep learning strategies have achieved significant development, while these methods rely on large labeled datasets. Self-Supervised learning (SSL) provides a new strategy to pre-train a neural network with unlabeled data. This is a new unsupervised learning paradigm that has achieved significant breakthroughs in recent years. So, more and more researchers are trying to utilize SSL methods for medical image analysis, to meet the challenge of assembling large medical datasets. To our knowledge, so far there still a shortage of reviews of self-supervised learning methods in the field of medical image analysis, our work of this article aims to fill this gap and comprehensively review the application of self-supervised learning in the medical field. This article provides the latest and most detailed overview of self-supervised learning in the medical field and promotes the development of unsupervised learning in the field of medical imaging. These methods are divided into three categories: context-based, generation-based, and contrast-based, and then show the pros and cons of each category and evaluates their performance in downstream tasks. Finally, we conclude with the limitations of the current methods and discussed the future direction.

Cite This Paper

Jiashu Xu, " A Review of Self-supervised Learning Methods in the Field of Medical Image Analysis", International Journal of Image, Graphics and Signal Processing(IJIGSP), Vol.13, No.4, pp. 33-46, 2021. DOI: 10.5815/ijigsp.2021.04.03


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