Sample Hardness Based Gradient Loss for Long-Tailed Cervical Cell Detection

Minmin Liu, Xuechen Li, Xiangbo Gao, Junliang Chen, Linlin Shen, Huisi Wu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the difficulty of cancer samples collection and annotation, cervical cancer datasets usually exhibit a long-tailed data distribution. When training a detector to detect the cancer cells in a WSI (Whole Slice Image) image captured from the TCT (Thinprep Cytology Test) specimen, head categories (e.g. normal cells and inflammatory cells) typically have a much larger number of samples than tail categories (e.g. cancer cells). Most existing state-of-the-art long-tailed learning methods in object detection focus on category distribution statistics to solve the problem in the long-tailed scenario, without considering the “hardness” of each sample. To address this problem, in this work we propose a Grad-Libra Loss that leverages the gradients to dynamically calibrate the degree of hardness of each sample for different categories, and re-balance the gradients of positive and negative samples. Our loss can thus help the detector to put more emphasis on those hard samples in both head and tail categories. Extensive experiments on a long-tailed TCT WSI image dataset show that the mainstream detectors, e.g. RepPoints, FCOS, ATSS, YOLOF, etc. trained using our proposed Gradient-Libra Loss, achieved much higher (7.8%) mAP than that trained using cross-entropy classification loss.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2022 - 25th International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsLinwei Wang, Qi Dou, P. Thomas Fletcher, Stefanie Speidel, Shuo Li
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783031164330
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event25th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, MICCAI 2022 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 18 Sept 202222 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13432 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference25th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, MICCAI 2022


  • Cervical cancer
  • Long-tailed learning
  • Object detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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