2021Du Active

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Du, X.; Wang, H.; Zhu, Z.; Zeng, X.; Chang, Y.-W.; Zhang, J.; Xing, E. & Xu, M. Active learning to classify macromolecular structures in situ for less supervision in cryo-electron tomography. Bioinformatics, 2021, 37, 2340-2346


Cryo-Electron Tomography (cryo-ET) is a 3D bioimaging tool that visualizes the structural and spatial organization of macromolecules at a near-native state in single cells, which has broad applications in life science. However, the systematic structural recognition and recovery of macromolecules captured by cryo-ET are difficult due to high structural complexity and imaging limits. Deep learning-based subtomogram classification has played critical roles for such tasks. As supervised approaches, however, their performance relies on sufficient and laborious annotation on a large training dataset.

To alleviate this major labeling burden, we proposed a Hybrid Active Learning (HAL) framework for querying subtomograms for labeling from a large unlabeled subtomogram pool. Firstly, HAL adopts uncertainty sampling to select the subtomograms that have the most uncertain predictions. This strategy enforces the model to be aware of the inductive bias during classification and subtomogram selection, which satisfies the discriminativeness principle in AL literature. Moreover, to mitigate the sampling bias caused by such strategy, a discriminator is introduced to judge if a certain subtomogram is labeled or unlabeled and subsequently the model queries the subtomogram that have higher probabilities to be unlabeled. Such query strategy encourages to match the data distribution between the labeled and unlabeled subtomogram samples, which essentially encodes the representativeness criterion into the subtomogram selection process. Additionally, HAL introduces a subset sampling strategy to improve the diversity of the query set, so that the information overlap is decreased between the queried batches and the algorithmic efficiency is improved. Our experiments on subtomogram classification tasks using both simulated and real data demonstrate that we can achieve comparable testing performance (on average only 3% accuracy drop) by using less than 30% of the labeled subtomograms, which shows a very promising result for subtomogram classification task with limited labeling resources.<p>Availability and implementation




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