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Conference Papers Year : 2023

Prompt-MIL: Boosting Multi-instance Learning Schemes via Task-Specific Prompt Tuning


Whole slide image (WSI) classification is a critical task in computational pathology, requiring the processing of gigapixel-sized images, which is challenging for current deep-learning methods. Current state of the art methods are based on multi-instance learning schemes (MIL), which usually rely on pretrained features to represent the instances. Due to the lack of task-specific annotated data, these features are either obtained from well-established backbones on natural images, or, more recently from self-supervised models pretrained on histopathology. However, both approaches yield task-agnostic features, resulting in performance loss compared to the appropriate task-related supervision, if available. In this paper, we show that when task-specific annotations are limited, we can inject such supervision into downstream task training, to reduce the gap between fully task-tuned and task agnostic features. We propose Prompt-MIL, an MIL framework that integrates prompts into WSI classification. Prompt-MIL adopts a prompt tuning mechanism, where only a small fraction of parameters calibrates the pretrained features to encode task-specific information, rather than the conventional full fine-tuning approaches. Extensive experiments on three WSI datasets, TCGA-BRCA, TCGA-CRC, and BRIGHT, demonstrate the superiority of Prompt-MIL over conventional MIL methods, achieving a relative improvement of 1.49%–4.03% in accuracy and 0.25%–8.97% in AUROC while using fewer than 0.3% additional parameters. Compared to conventional full fine-tuning approaches, we fine-tune less than 1.3% of the parameters, yet achieve a relative improvement of 1.29%–13.61% in accuracy and 3.22%–27.18% in AUROC and reduce GPU memory consumption by 38%–45% while training 21%–27% faster.

Dates and versions

hal-04392329 , version 1 (13-01-2024)



Jingwei Zhang, Saarthak Kapse, Ke Ma, Prateek Prasanna, Joel Saltz, et al.. Prompt-MIL: Boosting Multi-instance Learning Schemes via Task-Specific Prompt Tuning. MICCAI 2023 - 26th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention, Oct 2023, Vancouver, Canada. pp.624-634, ⟨10.1007/978-3-031-43993-3_60⟩. ⟨hal-04392329⟩
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