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Pixel-Wise Recognition for Holistic Surgical Scene Understanding

Nicolás Ayobi, Alejandra Pérez, Santiago Rodríguez, Isabela Hernández, Nicolás Aparicio, Eugénie Dessevres, Sebastian Peña, Jessica Santander, Juan Caicedo, Nicolás Fernández, Pablo Arbeláez.

Medical Image Analysis


This paper presents the Holistic and Multi-Granular Surgical Scene Understanding of Prostatectomies (GraSP) dataset, a curated benchmark that models surgical scene understanding as a hierarchy of complementary tasks with varying levels of granularity. Our approach enables a multi-level comprehension of surgical activities, encompassing long-term tasks such as surgical phases and steps recognition and short-term tasks including surgical instrument segmentation and atomic visual actions detection. To exploit our proposed benchmark, we introduce the Transformers for Actions, Phases, Steps, and Instrument Segmentation (TAPIS) model, a general architecture that combines a global video feature extractor with localized region proposals from an instrument segmentation model to tackle the multi-granularity of our benchmark. Through extensive experimentation, we demonstrate the impact of including segmentation annotations in short-term recognition tasks, highlight the varying granularity requirements of each task, and establish TAPIS’s superiority over previously proposed baselines and conventional CNN-based models. Additionally, we validate the robustness of our method across multiple public benchmarks, confirming the reliability and applicability of our dataset. This work represents a significant step forward in Endoscopic Vision, offering a novel and comprehensive framework for future research towards a holistic understanding of surgical procedures.