NNMobile-Net: Rethinking CNN Design for Deep Learning-Based Retinopathy Research

Zhu W, Qiu P, Lepore N, Dumitrascu OM, Wang Y

Retinal diseases (RD) are the leading cause of severe vision loss or blindness. Deep learning-based automated tools play an indispensable role in assisting clinicians in diagnosing and monitoring RD in modern medicine. Recently, an increasing number of works in this field have taken advantage of Vision Transformer to achieve state-of-the-art performance with more parameters and higher model complexity compared to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). Such sophisticated and task-specific model designs, however, are prone to be overfitting and hinder their generalizability. In this work, we argue that a channel-aware and well-calibrated CNN model may overcome these problems. To this end, we empirically studied CNN’s macro and micro designs and its training strategies. Based on the investigation, we proposed a no-new-MobleNet (nn-MobileNet) developed for retinal diseases. In our experiments, our generic, simple and efficient model superseded most current state-of-the-art methods on four public datasets for multiple tasks, including diabetic retinopathy grading, fundus multi-disease detection, and diabetic macular edema classification. Our work may provide novel insights into deep learning architecture design and advance retinopathy research.