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ArXiv Preprint

Cell detection is a fundamental task in computational pathology that can be used for extracting high-level medical information from whole-slide images. For accurate cell detection, pathologists often zoom out to understand the tissue-level structures and zoom in to classify cells based on their morphology and the surrounding context. However, there is a lack of efforts to reflect such behaviors by pathologists in the cell detection models, mainly due to the lack of datasets containing both cell and tissue annotations with overlapping regions. To overcome this limitation, we propose and publicly release OCELOT, a dataset purposely dedicated to the study of cell-tissue relationships for cell detection in histopathology. OCELOT provides overlapping cell and tissue annotations on images acquired from multiple organs. Within this setting, we also propose multi-task learning approaches that benefit from learning both cell and tissue tasks simultaneously. When compared against a model trained only for the cell detection task, our proposed approaches improve cell detection performance on 3 datasets: proposed OCELOT, public TIGER, and internal CARP datasets. On the OCELOT test set in particular, we show up to 6.79 improvement in F1-score. We believe the contributions of this paper, including the release of the OCELOT dataset at are a crucial starting point toward the important research direction of incorporating cell-tissue relationships in computation pathology.

Jeongun Ryu, Aaron Valero Puche, JaeWoong Shin, Seonwook Park, Biagio Brattoli, Jinhee Lee, Wonkyung Jung, Soo Ick Cho, Kyunghyun Paeng, Chan-Young Ock, Donggeun Yoo, Sérgio Pereira