Deep Geodesic Learning for Segmentation and Anatomical Landmarking

Neslisah Torosdagli, Denise K. Liberton, Payal Verma, Murat Sincan, Janice S. Lee, Ulas Bagci*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a novel deep learning framework for anatomy segmentation and automatic landmarking. Specifically, we focus on the challenging problem of mandible segmentation from cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans and identification of 9 anatomical landmarks of the mandible on the geodesic space. The overall approach employs three inter-related steps. In the first step, we propose a deep neural network architecture with carefully designed regularization, and network hyper-parameters to perform image segmentation without the need for data augmentation and complex post-processing refinement. In the second step, we formulate the landmark localization problem directly on the geodesic space for sparsely-spaced anatomical landmarks. In the third step, we utilize a long short-term memory network to identify the closely-spaced landmarks, which is rather difficult to obtain using other standard networks. The proposed fully automated method showed superior efficacy compared to the state-of-the-art mandible segmentation and landmarking approaches in craniofacial anomalies and diseased states. We used a very challenging CBCT data set of 50 patients with a high-degree of craniomaxillofacial variability that is realistic in clinical practice. The qualitative visual inspection was conducted for distinct CBCT scans from 250 patients with high anatomical variability. We have also shown the state-of-the-art performance in an independent data set from the MICCAI Head-Neck Challenge (2015).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8490669
Pages (from-to)919-931
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Mandible segmentation
  • cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)
  • convolutional neural network
  • craniomaxillofacial deformities
  • deep learning
  • geodesic mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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