Region-specific Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping


We introduce a region-specific diffeomorphic metric mapping (RDMM) registration approach. RDMM is non-parametric, estimating spatio-temporal velocity fields which parameterize the sought-for spatial transformation. Regularization of these velocity fields is necessary. In contrast to existing non-parametric registration approaches using a fixed spatially-invariant regularization, for example, the large displacement diffeomorphic metric mapping (LDDMM) model, our approach allows for spatially-varying regularization which is advected via the estimated spatio-temporal velocity field. Hence, not only can our model capture large displacements, it does so with a spatio-temporal regularizer that keeps track of how regions deform, which is a more natural mathematical formulation. We explore a family of RDMM registration approaches: 1) a registration model where regions with separate regularizations are pre-defined (e.g., in an atlas space or for distinct foreground and background regions), 2) a registration model where a general spatially-varying regularizer is estimated, and 3) a registration model where the spatially-varying regularizer is obtained via an end-to-end trained deep learning (DL) model. We provide a variational derivation of RDMM, showing that the model can assure diffeomorphic transformations in the continuum, and that LDDMM is a particular instance of RDMM. To evaluate RDMM performance we experiment 1) on synthetic 2D data and 2) on two 3D datasets: knee magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) and computed tomography images (CT) of the lung. Results show that our framework achieves comparable performance to state-of-the-art image registration approaches, while providing additional information via a learned spatio-temporal regularizer. Further, our deep learning approach allows for very fast RDMM and LDDMM estimations. Code is available at

Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32: Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2019, NeurIPS 2019, 8-14 December 2019, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Zhengyang Shen
Zhengyang Shen
Graduate Student in Computer Science

My research interests include image registration and machine learning.

Marc Niethammer
Marc Niethammer
Professor of Computer Science

My research interests include image registration, image segmentation, shape analysis, machine learning, and biomedical applications.