Surgical Skill Assessment via Video Semantic Aggregation


Automated video-based assessment of surgical skills is a promising task in assisting young surgical trainees, especially in poor-resource areas. Existing works often resort to a CNN-LSTM joint framework that models long-term relationships by LSTMs on spatially pooled short-term CNN features. However, this practice would inevitably neglect the difference among semantic concepts such as tools, tissues, and background in the spatial dimension, impeding the subsequent temporal relationship modeling. In this paper, we propose a novel skill assessment framework, Video Semantic Aggregation (ViSA), which discovers different semantic parts and aggregates them across spatiotemporal dimensions. The explicit discovery of semantic parts provides an explanatory visualization that helps understand the neural network’s decisions. It also enables us to further incorporate auxiliary information such as the kinematic data to improve representation learning and performance. The experiments on two datasets show the competitiveness of ViSA compared to state-of-the-art methods. Source code is available at:

Proceedings of the International Conference on Medical Computing and Computer Assisted Invention (MICCAI 2022)