The Federated Tumor Segmentation (FeTS) Challenge


This manuscript describes the first challenge on Federated Learning, namely the Federated Tumor Segmentation (FeTS) challenge 2021. International challenges have become the standard for validation of biomedical image analysis methods. However, the actual performance of participating (even the winning) algorithms on "real-world" clinical data often remains unclear, as the data included in challenges are usually acquired in very controlled settings at few institutions. The seemingly obvious solution of just collecting increasingly more data from more institutions in such challenges does not scale well due to privacy and ownership hurdles. Towards alleviating these concerns, we are proposing the FeTS challenge 2021 to cater towards both the development and the evaluation of models for the segmentation of intrinsically heterogeneous (in appearance, shape, and histology) brain tumors, namely gliomas. Specifically, the FeTS 2021 challenge uses clinically acquired, multi-institutional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans from the BraTS 2020 challenge, as well as from various remote independent institutions included in the collaborative network of a real-world federation ( The goals of the FeTS challenge are directly represented by the two included tasks: 1) the identification of the optimal weight aggregation approach towards the training of a consensus model that has gained knowledge via federated learning from multiple geographically distinct institutions, while their data are always retained within each institution, and 2) the federated evaluation of the generalizability of brain tumor segmentation models "in the wild", i.e. on data from institutional distributions that were not part of the training datasets.

arXiv:2105.05874 [cs, eess]