In order to use BiaPy, a plain text YAML configuration file must be created using YACS. This configuration file includes information about the hardware to be used, such as the number of CPUs or GPUs, the specific task or workflow, the model to be used, optional hyperparameters, the optimizer, and the paths for loading and storing data.

As an example, a full pipeline for semantic segmentation can be created using this configuration file. This file would include information on the specific model to be used, any necessary hyperparameters, the optimizer to be used during training, and the paths for loading and storing data. This configuration file is an essential component of BiaPy and is used to streamline the execution of the pipeline and ensure reproducibility of the results.

     NDIM: 2D
     PATCH_SIZE: (256, 256, 1)
         PATH: /TRAIN_PATH
        SPLIT_TRAIN: 0.1
        PATH: /TEST_PATH
    ENABLE: True
    RANDOM_ROT: True
    LR: 1.E−3
    EPOCHS: 360
        YZ_FILTERING: True

In order to run BiaPy, a YAML configuration file must be created. Examples for each workflow can be found in the templates folder on the BiaPy GitHub repository. If you are unsure about which workflow is most suitable for your data, you can refer to the Select Workflow page for guidance.

The options for the configuration file can be found in the file on the BiaPy GitHub repository. However, some of the most commonly used options are explained below:


To limit the number of CPUs used by the program, use the SYSTEM.NUM_CPUS option.

Problem specification

To specify the type of workflow, use the PROBLEM.TYPE option and select one of the following options: SEMANTIC_SEG, INSTANCE_SEG, DETECTION, DENOISING, SUPER_RESOLUTION, SELF_SUPERVISED, or CLASSIFICATION.

To specify whether the data is 2D or 3D, use the PROBLEM.NDIM option and select either 2D or 3D.

Data management

The DATA.PATCH_SIZE variable is used to specify the shape of the images that will be used in the workflow. The order of the dimensions for 2D images is (y,x,c) and for 3D images it is (z,y,x,c).

The paths for the training data are set using the DATA.TRAIN.PATH and DATA.TRAIN.GT_PATH variables (if necessary, depending on the specific workflow). Similarly, the paths for the validation data can be set using DATA.VAL.PATH and DATA.VAL.GT_PATH unless DATA.VAL.FROM_TRAIN is set, in which case these variables do not need to be defined. For test data, the DATA.TEST.PATH variable should be set if TEST.ENABLE is enabled. However, DATA.TEST.GT_PATH is not used when DATA.TEST.LOAD_GT is disabled, as there is usually no ground truth for test data.

There are two ways to handle the data during the workflow: 1) loading all images into memory at once, or 2) loading each image individually as it is needed. This behavior can be set for the training, validation, and test data using the DATA.TRAIN.IN_MEMORY, DATA.VAL.IN_MEMORY, and DATA.TEST.IN_MEMORY variables, respectively.

When loading training data into memory, i.e. setting DATA.TRAIN.IN_MEMORY to True, all the images will be loaded into memory only once. During this process, each image will be divided into patches of size DATA.PATCH_SIZE using DATA.TRAIN.OVERLAP and DATA.TRAIN.PADDING. By default, the minimum overlap is used, and the patches will always cover the entire image. In this configuration, the validation data can be created from the training data by setting DATA.VAL.SPLIT_TRAIN to the desired percentage of the training data to be used as validation. For this, DATA.VAL.FROM_TRAIN and DATA.VAL.IN_MEMORY must be set to True. In general, loading training data in memory is the fastest approach, but it relies on having enough memory available on the computer.

Alternatively, when data is not loaded into memory, i.e. DATA.TRAIN.IN_MEMORY is set to False, a number of images equal to TRAIN.BATCH_SIZE will be loaded from the disk for each training epoch. If an image does not match the selected shape, i.e. DATA.PATCH_SIZE, you can use DATA.EXTRACT_RANDOM_PATCH to extract a random patch from the image. As this approach requires loading each image multiple times, it is slower than the first approach but it saves memory.

See also

In general, if for some reason the images loaded are smaller than the given patch size, i.e. DATA.PATCH_SIZE, there will be no option to extract a patch from it. For that purpose the variable DATA.REFLECT_TO_COMPLETE_SHAPE was created so the image can be reshaped in those dimensions to complete DATA.PATCH_SIZE shape when needed.

In the case of test data, even if DATA.TEST.IN_MEMORY is selected or not, each image is cropped to DATA.PATCH_SIZE using DATA.TEST.OVERLAP and DATA.TEST.PADDING. Minimum overlap is made by default and the patches always cover the entire image. If ground truth is available you can set DATA.TEST.LOAD_GT to load it and measure the performance of the model. The metrics used depends on the workflow selected.

See also

Set DATA.TRAIN.RESOLUTION and DATA.TEST.RESOLUTION to let the model know the resolution of training and test data respectively. In training, that information will be taken into account for some data augmentations. In test, that information will be used when the user selects to remove points from predictions in detection workflow.

Data normalization

Two options are available for normalizing the data:

  • Adjusting it to the [0-1] range, which is the default option. This can be done by setting DATA.NORMALIZATION.TYPE to div.

  • Custom normalization using a specified mean (DATA.NORMALIZATION.CUSTOM_MEAN) and standard deviation (DATA.NORMALIZATION.CUSTOM_STD). This can be done by setting DATA.NORMALIZATION.TYPE to custom. If the mean and standard deviation are both set to -1, which is the default, they will be calculated based on the training data. These values will be stored in the job’s folder to be used at the inference phase, so that the test images are normalized using the same values. If specific values for mean and standard deviation are provided, those values will be used for normalization.

Data augmentation

The AUGMENTOR.ENABLE variable must be set to True to enable data augmentation (DA). The probability of each transformation is set using the AUGMENTOR.DA_PROB variable. BiaPy offers a wide range of transformations, which can be found in the file in the BiaPy repository on GitHub.

Images generated using data augmentation will be saved in the PATHS.DA_SAMPLES directory (which is aug by default). This allows you to check the data augmentation applied to the images. If you want a more exhaustive check, you can save all the augmented training data by enabling DATA.CHECK_GENERATORS. The images will be saved in PATHS.GEN_CHECKS and PATHS.GEN_MASK_CHECKS. Be aware that this option can consume a large amount of disk space as the training data will be entirely copied.

Model definition

Use MODEL.ARCHITECTURE to select the model. Different models for each workflow are implemented in BiaPy:

  • Semantic segmentation: unet, resunet, attention_unet, seunet, fcn32, fcn8, nnunet, tiramisu, mnet, multiresunet, seunet and unetr.

  • Instance segmentation: unet, resunet, attention_unet and seunet.

  • Detection: unet, resunet, attention_unet and seunet.

  • Denoising: unet, resunet, attention_unet and seunet.

  • Super-resolution: edsr.

  • Self-supervision: unet, resunet, attention_unet and seunet.

  • Classification: simple_cnn and EfficientNetB0.

For unet, resunet, attention_unet, seunet and tiramisu architectures you can set MODEL.FEATURE_MAPS to determine the feature maps to use on each network level. In the same way, MODEL.DROPOUT_VALUES can be set for each level in those networks. For tiramisu network only the first value of those variables will be taken into account. MODEL.DROPOUT_VALUES also can be set for unetr transformer.

The MODEL.BATCH_NORMALIZATION variable can be used to enable batch normalization on the unet, resunet, attention_unet, seunet and unetr models. For the 3D versions of these networks (except for unetr), the MODEL.Z_DOWN option can also be used to avoid downsampling in the z-axis, which is typically beneficial for anisotropic data.

The MODEL.N_CLASSES variable can be used to specify the number of classes for the classification problem, excluding the background class (labeled as 0). If the number of classes is set to 1 or 2, the problem is considered binary, and the behavior is the same. For more than 2 classes, the problem is considered multi-class, and the output of the models will have the corresponding number of channels.

Finally, the MODEL.LOAD_CHECKPOINT variable can be used to load a pre-trained checkpoint of the network. For example, when you want to predict new data, you can enable this option and deactivate the training phase by disabling TRAIN.ENABLE.

Training phase

To activate the training phase, set the TRAIN.ENABLE variable to True. The TRAIN.OPTIMIZER variable can be set to either SGD or ADAM, and the learning rate can be set using the TRAIN.LR variable. If you do not have much expertise in choosing these settings, you can use ADAM and 1.E-4 as a starting point.

Additionally, you need to specify how many images will be fed into the network at the same time using the TRAIN.BATCH_SIZE variable. For example, if you have 100 training samples and you select a batch size of 6, this means that 17 batches (100/6 = 16.6) are needed to input all the training data to the network, after which one epoch is completed.

To train the network, you need to specify the number of epochs using the TRAIN.EPOCHS variable. You can also set the patience using TRAIN.PATIENCE, which will stop the training process if no improvement is made on the validation data for that number of epochs.

Test phase

To activate the test phase, also known as inference or prediction, set the TEST.ENABLE variable to True. If the test images are too large to be input directly into the GPU, for example, 3D images, you need to set TEST.STATS.PER_PATCH to True. With this option, each test image will be divided into patches of size DATA.PATCH_SIZE and passed through the network individually, and then the original image will be reconstructed. This option will also automatically calculate performance metrics per patch if the ground truth is available (enabled by DATA.TEST.LOAD_GT). You can also set TEST.STATS.MERGE_PATCHES to calculate the same metrics, but after the patches have been merged into the original image.

If the entire images can be placed in the GPU, you can set only TEST.STATS.FULL_IMG without TEST.STATS.PER_PATCH and TEST.STATS.MERGE_PATCHES, as explained above. This setting is only available for 2D images. Performance metrics will be calculated if the ground truth is available (enabled by DATA.TEST.LOAD_GT).

You can also use test-time augmentation by setting TEST.AUGMENTATION to True, which will create multiple augmented copies of each test image, or patch if TEST.STATS.PER_PATCH has been selected, by all possible rotations (8 copies in 2D and 16 in 3D). This will slow down the inference process, but it will return more robust predictions.

You can use also use DATA.REFLECT_TO_COMPLETE_SHAPE to ensure that the patches can be made as pointed out in Data management).

See also

If the test images are large and you experience memory issues during the testing phase, you can set the TEST.REDUCE_MEMORY variable to True. This will reduce memory usage as much as possible, but it may slow down the inference process.


BiaPy is equipped with several post-processing methods that are primarily applied in two distinct stages: 1) following the network’s prediction and 2) after each primary process in the workflow is completed. The following is an explanation of these stages:

  1. After the network’s prediction, the post-processing methods applied aim to improve the resulting probabilities. This step is performed when the complete image is reconstructed by merging patches (TEST.STATS.PER_PATCH and TEST.STATS.MERGE_PATCHES) or when the full image is used (TEST.STATS.FULL_IMG).

    • A binary mask is applied to remove anything not contained within the mask. For this, the DATA.TEST.BINARY_MASKS path needs to be set.

    • Z-axis filtering is applied using the TEST.POST_PROCESSING.Z_FILTERING variable for 3D data when the TEST.STATS.PER_PATCH option is set. Additionally, YZ-axes filtering is implemented using the TEST.POST_PROCESSING.YZ_FILTERING variable.

  2. After each workflow main process is done there is another post-processing step on some of the workflows. Find a full description of each method inside the workflow description:

    • Instance segmentation:

      • Big instance repair

      • Filter instances by circularity

    • Detection:

      • Remove close points

      • Create instances from points