The MICCAI Learn2Learn Challenge

Cross-Domain Few-Shot Learning for Medical Image Classification.

The challenge portal is now open!

About the challenge

Data scarcity is one of the major limiting factors preventing application of powerful machine learning algorithms to many medical applications beyond a handful of big public datasets. Cross-Domain Few-shot Learning (CD-FSL) offers the potential to exploit similarities between different medical image analysis datasets and leverage shared knowledge to learn previously unseen tasks more efficiently. However, CD-FSL is underexplored in medical image analysis. With the L2L challenge we want to encourage the medical image analysis and machine learning communities to explore the potential of CD-FSL approaches in the promising application domain of medical image analysis, and to develop algorithms that are robust to the extremely high task and data diversity encountered in this domain.

The L2L Challenge is an official MICCAI 2023 challenge, and the winners will be announced at the meeting Vancouver. The International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) is the top conference in the domain of medical image analysis.

How will the challenge work?

Participants develop an algorithm that learns to learn new tasks data-efficiently by using the provided MIMeta dataset of datasets. The algorithm then gets evaluated for its ability to learn a set of private, previously unseen, test tasks derived from a set of private datasets. See more details in the Challenge Mechanics section.

The winning team will receive a 1000 CA$ cash prize sponsored by ImFusion!

Getting started

We provide an L2L example repo with a minimal yet functional submission. Real submissions will likely be more complex, but we hope to provide a suitable starting point for participants to work from. The documentation of the repository also contains the basic requirements for submitted containers.

Challenge dataset

We release the MIMeta Dataset, a novel meta dataset comprised of 17 publicly available datasets containing a total of 28 tasks. We additionally prepared a private set of tasks derived from different datasets which will be used for validation and final testing of the submissions. All datasets included in the MIMeta dataset have been previously published under a creative commons licence. All datasets preprocessed and can be directly accessed using the data loaders provided in the The MIMeta python package (see below).

The dataset bears similarity to, and has partial overlap with, the Medical MNIST dataset. However, we go beyond Medical MNIST in the amount and diversity of tasks included in our dataset. Moreover, all images in MIMeta are standardized to an image size of 224x224 pixels which allows a more clinically meaningful analysis of the images.

Beyond the L2L challenge, our aim is to provide a valuable resource for quickly benchmarking algorithms on a wide range of medical tasks with standardised data splits.


In addition to the dataset, we also release two python packages:

  • The MIMeta Python package provides code for easily loading images or batches of different tasks.
  • The TorchCross Python package provides general pytorch functionality for cross-domain few-shot learning and can be used to reproduce some simple baselines based on meta-learning.
Both toolboxes can be conveniently installed using pip.

Challenge Timeline

  • 02 May 2023 - Data release
  • 01 June 2023 - Submission portal opens
  • 22 June 2023 - Submission portal opens
  • 2 August 2023 - Registration deadline
  • 24 August 2023 - Registration deadline
  • 17 August 2023 - Submission deadline
  • 7 September 2023 - Submission deadline
  • 14 September 2023 - Report submission deadline
  • 28 September 2023 - Top-performing teams contacted
  • 8-12 October 2023 - Results announced at MICCAI 2023

Challenge Mechanics

The phases of the challenge

An overview of the submission and evaluation procedure are shown in the figure above. For a more detailed explanation checkout our Rules page.

Development and training

  • We provide a meta-train dataset (i.e. a dataset consisting of multiple datasets) with multiple imaging modalities varying widely in type, e.g. binary, multi-class, or multi-label classification.
  • Participating teams train a cross-domain few-shot learning algorithm with the provided data, and locally assess its performance by checking its ability to learn a left-out task using a small number of N of examples. Code examples and baselines will be provided.
  • Ideas for algorithmic approaches can be drawn for example from meta-learning, transfer learning, or self-supervised pretraining.

Online validation

  • When the submission platform opens (planned on 01 June 2023) algorithms can be submitted to the challenge server for validation on a private set of validation tasks. The algorithm should be packaged as a Singularity or Docker container and should accept the following inputs: a labelled support set, and a unlabelled query set for which predictions should be obtained. Boiler plate code and examples for building a Singularity or Docker container and a valid submission will be provided together with the opening of the submission platform.
  • Validation submissions serve to allow participants to test the validity of their algorithms and will be used to populate an online leaderboard. However, the validation phase is distinct from the final test phase, and does not influence the final ranking in any way.

Final submission

  • Until the submission deadline (planned 27 July 2023) participants are allowed to make 3 final submissions. Final submissions are made as a Singularity or Docker container exactly as in the validation phase. We will evaluate all submissions and use the best of the three for the final ranking.
  • Note that teams planning to submit an algorithm must register before 22 June 2023.
  • The final submission will be evaluated on a number of secret test tasks derived from secret test datasets that are distinct from the training and validation data. (Note that the images shown in the figure above are just for illustration purposes and are not from the real test data). The test data will include some data domains that are similar to some of the training data, and some data domains that are completely new.
  • The winners will be announced at the MICCAI conference.



  • On the evaluation server, we evaluate the algorithms on a set of hidden test tasks. For each task we create 100 few-shot learning task instances by randomly sampling a small support set of N labelled examples per class, along with a corresponding query set. The submitted algorithms should (on the challenge server) learn the new task, and output predictions for the query set. The accuracy on the query set will be our evaluation metric.
  • We will evaluate all algorithms for a range of N from 3 to 10 shots for each test task. The average performance over all N in that range will be used as the final task performance.

Final ranking

  • The average accuracies above are used to generate rankings for each test task. These rankings are averaged to generate a final aggregate challenge ranking. We use this rank-then-aggregate approach to not implicitly weigh any tasks higher than others.