International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging 2016 and 2017: Grand Challenges in Medical Computing

The International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI) 2016 and ISBI 2017 conferences are soliciting proposals for scientific challenges. The aim of the challenges is to accelerate the pace of research by providing quantitative comparisons of competing approaches to relevant problems, using standardized datasets.

Each challenge needs an organizing team responsible for providing training and test data, defining the tasks, specifying the metrics used to measure performance, managing entries, and conducting the studies and on-site presentations. ISBI will assist in advertising challenges, but the organizing team is ultimately responsible for challenge participation and success.

The format of each challenge will be determined by the challenge organizers. We strongly encourage on-site evaluations and scientific presentations by challenge participants. We also encourage the investigation of alternative formats for hosting grand challenges, challenges that address machine learning and other base technologies as well as challenges that address end-user applications.

Unlike previous years, we offer the opportunity to submit a proposal for challenges that span ISBI 2016 and ISBI 2017.  Proposals that include challenges for the two consecutive ISBIs could feature, for example, repeating a challenge to track how the field has advanced or addressing different stages in a data processing pipeline. Another possibility would be that in the first edition, the participants are encouraged to make their solutions available as open source software, and in the second event, the task remains the same but more data will be available, possibly made available through a joint effort of participants and organizers, and participants of the second edition can build upon the open source solutions from the prior edition.

Challenges for ISBI 2016 are scheduled for the first and last day of ISBI, April 13 or April 16, 2016, at the Clarion Congress Hotel, in Prague, Czech Republic. The events will run for half a day.

Call for Data

In addition to this Call for Challenges we organize a Call for Data for all challenges of ISBI 2016 and 2017. Organizers are encouraged to be actively involved in these calls and include their ideas on this issue in their proposal. We would appreciate inclusion of contributed data in their challenge training and test data, to make the challenge data more diverse and more representative of data that would have to be processed by algorithms in a real world scenario.  As mentioned previously, these calls for data can take advantage of the multi-year challenge format.

Important Dates

  • Challenge Proposal Deadline: September 15, 2015
  • Notification of Acceptance: September 29, 2015
  • Challenge Announcements on the ISBI website: October 1, 2015

The data above pertain to ISBI 2016 challenges. After finalizing the challenge program for ISBI 2016, another call for ISBI 2017 challenges will be made. The decision on challenges for ISBI 2017 will be made shortly after ISBI 2016, end of April 2016.

How to Submit a Challenge Proposal

To propose a challenge, a PDF file containing all pertinent details must be sent to the ISBI 2016 Challenge Co-Chairs:

All submissions will be acknowledged by email. Please visit for information on what to include in the PDF.

Previous ISBI Challenges

Questions or comments are always welcome!