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Automatic Segmentation of Dermoscopy Images Using Histogram Thresholding on Optimal Color Channels

Authors: M. Emre Celebi, Rahil Garnavi, Mohammad Aldeen, Alauddin Bhuiyan, Constantinos Dolianitis, George Varigos


Automatic segmentation of skin lesions is the first step towards development of a computer-aided diagnosis of melanoma. Although numerous segmentation methods have been developed, few studies have focused on determining the most discriminative and effective color space for melanoma application. This paper proposes a novel automatic segmentation algorithm using color space analysis and clustering-based histogram thresholding, which is able to determine the optimal color channel for segmentation of skin lesions. To demonstrate the validity of the algorithm, it is tested on a set of 30 high resolution dermoscopy images and a comprehensive evaluation of the results is provided, where borders manually drawn by four dermatologists, are compared to automated borders detected by the proposed algorithm. The evaluation is carried out by applying three previously used metrics of accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity and a new metric of similarity. Through ROC analysis and ranking the metrics, it is shown that the best results are obtained with the X and XoYoR color channels which results in an accuracy of approximately 97%. The proposed method is also compared with two state-ofthe- art skin lesion segmentation methods, which demonstrates the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed segmentation method.

Keywords: Melanoma, Segmentation, Dermoscopy, Border detection, Color space analysis, Histogram thresholding

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