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Skin Lesion Segmentation Using Color Channel Optimization and Clustering-based Histogram Thresholding

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


Automatic segmentation of skin lesions is the first step towards the automated analysis of malignant melanoma. Although numerous segmentation methods have been developed, few studies have focused on determining the most effective color space for melanoma application. This paper proposes an automatic segmentation algorithm based on color space analysis and clustering-based histogram thresholding, a process which is able to determine the optimal color channel for detecting the borders in dermoscopy images. The algorithm is tested on a set of 30 high resolution dermoscopy images. 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, applying three previously used metrics of accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity and a new metric of similarity. By performing ROC analysis and ranking the metrics, it is demonstrated that the best results are obtained with the X and XoYoR color channels, resulting in an accuracy of approximately 97%. The proposed method is also compared with two state-of-theart skin lesion segmentation methods.

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

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