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Deep Learning Approaches Towards Skin Lesion Segmentation and Classification from Dermoscopic Images - A Review

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 5 ]


Ramsha Baig, Maryam Bibi, Anmol Hamid, Sumaira Kausar* and Shahzad Khalid   Pages 513 - 533 ( 21 )


Background: Automated intelligent systems for unbiased diagnosis are primary requirement for the pigment lesion analysis. It has gained the attention of researchers in the last few decades. These systems involve multiple phases such as pre-processing, feature extraction, segmentation, classification and post processing. It is crucial to accurately localize and segment the skin lesion. It is observed that recent enhancements in machine learning algorithms and dermoscopic techniques reduced the misclassification rate therefore, the focus towards computer aided systems increased exponentially in recent years. Computer aided diagnostic systems are reliable source for dermatologists to analyze the type of cancer, but it is widely acknowledged that even higher accuracy is needed for computer aided diagnostic systems to be adopted practically in the diagnostic process of life threatening diseases.

Introduction: Skin cancer is one of the most threatening cancers. It occurs by the abnormal multiplication of cells. The core three types of skin cells are: Squamous, Basal and Melanocytes. There are two wide classes of skin cancer; Melanocytic and non-Melanocytic. It is difficult to differentiate between benign and malignant melanoma, therefore dermatologists sometimes misclassify the benign and malignant melanoma. Melanoma is estimated as 19th most frequent cancer, it is riskier than the Basel and Squamous carcinoma because it rapidly spreads throughout the body. Hence, to lower the death risk, it is critical to diagnose the correct type of cancer in early rudimentary phases. It can occur on any part of body, but it has higher probability to occur on chest, back and legs.

Methods: The paper presents a review of segmentation and classification techniques for skin lesion detection. Dermoscopy and its features are discussed briefly. After that Image pre-processing techniques are described. A thorough review of segmentation and classification phases of skin lesion detection using deep learning techniques is presented Literature is discussed and a comparative analysis of discussed methods is presented.

Conclusion: In this paper, we have presented the survey of more than 100 papers and comparative analysis of state of the art techniques, model and methodologies. Malignant melanoma is one of the most threating and deadliest cancers. Since the last few decades, researchers are putting extra attention and effort in accurate diagnosis of melanoma. The main challenges of dermoscopic skin lesion images are: low contrasts, multiple lesions, irregular and fuzzy borders, blood vessels, regression, hairs, bubbles, variegated coloring and other kinds of distortions. The lack of large training dataset makes these problems even more challenging. Due to recent advancement in the paradigm of deep learning, and specially the outstanding performance in medical imaging, it has become important to review the deep learning algorithms performance in skin lesion segmentation. Here, we have discussed the results of different techniques on the basis of different evaluation parameters such as Jaccard coefficient, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy. And the paper listed down the major achievements in this domain with the detailed discussion of the techniques. In future, it is expected to improve results by utilizing the capabilities of deep learning frameworks with other pre and post processing techniques so reliable and accurate diagnostic systems can be built.


Skin lesion, melanoma, segmentation, deep learning, convolution neural network, skin cancer.


Department of Computer Science, Bahria University, Islamabad, Department of Computer Science, Bahria University, Islamabad, Department of Computer Science, Bahria University, Islamabad, Department of Computer Science, Bahria University, Islamabad, Department of Computer Engineering, Bahria University, Islamabad

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