AN ENSEMBLE TEMPLATE MATCHING AND CONTENT-BASED IMAGE RETRIEVAL SCHEME TOWARDS EARLY STAGE DETECTION OF MELANOMA

Spiros Kostopoulos, Dimitris Glotsos, Pantelis Asvestas, Christos Konstandinou, George Xenogiannopoulos, Konstantinos Sidiropoulos, Eirini-Konstantina Nikolatou, Konstantinos Perakis, Spyros Mantzouratos, Theophilos Sakkis, George Sakellaropoulos, George Nikiforidis, Dionisis Cavouras

Abstract


Malignant melanoma represents the most dangerous type of skin cancer. In this study we present an ensemble classification scheme, employing the mutual information, the cross-correlation and the clustering based on proximity of image features methods, for early stage assessment of melanomas on plain photography images. The proposed scheme performs two main operations. First, it retrieves the most similar, to the unknown case, image samples from an available image database with verified benign moles and malignant melanoma cases. Second, it provides an automated estimation regarding the nature of the unknown image sample based on the majority of the most similar images retrieved from the available database. Clinical material comprised 75 melanoma and 75 benign plain photography images collected from publicly available dermatological atlases. Results showed that the ensemble scheme outperformed all other methods tested in terms of accuracy with 94.9±1.5%, following an external cross-validation evaluation methodology. The proposed scheme may benefit patients by providing a second opinion consultation during the self-skin examination process and the physician by providing a second opinion estimation regarding the nature of suspicious moles that may assist towards decision making especially for ambiguous cases, safeguarding, in this way from potential diagnostic misinterpretations.

Keywords
template matching, content-based image retrieval, decision support system, melanoma diagnosis, self-skin examination

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DOI: 10.5566/ias.1446

Image Analysis & Stereology
EISSN 1854-5165 (Electronic version)
ISSN 1580-3139 (Printed version)