Dermoscopic Dark Corner Artifacts Removal: Friend or Foe?

Publication date: Jun 23, 2023

One of the more significant obstacles in classification of skin cancer is the presence of artifacts. This paper investigates the effect of dark corner artifacts, which result from the use of dermoscopes, on the performance of a deep learning binary classification task. Previous research attempted to remove and inpaint dark corner artifacts, with the intention of creating an ideal condition for models. However, such research has been shown to be inconclusive due to lack of available datasets labelled with dark corner artifacts and detailed analysis and discussion. To address these issues, we label 10,250 skin lesion images from publicly available datasets and introduce a balanced dataset with an equal number of melanoma and non-melanoma cases. The training set comprises 6126 images without artifacts, and the testing set comprises 4124 images with dark corner artifacts. We conduct three experiments to provide new understanding on the effects of dark corner artifacts, including inpainted and synthetically generated examples, on a deep learning method. Our results suggest that introducing synthetic dark corner artifacts which have been superimposed onto the training set improved model performance, particularly in terms of the true negative rate. This indicates that deep learning learnt to ignore dark corner artifacts, rather than treating it as melanoma, when dark corner artifacts were introduced into the training set. Further, we propose a new approach to quantifying heatmaps indicating network focus using a root mean square measure of the brightness intensity in the different regions of the heatmaps. This paper provides a new guideline for skin lesions analysis with an emphasis on reproducibility.


Concepts Keywords
Black Artifacts
Cheapest Binary
Dermatoscopic Clean
Library Corner


Type Source Name
disease MESH skin cancer
drug DRUGBANK Aspartame
disease MESH melanoma
pathway KEGG Melanoma
drug DRUGBANK Ademetionine
drug DRUGBANK Dichloroacetic Acid
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
disease MESH nevi
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
drug DRUGBANK Medical air
drug DRUGBANK L-Valine
drug DRUGBANK Honey
drug DRUGBANK Flunarizine
drug DRUGBANK Methyldopa
drug DRUGBANK Resiniferatoxin
drug DRUGBANK Cysteamine
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M

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