An improved objective evaluation measure for border detection in dermoscopy images

M. Emre Celebi, Gerald Schaefer, Hitoshi Iyatomi, William V. Stoecker, Joseph M. Malters, James M. Grichnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Dermoscopy is one of the major imaging modalities used in the diagnosis of melanoma and other pigmented skin lesions. Owing to the difficulty and subjectivity of human interpretation, dermoscopy image analysis has become an important research area. One of the most important steps in dermoscopy image analysis is the automated detection of lesion borders. Although numerous methods have been developed for the detection of lesion borders, very few studies were comprehensive in the evaluation of their results. Methods: In this paper, we evaluate five recent border detection methods on a set of 90 dermoscopy images using three sets of dermatologist-drawn borders as the ground truth. In contrast to previous work, we utilize an objective measure, the normalized probabilistic rand index, which takes into account the variations in the ground-truth images. Conclusion: The results demonstrate that the differences between four of the evaluated border detection methods are in fact smaller than those predicted by the commonly used exclusive-OR measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-450
Number of pages7
JournalSkin Research and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Border detection
  • Dermoscopy
  • Evaluation measure
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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