Border detection in dermoscopy images using statistical region merging

M. Emre Celebi, Hassan A. Kingravi, Hitoshi Iyatomi, Y. Alp Aslandogan, William V. Stoecker, Randy H. Moss, Joseph M. Malters, James M. Grichnik, Ashfaq A. Marghoob, Harold S. Rabinovitz, Scott W. Menzies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

287 Scopus citations


Background: As a result of advances in skin imaging technology and the development of suitable image processing techniques, during the last decade, there has been a significant increase of interest in the computer-aided diagnosis of melanoma. Automated border detection is one of the most important steps in this procedure, because the accuracy of the subsequent steps crucially depends on it. Methods: In this article, we present a fast and unsupervised approach to border detection in dermoscopy images of pigmented skin lesions based on the statistical region merging algorithm. Results: The method is testedon a set of 90 dermoscopy images. The border detection error is quantified by a metric in which three sets of dermatologist-determined borders are used as the ground-truth. The proposed method is compared with four state-of-the-art automated methods (orientation-sensitive fuzzy c-means, dermatologist-like tumor extraction algorithm, meanshift clustering, and the modified JSEG method). Conclusion: The results demonstrate that the method presented here achieves both fast and accurate border detection in dermoscopy images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalSkin Research and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Border detection
  • Computer-aided diagnosis
  • Dermoscopy
  • Melanoma
  • Segmentation
  • Skin cancer
  • Statistical region merging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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