A Relative Color Approach to Color Discrimination for Malignant Melanoma Detection in Dermoscopy Images


Background: Skin lesion color is an important feature for diagnosing malignant melanoma. In previous research, skin lesion color was investigated for discriminating malignant melanoma lesions from benign lesions in clinical images. Colors characteristics of melanoma were determined using color histogram analysis over a training set of images. Percent melanoma color and color clustering ratio features were used to quantify the presence of melanoma-colored pixels within skin lesions for skin lesion discrimination. Methods: In this research, the relative color histogram analysis technique is used to evaluate skin lesion discrimination based on color feature calculations in different regions of the skin lesion in dermoscopy images. The histogram analysis technique is examined for varying training set sizes from the set of 113 malignant melanomas and 113 benign dysplastic nevi images. Results: Experimental results show improved discrimination capability for feature calculations focused in the interior lesion region. Recognition rates for malignant melanoma and dysplastic nevi as high as 87.7% and 74.9%, respectively, are observed for the color clustering ratio computed using the outer 75% uniformly distributed area with a 10% offset within the boundary. Conclusions: Experimental results appear to indicate that the melanoma color feature information is located in the interior of the lesion, excluding the 10% central-most region. The techniques presented here including the use of relative color and the determination of benign and malignant regions of the relative color histogram may be applicable to any set of images of benign and malignant lesions.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Second Department


Keywords and Phrases

Color Analysis; Color Histogram; Dysplastic Nevus; Image Processing; Malignant Melanoma; Skin Lesion

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2007 John Wiley & Sons, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2007