In this paper we define a novel approach for image segmentation into regions which focuses on both visual and topological cues, namely color similarity, inclusion and spatial adjacency. Many color clustering algorithms have been proposed in the past for skin lesion images but none exploits explicitly the inclusion properties between regions. Our algorithm is based on a recursive version of fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering algorithm in the 2D color histogram constructed by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the color space. The distinctive feature of the proposal is that recursion is guided by the evaluation of adjacency and mutual inclusion properties of extracted regions; then, the recursive analysis addresses only included regions or regions with a not-negligible size. This approach allows a coarse-to-fine segmentation which focuses the attention on the inner parts of the images, in order to highlight the internal structure of the object depicted in the image. This could be particularly useful in many applications, especially in the biomedical image analysis. In this work we apply the technique to the segmentation of skin lesions in dermatoscopic images. It could be a suitable support for the diagnosis of skin melanoma, since dermatologists are interested in the analysis of the spatial relations, the symmetrical positions and the inclusion of regions.
Exploiting color and topological features for region segmentation with recursive fuzzy c-means / Cucchiara, Rita; Grana, Costantino; Seidenari, Stefania; Pellacani, Giovanni. - In: MACHINE GRAPHICS & VISION. - ISSN 1230-0535. - STAMPA. - 11 (2/3):(2002), pp. 169-182.