Addressing the Real-world Class Imbalance Problem in Dermatology

10/09/2020 ∙ by Wei-Hung Weng, et al. ∙ 12

Class imbalance is a common problem in medical diagnosis, causing a standard classifier to be biased towards the common classes and perform poorly on the rare classes. This is especially true for dermatology, a specialty with thousands of skin conditions but many of which have rare prevalence in the real world. Motivated by recent advances, we explore few-shot learning methods as well as conventional class imbalance techniques for the skin condition recognition problem and propose an evaluation setup to fairly assess the real-world utility of such approaches. When compared to conventional class imbalance techniques, we find that few-shot learning methods are not as performant as those conventional methods, but combining the two approaches using a novel ensemble leads to improvement in model performance, especially for rare classes. We conclude that the ensemble can be useful to address the class imbalance problem, yet progress here can further be accelerated by the use of real-world evaluation setups for benchmarking new methods.



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