EPVT: Environment-aware Prompt Vision Transformer for Domain Generalization in Skin Lesion Recognition

by   Siyuan Yan, et al.

Skin lesion recognition using deep learning has made remarkable progress, and there is an increasing need for deploying these systems in real-world scenarios. However, recent research has revealed that deep neural networks for skin lesion recognition may overly depend on disease-irrelevant image artifacts (i.e. dark corners, dense hairs), leading to poor generalization in unseen environments. To address this issue, we propose a novel domain generalization method called EPVT, which involves embedding prompts into the vision transformer to collaboratively learn knowledge from diverse domains. Concretely, EPVT leverages a set of domain prompts, each of which plays as a domain expert, to capture domain-specific knowledge; and a shared prompt for general knowledge over the entire dataset. To facilitate knowledge sharing and the interaction of different prompts, we introduce a domain prompt generator that enables low-rank multiplicative updates between domain prompts and the shared prompt. A domain mixup strategy is additionally devised to reduce the co-occurring artifacts in each domain, which allows for more flexible decision margins and mitigates the issue of incorrectly assigned domain labels. Experiments on four out-of-distribution datasets and six different biased ISIC datasets demonstrate the superior generalization ability of EPVT in skin lesion recognition across various environments. Our code and dataset will be released at https://github.com/SiyuanYan1/EPVT.


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