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Skin Cancer Detection and Tracking using Data Synthesis and Deep Learning

by   Yunzhu Li, et al.
Peking University
Stanford University

Dense object detection and temporal tracking are needed across applications domains ranging from people-tracking to analysis of satellite imagery over time. The detection and tracking of malignant skin cancers and benign moles poses a particularly challenging problem due to the general uniformity of large skin patches, the fact that skin lesions vary little in their appearance, and the relatively small amount of data available. Here we introduce a novel data synthesis technique that merges images of individual skin lesions with full-body images and heavily augments them to generate significant amounts of data. We build a convolutional neural network (CNN) based system, trained on this synthetic data, and demonstrate superior performance to traditional detection and tracking techniques. Additionally, we compare our system to humans trained with simple criteria. Our system is intended for potential clinical use to augment the capabilities of healthcare providers. While domain-specific, we believe the methods invoked in this work will be useful in applying CNNs across domains that suffer from limited data availability.


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