Handling Inter-Annotator Agreement for Automated Skin Lesion Segmentation

Vinicius Ribeiro, Sandra Avila, Eduardo Valle

In this work, we explore the issue of the inter-annotator agreement for training and evaluating automated segmentation of skin lesions. We explore what different degrees of agreement represent, and how they affect different use cases for segmentation. We also evaluate how conditioning the ground truths using different (but very simple) algorithms may help to enhance agreement and may be appropriate for some use cases. The segmentation of skin lesions is a cornerstone task for automated skin lesion analysis, useful both as an end-result to locate/detect the lesions and as an ancillary task for lesion classification. Lesion segmentation, however, is a very challenging task, due not only to the challenge of image segmentation itself but also to the difficulty in obtaining properly annotated data. Detecting accurately the borders of lesions is challenging even for trained humans, since, for many lesions, those borders are fuzzy and ill-defined. Using lesions and annotations from the ISIC Archive, we estimate inter-annotator agreement for skin-lesion segmentation and propose several simple procedures that may help to improve inter-annotator agreement if used to condition the ground truths.

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