Multimodal Multi-tasking for Skin Lesion Classification Using Deep Neural Networks
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and, with its increasing incidence, accurate early diagnosis is crucial to improve prognosis of patients. In the process of visual inspection, dermatologists follow specific dermoscopic algorithms and identify important features to provide a diagnosis. This process can be automated as such characteristics can be extracted by computer vision techniques. Although deep neural networks can extract useful features from digital images for skin lesion classification, performance can be improved by providing additional information. The extracted pseudo-features can be used as input (multimodal) or output (multi-tasking) to train a robust deep learning model. This work investigates the multimodal and multi-tasking techniques for more efficient training, given the single optimization of several related tasks in the latter, and generation of better diagnosis predictions. Additionally, the role of lesion segmentation is also studied. Results show that multi-tasking improves learning of beneficial features which lead to better predictions, and pseudo-features inspired by the ABCD rule provide readily available helpful information about the skin lesion.