Practical Application Of Convolutional Neural Networks For Skin Lesion Classification

I am serving as a member of Natallia Karaliova’s Honors Thesis Committee. The committee includes Dr. Ajay Bansal (chair) and myself.

Thesis defense is scheduled on April 17, 2019, 1:30 pm MST, Peralta Hall room 202.

This thesis explores practical applications of neural networks for automated skin lesion identification. The visual characteristics are of primary importance in the recognition of skin diseases, hence, the development of deep neural network models proven capable of classifying skin lesions can potentially change the face of modern medicine by extending the availability and lowering the cost of diagnostic care. Previous work has demonstrated the effectiveness of convolutional neural networks in image classification in general, with even higher accuracy achievable by data augmentation techniques, such as cropping, rotating, and flipping input images, along with more advanced computationally intensive approaches. In this research, I provide an overview of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and CNN implementation with TensorFlow and Keras API in context of image recognition and classification. I also experiment with custom convolutional neural network model architecture trained using HAM10000 dataset. The dataset used for the case study is obtained from Harvard Dataverse and is maintained by Medical University of Vienna. The HAM10000 dataset is a large collection of multi-source dermatoscopic images of common pigmented skin lesions and is available for academic research under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International Public License. With over ten thousand dermatoscopic images of seven classes of benign and malignant skin lesions, the dataset is substantial for academic machine learning purposes for multiclass image classification. I discuss the successes and shortcomings of the model in respect to its application to the dataset.