Automated Skin Lesion Segmentation Via an Adaptive Dual Attention Module

Huisi Wu, Junquan Pan, Zhuoying Li, Zhenkun Wen, Jing Qin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


We present a convolutional neural network (CNN) equipped with a novel and efficient adaptive dual attention module (ADAM) for automated skin lesion segmentation from dermoscopic images, which is an essential yet challenging step for the development of a computer-assisted skin disease diagnosis system. The proposed ADAM has three compelling characteristics. First, we integrate two global context modeling mechanisms into the ADAM, one aiming at capturing the boundary continuity of skin lesion by global average pooling while the other dealing with the shape irregularity by pixel-wise correlation. In this regard, our network, thanks to the proposed ADAM, is capable of extracting more comprehensive and discriminative features for recognizing the boundary of skin lesions. Second, the proposed ADAM supports multi-scale resolution fusion, and hence can capture multi-scale features to further improve the segmentation accuracy. Third, as we harness a spatial information weighting method in the proposed network, our method can reduce a lot of redundancies compared with traditional CNNs. The proposed network is implemented based on a dual encoder architecture, which is able to enlarge the receptive field without greatly increasing the network parameters. In addition, we assign different dilation rates to different ADAMs so that it can adaptively capture distinguishing features according to the size of a lesion. We extensively evaluate the proposed method on both ISBI2017 and ISIC2018 datasets and the experimental results demonstrate that, without using network ensemble schemes, our method is capable of achieving better segmentation performance than state-of-the-art deep learning models, particularly those equipped with attention mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9207942
Pages (from-to)357-370
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • adaptive dual attention module
  • deep learning
  • dual encoder architecture
  • global context modeling
  • Skin lesion segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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