KDD 2021
Workshop paper

Out-of-Distribution Detection in Dermatology using Input Perturbation and Subset Scanning

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Recent advances in deep learning have led to breakthroughs in the development of automated skin disease classification. As we observe an increasing interest in these models in the dermatology space, it is crucial to address aspects such as the robustness towards input data distribution shifts. Current skin disease models tend to make incorrect inferences for test samples from different hardware devices and clinical settings or unknown disease samples, which are out-of-distribution (OOD) from the training samples. Toward addressing this issue, we propose a simple yet effective approach that detects these OOD samples prior to making any decision. The detection is performed via scanning in the latent space representation (e.g., activations of the inner layers of a pre-trained skin disease classifier). The input samples could also be perturbed to maximise divergence of OOD samples. We validate our OOD detection approach in two use cases: 1) identify samples collected from different protocols, and 2) detect samples from unknown disease classes. Additionally, we evaluate the performance of the proposed approach and compare it with other state-of-the-art methods. Furthermore, data-driven dermatology applications may deepen the disparity in clinical care across racial and ethnic groups since most datasets are reported to suffer from bias in skin tone distribution. Therefore, we also evaluate the fairness of these OOD detection methods across different skin tones. Our experiments show competitive performance across multiple datasets in detecting OOD samples, which could be used in the future to design more effective transfer learning techniques prior to classifying these samples.