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Journal of Computer Science

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 963 - 968

Skin Color Detection Model Using Neural Networks and its Performance Evaluation

K. K. Bhoyar and O. G. Kakde


Problem statement: Skin color detection is used as a preliminary step in numerous computer vision applications like face detection, nudity recognition, hand gesture detection and person identification. In this study we present a pixel based skin color classification approach, for detecting skin pixels and non skin pixels in color images, using a novel neural network symmetric classifier. The neural classifiers used in the literature either uses a symmetric model with single neuron in the output layer or uses two separate neural networks (asymmetric model) for each of the skin and non-skin classes. The novelty of our approach is that it has two output layer neurons; one each for skin and non-skin class, instead of using two separate classifiers. Thus by using a single neural network classifier we have improved the separability between these two classes, eliminating additional time complexity that is needed in asymmetric classifier. Approach: Skin samples from web images of people from different ethnic groups were collected and used for training. Ground truth skin segmented images were obtained by using semiautomatic skin segmentation tool developed by the authors. The ground truth database of skin segmented images, thus obtained was used to evaluate the performance of our NN based classifier. Results: With proper selection of optimum classification threshold that varies from image to image the classifier gave the detection rate of more than 90% with 7% false positives on an average, Conclusion/Recommendations: It is observed that the neural network is capable of detecting skin in complex lighting and background environments. The classifier has the ability to classify the skin pixels belonging to people from different ethnic groups even when they are present simultaneously in an image. The proper choice of optimum classification threshold that varies from image to image is an issue here. Automatic computation of this optimum threshold for each image is desired in practical skin detection applications. This issue can be taken up as a future study, which will enable us to perform fully automatic skin segmentation with reduced false positives.

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