QGD-Net: A Lightweight Model Utilizing Pixels of Affinity in Feature Layer for Dermoscopic Lesion Segmentation

Jingchao Wang, Guoheng Huang, Guo Zhong, Xiaochen Yuan, Chi Man Pun, Jie Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Response: Pixels with location affinity, which can be also called 'pixels of affinity,' have similar semantic information. Group convolution and dilated convolution can utilize them to improve the capability of the model. However, for group convolution, it does not utilize pixels of affinity between layers. For dilated convolution, after multiple convolutions with the same dilated rate, the pixels utilized within each layer do not possess location affinity with each other. To solve the problem of group convolution, our proposed quaternion group convolution uses the quaternion convolution, which promotes the communication between to promote utilizing pixels of affinity between channels. In quaternion group convolution, the feature layers are divided into 4 layers per group, ensuring the quaternion convolution can be performed. To solve the problem of dilated convolution, we propose the quaternion sawtooth wave-like dilated convolutions module (QS module). QS module utilizes quaternion convolution with sawtooth wave-like dilated rates to effectively leverage the pixels that share the location affinity both between and within layers. This allows for an expanded receptive field, ultimately enhancing the performance of the model. In particular, we perform our quaternion group convolution in QS module to design the quaternion group dilated neutral network (QGD-Net). Extensive experiments on Dermoscopic Lesion Segmentation based on ISIC 2016 and ISIC 2017 indicate that our method has significantly reduced the model parameters and highly promoted the precision of the model in Dermoscopic Lesion Segmentation. And our method also shows generalizability in retinal vessel segmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5982-5993
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Dermoscopic Lesion Segmentation
  • U-Net
  • dilated convolution
  • group convolution
  • lightweight
  • quaternion convolution


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