Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 717–741 | Cite as

Systematic skin segmentation: merging spatial and non-spatial data

  • Rehanullah KhanEmail author
  • Allan Hanbury
  • Robert Sablatnig
  • Julian Stöttinger
  • F. Ali Khan
  • F. Alam Khan


Skin detection is used in applications ranging from face detection, tracking of body parts, hand gesture analysis, to retrieval and blocking objectionable content. We present a systematic approach for robust skin segmentation using graph cuts. The skin segmentation process starts by exploiting the local skin information of detected faces. The detected faces are used as foreground seeds for calculating the foreground weights of the graph. If local skin information is not available, we opt for the universal seed. To increase the robustness, the decision tree based classifier is used to augment the universal seed weights when no local information is available in the image. With this setup, we achieve robust skin segmentation, outperforming off-line trained classifiers. The setup also provides a generic skin detection system, using positive training data only. With face detection, we take advantage of the contextual information present in the scene. With the weight augmentation, we provide a setup for merging spatial and non-spatial data. Experiments on two datasets with annotated pixel-level ground truth show that the systematic skin segmentation approach outperforms other approaches and provides robust skin detection.


Skin detection Skin segmentation Classification Graph cuts for skin detection Neighborhood relationship Systematic skin detection approach Classifiers integration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rehanullah Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Allan Hanbury
    • 2
  • Robert Sablatnig
    • 3
  • Julian Stöttinger
    • 4
  • F. Ali Khan
    • 2
    • 5
  • F. Alam Khan
    • 6
  1. 1.Sarhad University of Science and Information TechnologyPeshawarPakistan
  2. 2.Institute of Software Technology and Interactive SystemsTU-WienViennaAustria
  3. 3.Institute of Computer Aided AutomationTU-WienViennaAustria
  4. 4.Department of Information Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly
  5. 5.Institute of Management SciencesPeshawarPakistan
  6. 6.COMSATS Institute of Information TechnologyIslamabadPakistan

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