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In Computational intelligence and neuroscience

The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, can be deadly to people, causing COVID-19. The ease of its propagation, coupled with its high capacity for illness and death in infected individuals, makes it a hazard to the community. Chest X-rays are one of the most common but most difficult to interpret radiographic examination for early diagnosis of coronavirus-related infections. They carry a considerable amount of anatomical and physiological information, but it is sometimes difficult even for the expert radiologist to derive the related information they contain. Automatic classification using deep learning models can help in better assessing these infections swiftly. Deep CNN models, namely, MobileNet, ResNet50, and InceptionV3, were applied with different variations, including training the model from the start, fine-tuning along with adjusting learned weights of all layers, and fine-tuning with learned weights along with augmentation. Fine-tuning with augmentation produced the best results in pretrained models. Out of these, two best-performing models (MobileNet and InceptionV3) selected for ensemble learning produced accuracy and FScore of 95.18% and 90.34%, and 95.75% and 91.47%, respectively. The proposed hybrid ensemble model generated with the merger of these deep models produced a classification accuracy and FScore of 96.49% and 92.97%. For test dataset, which was separately kept, the model generated accuracy and FScore of 94.19% and 88.64%. Automatic classification using deep ensemble learning can help radiologists in the correct identification of coronavirus-related infections in chest X-rays. Consequently, this swift and computer-aided diagnosis can help in saving precious human lives and minimizing the social and economic impact on society.

Ahmad Fareed, Farooq Amjad, Ghani Muhammad Usman

2021