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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2), also known as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has threatened many human beings around the world and capsized economies at unprecedented magnitudes. Therefore, the detection of this disease using chest X-ray modalities has played a pivotal role in producing fast and accurate medical diagnoses, especially in countries that are unable to afford laboratory testing kits. However, identifying and distinguishing COVID-19 from virtually similar thoracic abnormalities utilizing medical images is challenging because it is time-consuming, demanding, and susceptible to human-based errors. Therefore, artificial-intelligence-driven automated diagnoses, which excludes direct human intervention, may potentially be used to achieve consistently accurate performances. In this study, we aimed to (i) obtain a customized dataset composed of a relatively small number of images collected from publicly available datasets; (ii) present the efficient integration of the shallow handcrafted features obtained from local descriptors, radiomics features specialized for medical images, and deep features aggregated from pre-trained deep learning architectures; and (iii) distinguish COVID-19 patients from healthy controls and pneumonia patients using a collection of conventional machine learning classifiers. By conducting extensive experiments, we demonstrated that the feature-based ensemble approach provided the best classification metrics, and this approach explicitly outperformed schemes that used only either local, radiomic, or deep features. In addition, our proposed method achieved state-of-the-art multi-class classification results compared to the baseline reference for the currently available COVID-19 datasets.

Ho Thi Kieu Khanh, Gwak Jeonghwan