A Fuzzy-enhanced Deep Learning Approach for Early Detection of Covid-19 Pneumonia from Portable Chest X-Ray Images



Ieracitano C, Mammone N, Versaci M, Varone G, Ali A, Armentano A, Calabrese G, Ferrarelli A, Turano L, Tebala C, Hussain Z, Sheikh Z, Sheikh A, Sceni G, Hussain A & Morabito FC (2022) A Fuzzy-enhanced Deep Learning Approach for Early Detection of Covid-19 Pneumonia from Portable Chest X-Ray Images. Neurocomputing, 481, pp. 202-215.

The Covid-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time. Chest X-Rays (CXR) have been an important imaging modality for assisting in the diagnosis and management of hospitalised Covid-19 patients. However, their interpretation is time intensive for radiologists. Accurate computer aided systems can facilitate early diagnosis of Covid-19 and effective triaging. In this paper, we propose a fuzzy logic based deep learning (DL) approach to differentiate between CXR images of patients with Covid-19 pneumonia and with interstitial pneumonias not related to Covid-19. The developed model here, referred to as CovNNet, is used to extract some relevant features from CXR images, combined with fuzzy images generated by a fuzzy edge detection algorithm. Experimental results show that using a combination of CXR and fuzzy features, within a deep learning approach by developing a deep network inputed to a Multilayer Perceptron (MLP), results in a higher classification performance (accuracy rate up to 81%), compared to benchmark deep learning approaches. The approach has been validated through additional datasets which are continously generated due to the spread of the virus and would help triage patients in acute settings. A permutation analysis is carried out, and a simple occlusion methodology for explaining decisions is also proposed. The proposed pipeline can be easily embedded into present clinical decision support systems.

Chest X-ray; Convolutional Neural Network; Covid-19; explainable Artificial Intelligence; Fuzzy logic; Portable systems

Neurocomputing: Volume 481

FundersEPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Publication date07/04/2022
Publication date online21/01/2022
Date accepted by journal14/01/2022