Computers, Materials & Continua DOI:10.32604/cmc.2021.018040 | |

Article |

Pseudo Zernike Moment and Deep Stacked Sparse Autoencoder for COVID-19 Diagnosis

1School of Informatics, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

2Department of Computer Science, HITEC University Taxila, Taxila, Pakistan

3Science in Civil Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, FL 32608, Gainesville, USA

4School of Mathematics and Actuarial Science, University of Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

*Corresponding Author: Shui-Hua Wang. Email: shuihuawang@ieee.org

Received: 22 February 2021; Accepted: 07 April 2021

Abstract: (Aim) COVID-19 is an ongoing infectious disease. It has caused more than 107.45 m confirmed cases and 2.35 m deaths till 11/Feb/2021. Traditional computer vision methods have achieved promising results on the automatic smart diagnosis. (Method) This study aims to propose a novel deep learning method that can obtain better performance. We use the pseudo-Zernike moment (PZM), derived from Zernike moment, as the extracted features. Two settings are introducing: (i) image plane over unit circle; and (ii) image plane inside the unit circle. Afterward, we use a deep-stacked sparse autoencoder (DSSAE) as the classifier. Besides, multiple-way data augmentation is chosen to overcome overfitting. The multiple-way data augmentation is based on Gaussian noise, salt-and-pepper noise, speckle noise, horizontal and vertical shear, rotation, Gamma correction, random translation and scaling. (Results) 10 runs of 10-fold cross validation shows that our PZM-DSSAE method achieves a sensitivity of 92.06% ± 1.54%, a specificity of 92.56% ± 1.06%, a precision of 92.53% ± 1.03%, and an accuracy of 92.31% ± 1.08%. Its F1 score, MCC, and FMI arrive at 92.29% ±1.10%, 84.64% ± 2.15%, and 92.29% ± 1.10%, respectively. The AUC of our model is 0.9576. (Conclusion) We demonstrate “image plane over unit circle” can get better results than “image plane inside a unit circle.” Besides, this proposed PZM-DSSAE model is better than eight state-of-the-art approaches.

Keywords: Pseudo Zernike moment; stacked sparse autoencoder; deep learning; COVID-19; multiple-way data augmentation; medical image analysis

COVID-19 has caused more than 107.45 m confirmed cases and 2.35 m deaths till 11/Feb/2021 in about 192 countries/regions and 26 cruise/naval ships [1]. Fig. 1 shows the top 10 countries of cumulative confirmed cases and deaths, respectively. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are low fever, a new and ongoing cough, a loss or change to taste and smell [2]. In the UK, three vaccines are formally approved as Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Moderna. Two COVID-19 diagnosis methods are available. The former is viral testing to test the existence of viral RNA fragments [3]. The swab test shortcomings are two folds: (i) the swab samples may be contaminated, and (ii) it needs to wait from several hours to several days to get the test results. The latter is chest imaging. There are two main chest imaging available: chest computed tomography (CCT) [4] and chest X-ray (CXR) [5].

CCT is one of the best chest imaging [6] techniques since it provides the finest resolution and can recognize extremely small nodules in the chest region. CCT employs computer-processed combinations of multiple X-ray observations taken from different angles [7] to produce high-quality 3D tomographic images (virtual slices). In contrast, CXR only provides one 2D image, which performs poorly on soft tissue contrast. This study focuses on the CCT images [8].

Currently, numerous studies are working on using machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) technologies [9,10]. For example, Guo et al. [11] employed ResNet-18 for classifying thyroid images. Lu [12] utilized an extreme learning machine (ELM) trained by bat algorithm (BA). Those two approaches were not developing for COVID-19, but they can be transferred to the COVID-19 dataset easily and used as comparison basis approaches in our experiments. For COVID-19 researches, Yao [13] proposed a wavelet entropy biogeography-based optimization (WEBBO) method for COVID-19 diagnosis. Wu [14] presented three-segment biogeography-based optimization (3SBBO) for recognizing COVID-19 patients. Wang et al. [15] presented a DeCovNet. Their accuracy achieved 90.1%. El-kenawy et al. [16] presented a novel feature selection voting classifier (FSVC) method for COVID-19 classification. Yu et al. [17] presented a GoogleNet-COD method to detect COVID-19. Chen [18] designed a gray-level co-occurrence matrix and support vector machine (GLCMSVM) method to classify COVID-19 images [19].

To further improve the performance of automatic COVID-19 diagnosis, this paper proposes a novel method that combines the traditional ML approach with the recent DL approach. We use the pseudo-Zernike moment (PZM) as the extracted features, and we use a deep-stacked sparse autoencoder (i.e., one of the deep neural networks) as the classifier. The combination achieves excellent results that overperform eight state-of-the-art approaches. The novelties of our paper lie in the following aspects

• We are the first to apply a pseudo-Zernike moment to COVID-19 image analysis.

• Deep stacked sparse autoencoder (DSSAE) works better than traditional classifiers.

• Our proposed “PZM-DSSAE” model is better than eight state-of-the-art approaches.

We use the dataset in reference [20], which contains 148 COVID-19 patients and 148 healthy control (HC) subjects. Slice level selection [20] was employed to generate

Tab. 1 displays the abbreviation list Image moment was firstly introduced by Hu [21], who used geometric moments to generate a set of invariants. Hu’s moments have been widely used in knee osteoarthritis classification [22], brain tumor classification [23], etc. However, geometric moments are sensitive to noise. Thus, Teague [24] introduced Zernike moments (ZMs) based on orthogonal Zernike polynomials. The orthogonal moments have been proven to be more robust in noisy conditions, and they can achieve a near-zero value of redundancy measure [25].

Later, pseudo Zernike moment (PZM) is derived from Zernike moment. PZMs have been proven to give better performances than other moment functions such as Hu moments, Zernike moments, etc. For example, for an order

The kernel of PZMs is a set of orthogonal pseudo-Zernike polynomials defined over the polar coordinate inside a unit circle (UC). The 2D PZM of order

where the pseudo-Zernike polynomials

where

Note that PZM are defined in terms of polar coordinates

Traditionally,

The fundamental element of DSSAE in the autoencoder (AE), which is a typical shallow neural network that learns to map its input

The structure of AE is displayed in Fig. 5, where the encoder part is with weight

where the output

The sparse autoencoder (SAE) is a variant of AE. SAE encourages sparsity into AE. SAE only allows a small fraction of the hidden neurons to be active at the same time. To minimize the error between the input vector

where

where

To avoid over-complete mapping or learn a trivial mapping, we define one

where

where

The training procedure is set to scaled conjugate gradient descent (SCGD) method.

3.4 Deep Stacked Sparse Autoencoder

We use SAE as the building block and establish the final deep-stacked sparse autoencoder (DSSAE) classifier by following three operations: (i) We include input layer, preprocessing layer, PZM layer; (ii) We stack four SAEs; (iii) We append softmax layer at the bottom of our AI model. The details of this proposed PZM-DSSAE model are listed in Tab. 2 and illustrated in Fig. 6. After processing, all the CCT images are normalized to fixed grayscaled images with the size of

The small size of training images causes overfitting, one solution to data augmentation (DA) that creates fake training images. Multiple-way DA (MDA) is an enhanced method of DA. Wang [33] proposed a 14-way data augmentation, in which they employed seven different DA techniques on

In this study, we add two new DA techniques, speckle noise (SN) [34] and salt-and-pepper noise (SAPN). SN altered image is defined as

where

For the

where

First,

Suppose

Second, horizontal mirrored image is generated as:

where

Third, all the

Fourth, the raw image

where

Algorithm 2 summarizes the pseudocode of proposed 18-way DA method.

To avoid randomness, we run the whole above procedure

Note here the off-diagonal entries of

The first four measures are sensitivity, specificity, precision and accuracy, common in most pattern recognition papers. The last three measures are F1 score, Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) [38], and Fowlkes–Mallows index (FMI) [39]. They are defined as:

Besides, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve [40] is used to provide a graphical plot of our model. ROC curve is created by plotting the true positive rate against the false-positive rate at various threshold settings. The area under the curve (AUC) is also calculated.

Tab. 3 displays the parameter setting of this study. The number of samples of each class is 320. The minimum and maximum grayscale values are set to

4.2 Illustration of 18-Way Data Augmentation

Fig. 9 shows the

4.3 Statistical Analysis and Transformation Comparison

Tab. 4 gives the 10 runs of 10-fold cross-validation, where we can see our method achieves a sensitivity of 92.06% ± 1.54%, a specificity of 92.56% ± 1.06%, a precision of 92.53% ± 1.03%, and an accuracy of 92.31% ± 1.08%. Its F1 score, MCC, and FMI arrive at 92.29% ± 1.10%, 84.64% ± 2.15%, and 92.29% ± 1.10%, respectively. The AUC is 0.9576.

In addition, we compared the two transformation settings: IP over UC against IP inside UC (See Fig. 4). The IP inside the UC setting achieves a sensitivity of 91.84% ± 2.18%, a specificity of 92.44% ± 1.31%, and an accuracy of 92.14% ± 1.12%, which are worse than IP over UC setting. This comparison result demonstrates the reason why we choose IP over UC in this study. Particularly, the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves of both settings are displayed in Fig. 10.

4.4 Comparison to State-of-the-Art Methods

This proposed PZM-DSSAE method is compared with 8 state-of-the-art methods. The comparison results are carried out on the same dataset via 10 runs of 10-fold cross-validation, and the results are displayed in Tab. 5. Fig. 11 displays the error bar of the proposed method against 8 state-of-the-art methods. We can see that the proposed PZM-DSSAE gives the best performance among all the methods. The reason is three folds: (i) We try to use PZM as the feature descriptors, (ii) DSSAE is used as the classifier, (iii) 18-way DA is employed to solve the overfitting problem.

This study proposed a novel PZM-DSSAE system for COVID-19 diagnosis. As far as the authors’ best known, we are the first to apply PZM to COVID-19 image analysis. Also, two other improvements are carried out: (i) DSSAE is used as the classifier, and (ii) multiple-way data augmentation is employed to generalize the classifier. Our model yields a sensitivity of 92.06% ± 1.54%, a specificity of 92.56% ± 1.06%, an accuracy of 92.31% ± 1.08%, and an AUC of 0.9576.

In the future, we shall collect more COVID-19 images from more patients and multiple modalities. Also, other advanced AI models will be tested, such as graph neural networks and attention networks.

Funding Statement: This study was supported by Royal Society International Exchanges Cost Share Award, UK (RP202G0230); Medical Research Council Confidence in Concept Award, UK (MC_PC_17171); Hope Foundation for Cancer Research, UK (RM60G0680); Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), UK (P202PF11)

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to report regarding the present study.

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