Evaluating Convolutional Neural Networks for COVID-19 classification in chest X-ray images

  • Leonardo Rodrigues UFV
  • Larissa Rodrigues UFV
  • Danilo da Silva UFV
  • João Fernando Mari UFV


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic rapidly spread globally, impacting the lives of billions of people. The effective screening of infected patients is a critical step to struggle with COVID-19, and treating the patients avoiding this quickly disease spread. The need for automated and scalable methods has increased due to the unavailability of accurate automated toolkits. Recent researches using chest X-ray images suggest they include relevant information about the COVID-19 virus. Hence, applying machine learning techniques combined with radiological imaging promises to identify this disease accurately. It is straightforward to collect these images once it is spreadly shared and analyzed in the world. This paper presents a method for automatic COVID-19 detection using chest Xray images through four convolutional neural networks, namely: AlexNet, VGG-11, SqueezeNet, and DenseNet-121. This method had been providing accurate diagnostics for positive or negative COVID-19 classification. We validate our experiments using a ten-fold cross-validation procedure over the training and test sets. Our findings include the shallow fine-tuning and data augmentation strategies that can assist in dealing with the low number of positive COVID-19 images publicly available. The accuracy for all CNNs is higher than 97.00%, and the SqueezeNet model achieved the best result with 99.20%.

Palavras-chave: COVID-19, coronavirus, chest X-ray, convolutional neural networks, data augmentation, fine-tuning


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RODRIGUES, Leonardo; RODRIGUES, Larissa; DA SILVA, Danilo; MARI, João Fernando. Evaluating Convolutional Neural Networks for COVID-19 classification in chest X-ray images. In: WORKSHOP DE VISÃO COMPUTACIONAL (WVC), 16. , 2020, Evento Online. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2020 . p. 52-57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5753/wvc.2020.13480.