Robust Screening of COVID-19 from Chest X-ray via Discriminative Cost-Sensitive Learning

Tianyang Li, Zhongyi Han, Benzheng Wei, Yuanjie Zheng, Yanfei Hong, Jinyu Cong

This paper addresses the new problem of automated screening of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) based on chest X-rays, which is urgently demanded toward fast stopping the pandemic. However, robust and accurate screening of COVID-19 from chest X-rays is still a globally recognized challenge because of two bottlenecks: 1) imaging features of COVID-19 share some similarities with other pneumonia on chest X-rays, and 2) the misdiagnosis rate of COVID-19 is very high, and the misdiagnosis cost is expensive. While a few pioneering works have made much progress, they underestimate both crucial bottlenecks. In this paper, we report our solution, discriminative cost-sensitive learning (DCSL), which should be the choice if the clinical needs the assisted screening of COVID-19 from chest X-rays. DCSL combines both advantages from fine-grained classification and cost-sensitive learning. Firstly, DCSL develops a conditional center loss that learns deep discriminative representation. Secondly, DCSL establishes score-level cost-sensitive learning that can adaptively enlarge the cost of misclassifying COVID-19 examples into other classes. DCSL is so flexible that it can apply in any deep neural network. We collected a large-scale multi-class dataset comprised of 2,239 chest X-ray examples: 239 examples from confirmed COVID-19 cases, 1,000 examples with confirmed bacterial or viral pneumonia cases, and 1,000 examples of healthy people. Extensive experiments on the three-class classification show that our algorithm remarkably outperforms state-of-the-art algorithms. It achieves an accuracy of 97.01%, a precision of 97%, a sensitivity of 97.09%, and an F1-score of 96.98%. These results endow our algorithm as an efficient tool for the fast large-scale screening of COVID-19.

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