Developing a New Autism Diagnosis Process Based on a Hybrid Deep Learning Architecture Through Analyzing Home Videos

Spencer He, Ryan Liu

Currently, every 1 in 54 children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is 178% higher than it was in 2000. An early diagnosis and treatment can significantly increase the chances of going off the spectrum and making a full recovery. With a multitude of physical and behavioral tests for neurological and communication skills, diagnosing ASD is very complex, subjective, time-consuming, and expensive. We hypothesize that the use of machine learning analysis on facial features and social behavior can speed up the diagnosis of ASD without compromising real-world performance. We propose to develop a hybrid architecture using both categorical data and image data to automate traditional ASD pre-screening, which makes diagnosis a quicker and easier process. We created and tested a Logistic Regression model and a Linear Support Vector Machine for Module 1, which classifies ADOS categorical data. A Convolutional Neural Network and a DenseNet network are used for module 2, which classifies video data. Finally, we combined the best performing models, a Linear SVM and DenseNet, using three data averaging strategies. We used a standard average, weighted based on number of training data, and weighted based on the number of ASD patients in the training data to average the results, thereby increasing accuracy in clinical applications. The results we obtained support our hypothesis. Our novel architecture is able to effectively automate ASD pre-screening with a maximum weighted accuracy of 84%.

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