Exploiting multiple optimizers with transfer learning techniques for the identification of covid-19 patients

Zeming Fan, Mudasir Jamil, Muhammad Tariq Sadiq, Xiwei Huang, Xiaojun Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its induced death worldwide, it is imperative to develop a reliable tool for the early detection of this disease. Chest X-ray is currently accepted to be one of the reliable means for such a detection purpose. However, most of the available methods utilize large training data, and there is a need for improvement in the detection accuracy due to the limited boundary segment of the acquired images for symptom identifications. In this study, a robust and efficient method based on transfer learning techniques is proposed to identify normal and COVID-19 patients by employing small training data. Transfer learning builds accurate models in a timesaving way. First, data augmentation was performed to help the network for memorization of image details. Next, five state-of-the-art transfer learning models, AlexNet, MobileNetv2, ShuffleNet, SqueezeNet, and Xception, with three optimizers, Adam, SGDM, and RMSProp, were implemented at various learning rates, 1e-4, 2e-4, 3e-4, and 4e-4, to reduce the probability of overfitting. All the experiments were performed on publicly available datasets with several analytical measurements attained after execution with a 10-fold cross-validation method. The results suggest that MobileNetv2 with Adam optimizer at a learning rate of 3e-4 provides an average accuracy, recall, precision, and F-score of 97%, 96.5%, 97.5%, and 97%, respectively, which are higher than those of all other combinations. The proposed method is competitive with the available literature, demonstrating that it could be used for the early detection of COVID-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8889412
JournalJournal of Healthcare Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Zeming Fan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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