Background and objective:

Covid-19 infections are spreading around the globe since December 2019. Several diagnostic methods were developed based on biological investigations and the success of each method depends on the accuracy of identifying Covid infections. However, access to diagnostic tools can be limited, depending on geographic region and the diagnosis duration plays an important role in treating Covid-19. Since the virus causes pneumonia, its presence can also be detected using medical imaging by Radiologists. Hospitals with X-ray capabilities are widely distributed all over the world, so a method for diagnosing Covid-19 from chest X-rays would present itself. Studies have shown promising results in automatically detecting Covid-19 from medical images using supervised Artificial neural network (ANN) algorithms. The major drawback of supervised learning algorithms is that they require huge amounts of data to train. Also, the radiology equipment is not computationally efficient for deep neural networks. Therefore, we aim to develop a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) based image augmentation to optimize the performance of custom, light, Convolutional networks used for the classification of Chest X-rays (CXR).


Methods:

A Progressively Growing Generative Adversarial Network (PGGAN) is used to generate synthetic and augmented data to supplement the dataset. We propose two novel CNN architectures to perform the Multi-class classification of Covid-19, healthy and pneumonia affected Chest X-rays. Comparisons have been drawn to the state of the art models and transfer learning methods to evaluate the superiority of the networks. All the models are trained using enhanced and augmented X-ray images and are compared based on classification metrics.


Results:

The proposed models had extremely high classification metrics with proposed Architectures having test accuracy of 98.78% and 99.2% respectively while having 40% lesser training parameters than their state of the art counterpart.


Conclusion:

In the present study, a method based on artificial intelligence is proposed, leading to a rapid diagnostic tool for Covid infections based on Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). The benefit will be a high accuracy of detection with up to 99% hit rate, a rapid diagnosis, and an accessible Covid identification method by chest X-ray images.


Keywords:

Convolutional Neural Networks; Covid-19 infection; Generative Adversarial Neural Networks.



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Rapid diagnosis of Covid-19 infections by a progressively growing GAN and CNN optimisation

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