A Transfer Learning Framework for Automatic COVID-19 Detection From Crowd-Sourced Cough Sounds

authored by
Yi Chang, Xin Jing, Zhao Ren, Björn W. Schuller

Since the COronaVIrus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, developing a digital diagnostic tool to detect COVID-19 from respiratory sounds with computer audition has become an essential topic due to its advantages of being swift, low-cost, and eco-friendly. However, prior studies mainly focused on small-scale COVID-19 datasets. To build a robust model, the large-scale multi-sound FluSense dataset is utilised to help detect COVID-19 from cough sounds in this study. Due to the gap between FluSense and the COVID-19-related datasets consisting of cough only, the transfer learning framework (namely CovNet) is proposed and applied rather than simply augmenting the training data with FluSense. The CovNet contains (i) a parameter transferring strategy and (ii) an embedding incorporation strategy. Specifically, to validate the CovNet's effectiveness, it is used to transfer knowledge from FluSense to COUGHVID, a large-scale cough sound database of COVID-19 negative and COVID-19 positive individuals. The trained model on FluSense and COUGHVID is further applied under the CovNet to another two small-scale cough datasets for COVID-19 detection, the COVID-19 cough sub-challenge (CCS) database in the INTERSPEECH Computational Paralinguistics challengE (ComParE) challenge and the DiCOVA Track-1 database. By training four simple convolutional neural networks (CNNs) in the transfer learning framework, our approach achieves an absolute improvement of 3.57% over the baseline of DiCOVA Track-1 validation of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC AUC) and an absolute improvement of 1.73% over the baseline of ComParE CCS test unweighted average recall (UAR).

L3S Research Centre
External Organisation(s)
Imperial College London
University of Augsburg
Frontiers in digital health
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Health Informatics, Computer Science Applications, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine (miscellaneous)
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)