AUCO ResNet: an end-to-end network for Covid-19 pre-screening from cough and breath

This study presents the Auditory Cortex ResNet (AUCO ResNet), it is a biologically inspired deep neural network especially designed for sound classification and more specifically for Covid-19 recognition from audio tracks of coughs and breaths. Differently from other approaches, it can be trained end-to-end thus optimizing (with gradient descent) all the modules of the learning algorithm: mel-like filter design, feature extraction, feature selection, dimensionality reduction and prediction. This neural network includes three attention mechanisms namely the squeeze and excitation mechanism, the convolutional block attention module, and the novel sinusoidal learnable attention. The attention mechanism is able to merge relevant information from activation maps at various levels of the network. The net takes as input raw audio files and it is able to fine tune also the features extraction phase. In fact, a Mel-like filter is designed during the training, thus adapting filter banks on important frequencies. AUCO ResNet has proved to provide state of art results on many datasets. Firstly, it has been tested on many datasets containing Covid-19 cough and breath. This choice is related to the fact that that cough and breath are language independent, allowing for cross dataset tests with generalization aims. These tests demonstrate that the approach can be adopted as a low cost, fast and remote Covid-19 pre-screening tool. The net has also been tested on the famous UrbanSound 8K dataset, achieving state of the art accuracy without any data preprocessing or data augmentation technique.

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Benchmark
COVID-19 Diagnosis Covid-19 Cough Cambridge AUCO ResNet AUC 0.8308 # 1
Audio Classification DiCOVA Inception ResNet V2 AUC 0.6012 # 3
Audio Classification DiCOVA DenseNet 201 AUC 0.6013 # 2
Audio Classification DiCOVA AUCO ResNet AUC 0.8186 # 1
Environmental Sound Classification UrbanSound8K AUCO ResNet - NO TRANSFER / NO DATA AUGMENTATION Accuracy (10-fold) 78 # 7