MS-CheXNet: An Explainable and Lightweight Multi-Scale Dilated Network with Depthwise Separable Convolution for Prediction of Pulmonary Abnormalities in Chest Radiographs

Shashank Shetty, Ananthanarayana V. S, Ajit Mahale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Pulmonary diseases are life-threatening diseases commonly observed worldwide, and timely diagnosis of these diseases is essential. Meanwhile, increased use of Convolution Neural Networks has promoted the advancement of computer-assisted clinical recommendation systems for diagnosing diseases using chest radiographs. The texture and shape of the tissues in the diagnostic images are essential aspects of prognosis. Therefore, in the latest studies, the vast set of images with a larger resolution is paired with deep learning techniques to enhance the performance of the disease diagnosis in chest radiographs. Moreover, pulmonary diseases have irregular and different sizes; therefore, several studies sought to add new components to existing deep learning techniques for acquiring multi-scale imaging features from diagnostic chest X-rays. However, most of the attempts do not consider the computation overhead and lose the spatial details in an effort to capture the larger receptive field for obtaining the discriminative features from high-resolution chest X-rays. In this paper, we propose an explainable and lightweight Multi-Scale Chest X-ray Network (MS-CheXNet) to predict abnormal diseases from the diagnostic chest X-rays. The MS-CheXNet consists of four following main subnetworks: (1) Multi-Scale Dilation Layer (MSDL), which includes multiple and stacked dilation convolution channels that consider the larger receptive field and captures the variable sizes of pulmonary diseases by obtaining more discriminative spatial features from the input chest X-rays; (2) Depthwise Separable Convolution Neural Network (DS-CNN) is used to learn imaging features by adjusting lesser parameters compared to the conventional CNN, making the overall network lightweight and computationally inexpensive, making it suitable for mobile vision tasks; (3) a fully connected Deep Neural Network module is used for predicting abnormalities from the chest X-rays; and (4) Gradient-weighted Class Activation Mapping (Grad-CAM) technique is employed to check the decision models’ transparency and understand their ability to arrive at a decision by visualizing the discriminative image regions and localizing the chest diseases. The proposed work is compared with existing disease prediction models on chest X-rays and state-of-the-art deep learning strategies to assess the effectiveness of the proposed model. The proposed model is tested with a publicly available Open-I Dataset and data collected from a private hospital. After the comprehensive assessment, it is observed that the performance of the designed approach showcased a 7% to 18% increase in accuracy compared to the existing method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3646
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 10-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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