The recent emergence of a highly infectious and contagious respiratory viral disease known as COVID-19 has vastly impacted human lives and overloaded the health care system. Therefore, it is crucial to develop a fast and accurate diagnostic system for the timely identification of COVID-19 infected patients and thus to control its spread.
This work proposes a new deep CNN based technique for COVID-19 classification in X-ray images. In this regard, two novel custom CNN architectures, namely COVID-RENet-1 and COVID-RENet-2, are developed for COVID-19 specific pneumonia analysis. The proposed technique systematically employs Region and Edge-based operations along with convolution operations. The advantage of the proposed idea is validated by performing series of experimentation and comparing results with two baseline CNNs that exploited either a single type of pooling operation or strided convolution down the architecture. Additionally, the discrimination capacity of the proposed technique is assessed by benchmarking it against the state-of-the-art CNNs on radiologist’s authenticated chest X-ray dataset. Implementation is available at
The proposed classification technique shows good generalization as compared to existing CNNs by achieving promising MCC (0.96), F-score (0.98) and Accuracy (98%). This suggests that the idea of synergistically using Region and Edge-based operations aid in better exploiting the region homogeneity, textural variations, and region boundary-related information in an image, which helps to capture the pneumonia specific pattern.
The encouraging results of the proposed classification technique on the test set with high sensitivity (0.98) and precision (0.98) suggest the effectiveness of the proposed technique. Thus, it suggests the potential use of the proposed technique in other X-ray imagery-based infectious disease analysis.

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