Multiscale Attention Guided Network for COVID-19 Diagnosis Using Chest X-Ray Images

Jingxiong Li, Yaqi Wang*, Shuai Wang, Jun Wang, Jun Liu, Qun Jin, Lingling Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is one of the most destructive pandemic after millennium, forcing the world to tackle a health crisis. Automated lung infections classification using chest X-ray (CXR) images could strengthen diagnostic capability when handling COVID-19. However, classifying COVID-19 from pneumonia cases using CXR image is a difficult task because of shared spatial characteristics, high feature variation and contrast diversity between cases. Moreover, massive data collection is impractical for a newly emerged disease, which limited the performance of data thirsty deep learning models. To address these challenges, Multiscale Attention Guided deep network with Soft Distance regularization (MAG-SD) is proposed to automatically classify COVID-19 from pneumonia CXR images. In MAG-SD, MA-Net is used to produce prediction vector and attention from multiscale feature maps. To improve the robustness of trained model and relieve the shortage of training data, attention guided augmentations along with a soft distance regularization are posed, which aims at generating meaningful augmentations and reduce noise. Our multiscale attention model achieves better classification performance on our pneumonia CXR image dataset. Plentiful experiments are proposed for MAG-SD which demonstrates its unique advantage in pneumonia classification over cutting-edge models. The code is available at

Original languageEnglish
Article number9351607
Pages (from-to)1336-1346
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May


  • COVID-19
  • convolutional neural network
  • multiscale attention
  • x-ray radiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiscale Attention Guided Network for COVID-19 Diagnosis Using Chest X-Ray Images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this