A modified artificial immune system based pattern recognition approach-An application to clinical diagnostics

Weixiang Zhao, Cristina E Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: This paper introduces a modified artificial immune system (AIS)-based pattern recognition method to enhance the recognition ability of the existing conventional AIS-based classification approach and demonstrates the superiority of the proposed new AIS-based method via two case studies of breast cancer diagnosis. Methods and materials: Conventionally, the AIS approach is often coupled with the k nearest neighbor (k-NN) algorithm to form a classification method called AIS-kNN. In this paper we discuss the basic principle and possible problems of this conventional approach, and propose a new approach where AIS is integrated with the radial basis function - partial least square regression (AIS-RBFPLS). Additionally, both the two AIS-based approaches are compared with two classical and powerful machine learning methods, back-propagation neural network (BPNN) and orthogonal radial basis function network (Ortho-RBF network). Results: The diagnosis results show that: (1) both the AIS-kNN and the AIS-RBFPLS proved to be a good machine leaning method for clinical diagnosis, but the proposed AIS-RBFPLS generated an even lower misclassification ratio, especially in the cases where the conventional AIS-kNN approach generated poor classification results because of possible improper AIS parameters. For example, based upon the AIS memory cells of " replacement threshold =0.3", the average misclassification ratios of two approaches for study 1 are 3.36% (AIS-RBFPLS) and 9.07% (AIS-kNN), and the misclassification ratios for study 2 are 19.18% (AIS-RBFPLS) and 28.36% (AIS-kNN); (2) the proposed AIS-RBFPLS presented its robustness in terms of the AIS-created memory cells, showing a smaller standard deviation of the results from the multiple trials than AIS-kNN. For example, using the result from the first set of AIS memory cells as an example, the standard deviations of the misclassification ratios for study 1 are 0.45% (AIS-RBFPLS) and 8.71% (AIS-kNN) and those for study 2 are 0.49% (AIS-RBFPLS) and 6.61% (AIS-kNN); and (3) the proposed AIS-RBFPLS classification approaches also yielded better diagnosis results than two classical neural network approaches of BPNN and Ortho-RBF network. Conclusion: In summary, this paper proposed a new machine learning method for complex systems by integrating the AIS system with RBFPLS. This new method demonstrates its satisfactory effect on classification accuracy for clinical diagnosis, and also indicates its wide potential applications to other diagnosis and detection problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalArtificial Intelligence in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Artificial immune system
  • Breast cancer
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • Partial least square regression
  • Pattern recognition
  • Radial basis function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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