An optimized experimental protocol based on neuro-evolutionary algorithms: Application to the classification of dyspeptic patients and to the prediction of the effectiveness of their treatment

M. Buscema, E. Grossi, M. Intraligi, N. Garbagna, A. Andriulli, M. Breda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: This paper aims to present a specific optimized experimental protocol (EP) for classification and/or prediction problems. The neuro-evolutionary algorithms on which it is based and its application with two selected real cases are described in detail. The first application addresses the problem of classifying the functional (FD) or organic (OD) forms of dyspepsia; the second relates to the problem of predicting the 6-month follow-up outcome of dyspeptic patients treated by helicobacter pylori (HP) eradication therapy. Methods and material: The database built by the multicentre observational study, performed in Italy by the NUD-look Study Group, provided the material studied: a collection of data from 861 patients with previously uninvestigated dyspepsia, being referred for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to 42 Italian Endoscopic Services. The proposed EP makes use of techniques based on advanced neuro-evolutionary systems (NESs) and is structured in phases and steps. The use of specific input selection (IS) and training and testing (T&T) techniques together with genetic doping (GenD) algorithm is described in detail, as well as the steps taken in the two benchmark and optimization protocol phases. Results: In terms of accuracy results, a value of 79.64% was achieved during optimization, with mean benchmark values of 64.90% for the linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and 68.15% for the multi layer perceptron (MLP), for the classification task. A value of 88.61% was achieved during optimization for the prediction task, with mean benchmark values of 49.32% for the LDA and 70.05% for the MLP. Conclusions: The proposed EP has led to the construction of inductors that are viable and usable on medical data which is representative but highly not linear. In particular, for the classification problem, these new inductors may be effectively used on the basal examination data to support doctors in deciding whether to avoid endoscopic examinations; whereas, in the prediction problem, they may support doctors' decisions about the advisability of eradication therapy. In both cases the variables selected indicate the possibility of reducing the data collection effort and also of providing information that can be used for general investigations on symptom relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-305
Number of pages27
JournalArtificial Intelligence in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005



  • Artificial adaptive systems
  • Dyspepsia
  • Evolutionary systems
  • Experimental protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Medicine(all)

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