The Application of Machine Learning Technique for Malaria Diagnosis

The Application of Machine Learning Technique for Malaria Diagnosis

C. Ugwu (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria), N. L. Onyejegbu (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria) and I. C. Obagbuwa (Lagos State University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-818-7.ch810
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Healthcare delivery in African nations has long been a worldwide issue, which is why the United Nations and World Health Organization seek for ways to alleviate this problem and thereby reduce the number of lives that are lost every year due to poor health facilities and inadequate health care administration. Healthcare delivery concerns are most predominant in Nigeria and it became imperatively clear that the system of medical diagnosis must be automated. This paper explores the potential of machine learning technique (decision tree) in development of a malaria diagnostic system. The decision tree algorithm was used in the development of the knowledge base. Microsoft Access and Java programming language were used for database and user interfaces, respectively. During the diagnosis, symptoms are provided by the patient in the diagnostic system and a match is found in the knowledge base.
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2. Literature Review

The concepts of Artificial Intelligence in medicine have been researched upon in several respects. Hong (1988) summarized the potential of AI techniques in medicine as follows:

  • Produces new tools to support medical decision making, training and research.

  • Integrates activities in medical, computer, cognitive and other sciences, etc.

Early studies in intelligent medical system such as MYCIN, (ASNET, PIP and internist-I have shown to out perfume manual practice of diagnosis in several disease domain (Shortlitte, 1987).

Machine learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence; Artificial intelligence (AI) is the science and technology whose goal is to develop computers that can think, see, perceive, hear, talk and feel etc. Anigbogu (2003) in order words, artificial intelligence involves developing a machine (computer system), which functions are normally associated with human intelligence, which include; reasoning, inference, hearing and problem solving etc (Patterson, 1990).

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