Comparative study of machine learning methods for COVID-19 transmission forecasting

Abdelkader Dairi, Fouzi Harrou, Abdelhafid Zeroual, Mohamad Hittawe, Ying Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Within the recent pandemic, scientists and clinicians are engaged in seeking new technology to stop or slow down the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefit of machine learning, as an essential aspect of artificial intelligence, on past epidemics offers a new line to tackle the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Accurate short-term forecasting of COVID-19 spread plays an essential role in improving the management of the overcrowding problem in hospitals and enables appropriate optimization of the available resources (i.e., materials and staff).This paper presents a comparative study of machine learning methods for COVID-19 transmission forecasting. We investigated the performances of deep learning methods, including the hybrid convolutional neural networks-Long short-term memory (LSTM-CNN), the hybrid gated recurrent unit-convolutional neural networks (GAN-GRU), GAN, CNN, LSTM, and Restricted Boltzmann Machine (RBM), as well as baseline machine learning methods, namely logistic regression (LR) and support vector regression (SVR). The employment of hybrid models (i.e., LSTM-CNN and GAN-GRU) is expected to eventually improve the forecasting accuracy of COVID-19 future trends. The performance of the investigated deep learning and machine learning models was tested using confirmed and recovered COVID-19 cases time-series data from seven impacted countries: Brazil, France, India, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the US. The results reveal that hybrid deep learning models can efficiently forecast COVID-19 cases. Also, results confirmed the superior performance of deep learning models compared to the two considered baseline machine learning models. Furthermore, results showed that LSTM-CNN achieved improved performances with an averaged mean absolute percentage error of 3.718%, among others.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103791
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-05-03

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


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