Multi-task diagnosis for autism spectrum disorders using multi-modality features: A multi-center study

Jun Wang, Qian Wang, Jialin Peng, Dong Nie, Feng Zhao, Minjeong Kim, Han Zhang, Chong Yaw Wee, Shitong Wang, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment disease characterized by impairment of social interaction, language, behavior, and cognitive functions. Up to now, many imaging-based methods for ASD diagnosis have been developed. For example, one may extract abundant features from multi-modality images and then derive a discriminant function to map the selected features toward the disease label. A lot of recent works, however, are limited to single imaging centers. To this end, we propose a novel multi-modality multi-center classification (M3CC) method for ASD diagnosis. We treat the classification of each imaging center as one task. By introducing the task-task and modality-modality regularizations, we solve the classification for all imaging centers simultaneously. Meanwhile, the optimal feature selection and the modeling of the discriminant functions can be jointly conducted for highly accurate diagnosis. Besides, we also present an efficient iterative optimization solution to our formulated problem and further investigate its convergence. Our comprehensive experiments on the ABIDE database show that our proposed method can significantly improve the performance of ASD diagnosis, compared to the existing methods. Hum Brain Mapp 38:3081–3097, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3081-3097
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • autism spectrum disorders
  • feature selection
  • modality-modality relation
  • multi-modality data
  • multitask learning
  • task-task relation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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