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This work relates to the development of computational algorithms to provide decision support to physicians. The authors propose a fuzzy naive Bayesian (FNB) model for medical diagnosis, which extends the fuzzy Bayesian approach proposed by Okuda. A physician's interview based method is described to define a orthogonal fuzzy symptom information system, required to apply the model. For the purpose of elaboration and elicitation of characteristics, the algorithm is applied to a simple simulated dataset, and compared with conventional naive Bayes (NB) approach. As a preliminary evaluation of FNB in real world scenario, the comparison is repeated on a real fuzzy dataset of 81 patients diagnosed with infectious diseases. The case study on simulated dataset elucidates that FNB can be optimal over NB for diagnosing patients with imprecise-fuzzy information, on account of the following characteristics - 1) it can model the information that, values of some attributes are semantically closer than values of other attributes, and 2) it offers a mechanism to temper exaggerations in patient information. Although the algorithm requires precise training data, its utility for fuzzy training data is argued for. This is supported by the case study on infectious disease dataset, which indicates optimality of FNB over NB for the infectious disease domain. Further case studies on large datasets are required to establish utility of FNB.
Date of Conference: 3-6 Sept. 2009