Automated Lung Sound Classification Using a Hybrid CNN-LSTM Network and Focal Loss Function

Georgios Petmezas, Grigorios Aris Cheimariotis, Leandros Stefanopoulos, Bruno Rocha, Rui Pedro Paiva, Aggelos K. Katsaggelos, Nicos Maglaveras*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Respiratory diseases constitute one of the leading causes of death worldwide and directly affect the patient’s quality of life. Early diagnosis and patient monitoring, which conventionally include lung auscultation, are essential for the efficient management of respiratory diseases. Manual lung sound interpretation is a subjective and time-consuming process that requires high medical expertise. The capabilities that deep learning offers could be exploited in order that robust lung sound classification models can be designed. In this paper, we propose a novel hybrid neural model that implements the focal loss (FL) function to deal with training data imbalance. Features initially extracted from short-time Fourier transform (STFT) spectrograms via a convolutional neural network (CNN) are given as input to a long short-term memory (LSTM) network that memorizes the temporal dependencies between data and classifies four types of lung sounds, including normal, crackles, wheezes, and both crackles and wheezes. The model was trained and tested on the ICBHI 2017 Respiratory Sound Database and achieved state-of-the-art results using three different data splitting strategies—namely, sensitivity 47.37%, specificity 82.46%, score 64.92% and accuracy 73.69% for the official 60/40 split, sensitivity 52.78%, specificity 84.26%, score 68.52% and accuracy 76.39% using interpatient 10-fold cross validation, and sensitivity 60.29% and accuracy 74.57% using leave-one-out cross validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1232
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Asthma
  • CNN
  • COPD
  • Crackles
  • Focal loss
  • LSTM
  • Lung sounds
  • STFT
  • Wheezes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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