Functional Connectivity Network Analysis with Discriminative Hub Detection for Brain Disease Identification

  • Mingliang Wang Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Jiashuang Huang Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Mingxia Liu Taishan University
  • Daoqiang Zhang Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics


Brain network analysis can help reveal the pathological basis of neurological disorders and facilitate automated diagnosis of brain diseases, by exploring connectivity patterns in the human brain. Effectively representing the brain network has always been the fundamental task of computeraided brain network analysis. Previous studies typically utilize human-engineered features to represent brain connectivity networks, but these features may not be well coordinated with subsequent classifiers. Besides, brain networks are often equipped with multiple hubs (i.e., nodes occupying a central position in the overall organization of a network), providing essential clues to describe connectivity patterns. However, existing studies often fail to explore such hubs from brain connectivity networks. To address these two issues, we propose a Connectivity Network analysis method with discriminative Hub Detection (CNHD) for brain disease diagnosis using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Specifically, we incorporate both feature extraction of brain networks and network-based classification into a unified model, while discriminative hubs can be automatically identified from data via 1-norm and 2,1-norm regularizers. The proposed CNHD method is evaluated on three real-world schizophrenia datasets with fMRI scans. Experimental results demonstrate that our method not only outperforms several state-of-the-art approaches in disease diagnosis, but also is effective in automatically identifying disease-related network hubs in the human brain.