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Publication Title

Cogent Engineering








The human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for most cervical cancer cases worldwide. This gynecological carcinoma causes many deaths, even though it can be treated by removing malignant tissues at a preliminary stage. In many developing countries, patients do not undertake medical examinations due to the lack of awareness, hospital resources and high testing costs. Hence, it is vital to design a computer aided diagnostic method which can screen cervical cancer patients. In this research, we predict the probability risk of contracting this deadly disease using a custom stacked ensemble machine learning approach. The technique combines the results of several machine learning algorithms on multiple levels to produce reliable predictions. In the beginning, a deep exploratory analysis is conducted using univariate and multivariate statistics. Later, the one-way ANOVA, mutual information and Pearson’s correlation techniques are utilized for feature selection. Since the data was imbalanced, the Borderline-SMOTE technique was used to balance the data. The final stacked machine learning model obtained an accuracy, precision, recall, F1-score, area under curve (AUC) and average precision of 98%, 97%, 99%, 98%, 100% and 100%, respectively. To make the model explainable and interpretable to clinicians, explainable artificial intelligence algorithms such as Shapley additive values (SHAP), local interpretable model agnostic explanation (LIME), random forest and ELI5 have been effectively utilized. The optimistic results indicate the potential of automated frameworks to assist doctors and medical professionals in diagnosing and screening potential cervical cancer patients.

Funding Sponsor

Manipal Academy of Higher Education


ANOVA, cervical cancer, diagnosis, Explainable Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, stacking

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Computer Science