Knowledge and Information Systems

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 139–167 | Cite as

Fisher score and Matthews correlation coefficient-based feature subset selection for heart disease diagnosis using support vector machines

  • Syed Muhammad SaqlainEmail author
  • Muhammad Sher
  • Faiz Ali Shah
  • Imran Khan
  • Muhammad Usman Ashraf
  • Muhammad Awais
  • Anwar Ghani
Regular Paper


Heart is one of the essential operating organs of the human body and its failure is a major contributing factor toward the human deaths. Coronary heart disease may be asymptotic but can be anticipated through the medical tests and daily life routine of the subject. Diagnosis of the coronary heart disease needs a specialized medical resource with the plenty of experience. All over the world and particularly in the developing countries, there is a lack of such experts which make the diagnosis more difficult. In this paper, we present a clinical heart disease diagnostic system by proposing feature subset selection methodology with an object of achieving improved performance. The proposed methodology presents three algorithms for selecting candidate feature subsets: (1) mean Fisher score-based feature selection algorithm, (2) forward feature selection algorithm and (3) reverse feature selection algorithm. Feature subset selection algorithm is presented to select the most decisive subset from the candidate feature subsets. The features are added to the feature subsets on the basis of their individual Fisher scores, while the selection of a feature subset depends on its Matthews correlation coefficient score and dimension. The selected feature subset with the reduced dimension is fed to the RBF kernel-based SVM which results in binary classification: (1) heart disease patient and (2) normal control subject. The proposed methodology is validated through accuracy, specificity and sensitivity using four UCI datasets, i.e., Cleveland, Switzerland, Hungarian and SPECTF. The statistical results achieved using the proposed technique are shown in comparison with the existing techniques reflecting its better performance. It has an accuracy of 81.19, 84.52, 92.68 and 82.7% for Cleveland, Hungarian, Switzerland and SPECTF, respectively.


Heart disease Feature selection Fisher score SVM RBF 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

There have been no involvements that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or in the conclusions, implications or opinions stated. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science & Software EngineeringInternational Islamic University IslamabadIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.University of TartuTartuEstonia
  3. 3.IBMSUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  4. 4.Government College University FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan

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