A Review on Traditional Machine Learning and Deep Learning Models for WBCs Classification in Blood Smear Images

Siraj Khan, Muhammad Sajjad, Tanveer Hussain, Amin Ullah, Ali Shariq Imran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


In computer vision, traditional machine learning (TML) and deep learning (DL) methods have significantly contributed to the advancements of medical image analysis (MIA) by enhancing prediction accuracy, leading to appropriate planning and diagnosis. These methods substantially improved the diagnoses of automatic brain tumor and leukemia/blood cancer detection and can assist the hematologist and doctors by providing a second opinion. This review provides an in-depth analysis of available TML and DL techniques for MIA with a significant focus on leukocytes classification in blood smear images and other medical imaging domains, i.e., magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT images, X-ray, and ultrasounds. The proposed review's main impact is to find the most suitable TML and DL techniques in MIA, especially for leukocyte classification in blood smear images. The advanced DL techniques, particularly the evolving convolutional neural networks-based models in the MIA domain, are deeply investigated in this review article. The related literature study reveals that mainstream TML methods are vastly applied to microscopic blood smear images for white blood cells (WBC) analysis. They provide valuable information to medical specialists and help diagnose various hematic diseases such as AIDS and blood cancer (Leukaemia). Based on WBC related literature study and its extensive analysis presented in this study, we derive future research directions for scientists and practitioners working in the MIA domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10657-10673
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020


  • Blood Smear Images
  • CNN
  • deep learning
  • medical image analysis
  • traditional machine learning
  • WBCs Classification


Dive into the research topics of 'A Review on Traditional Machine Learning and Deep Learning Models for WBCs Classification in Blood Smear Images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this