Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a lack of social communication and social interaction. Autism is a mental disorder investigated by social and computational intelligence scientists utilizing advanced technologies such as machine learning models to enhance clinicians’ ability to provide robust diagnosis and prognosis of autism. However, with dynamic changes in autism behaviour patterns, these models’ quality and accuracy have become a great challenge for clinical practitioners. We applied a deep neural network learning on a large brain image dataset obtained from ABIDE (autism brain imaging data exchange) to provide an efficient diagnosis of ASD, especially for children. Our deep learning model combines unsupervised neural network learning, an autoencoder, and supervised deep learning using convolutional neural networks. Our proposed algorithm outperforms individual-based classifiers measured by various validations and assessment measures. Experimental results indicate that the autoencoder combined with the convolution neural networks provides the best performance by achieving 84.05% accuracy and Area under the Curve (AUC) value of 0.78.
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