AMRNN: attended multi-task recurrent neural networks for dynamic illness severity prediction

Weitong Chen*, Guodong Long, Lina Yao, Quan Z. Sheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Illness severity prediction (ISP) is crucial for caregivers in the intensive care unit (ICU) while saving the life of patients. Existing ISP methods fail to provide sufficient evidence for the time-critical decision making in the dynamic changing environment. Moreover, the correlated temporal features in multivariate time-series are rarely be considered in existing machine learning-based ISP models. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a novel interpretable analysis framework which simultaneously analyses organ systems differentiated based on the pathological and physiological evidence to predict illness severity of patients in ICU. It not only timely but also intuitively reflects the critical conditions of patients for caregivers. In particular, we develop a deep interpretable learning model, namely AMRNN, which is based on the Multi-task RNNs and Attention Mechanism. Physiological features of each organ system in multivariate time series are learned by a single Long-Short Term Memory unit as a dedicated task. To utilize the functional and temporal relationships among organ systems, we use a shared LSTM task to exploit correlations between different learning tasks for further performance improvement. Real-world clinical datasets (MIMIC-III) are used for conducting extensive experiments, and our method is compared with the existing state-of-the-art methods. The experimental results demonstrated that our proposed approach outperforms those methods and suggests a promising way of evidence-based decision support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2753-2770
Number of pages18
JournalWorld Wide Web
Issue number5
Early online date21 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Deep learning
  • Illness severity prediction
  • Multi-task learning


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