A quantum hybrid (QH) intelligent approach that blends the adaptive search capability of the quantum-behaved particle swarm optimisation (QPSO) method with the intuitionistic rationality of traditional fuzzy k
-nearest neighbours (Fuzzy k
-NN) algorithm (known simply as the Q-Fuzzy approach) is proposed for efficient feature selection and classification of cells in cervical smeared (CS) images. From an initial multitude of 17 features describing the geometry, colour, and texture of the CS images, the QPSO stage of our proposed technique is used to select the best subset features (i.e., global best particles) that represent a pruned down collection of seven features. Using a dataset of almost 1000 images, performance evaluation of our proposed Q-Fuzzy approach assesses the impact of our feature selection on classification accuracy by way of three experimental scenarios that are compared alongside two other approaches: the All-features (i.e., classification without prior feature selection) and another hybrid technique combining the standard PSO algorithm with the Fuzzy k
-NN technique (P-Fuzzy approach). In the first and second scenarios, we further divided the assessment criteria in terms of classification accuracy based on the choice of best features and those in terms of the different categories of the cervical cells. In the third scenario, we introduced new QH hybrid techniques, i.e., QPSO combined with other supervised learning methods, and compared the classification accuracy alongside our proposed Q-Fuzzy approach. Furthermore, we employed statistical approaches to establish qualitative agreement with regards to the feature selection in the experimental scenarios 1 and 3. The synergy between the QPSO and Fuzzy k
-NN in the proposed Q-Fuzzy approach improves classification accuracy as manifest in the reduction in number cell features, which is crucial for effective cervical cancer detection and diagnosis.
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