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transformation and probabilistic neural network

Sung-Nien Yu *, Ying-Hsiang Chen

Department of Electrical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, 168 University Road, Ming-Hsiung, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan

Available online 27 February 2007

Communicated by A. Fred

Abstract

In this paper, an electrocardiogram (ECG) beat classiﬁcation system based on wavelet transformation and probabilistic neural net-

work (PNN) is proposed to discriminate six ECG beat types. The ECG beat signals are ﬁrst decomposed into components in diﬀerent

subbands using discrete wavelet transformation. Three sets of statistical features of the decomposed signals as well as the AC power and

the instantaneous RR interval of the original signal are exploited to characterize the ECG signals. A PNN follows to classify the feature

vectors. The result shows a promising accuracy of 99.65%, with equally well recognition rates of over 99% throughout all type of ECG

beats. Only 11 features are required to attain this high accuracy, which is substantially smaller in quantity than that in other methods.

These observations prove the eﬀectiveness and eﬃciency of the proposed method for computer-aided diagnosis of heart diseases based on

ECG signals.

Ó 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Electrocardiogram; RR interval; Discrete wavelet transform; Probabilistic neural network; Pattern classiﬁcation

methods showed impressive results in some classiﬁcation

The electrocardiogram (ECG) is noninvasive in nature tasks, they usually failed to demonstrate equally well dis-

and valuable in the diagnosis of heart diseases. Because crimination power throughout all types of ECG beats.

of the high mortality rate of heart diseases, faithful detec- Wavelet transformation (WT) opens another category of

tion and classiﬁcation of ECG arrhythmias is essential methods that represent the signal in diﬀerent translations

for the treatment of patient in the clinics. In recent years, and scales. Moreover, the discrete wavelet transformation

many algorithms have been developed for the detection (DWT) decomposes a signal into signals in diﬀerent coarse-

and classiﬁcation of the ECG signals (Al-Fahoum and ness. Wavelet coeﬃcients obtained from the decomposition

Howitt, 1999; Addison et al., 2000; Osowski and Linh, process are considered as the ﬁltered signal in the sub-

2001; Güler and Übeyli, 2005a,b). bands. Features extracted from these coeﬃcients can eﬃ-

ECG features can be extracted in time domain (Charllis ciently represent the characteristics of the original signal

and Kittney, 1990; Hu et al., 1997; Moraes et al., 2002; De in diﬀerent details. In the consequence, DWT has attracted

Chazal and Reilly, 2003), in frequency domain (Minami interests in ECG pattern recognition (Addison et al., 2000;

et al., 1999; Moraes et al., 2002), or represented as statisti- Al-Fahoum and Howitt, 1999; Prasad and Sahambi, 2003).

As for classiﬁers, artiﬁcial neural networks (ANNs) have

*

Corresponding author. Tel.: +886 5 2720411x33205; fax: +886 5

been extensively employed in computer-aided diagnosis

2720862. (CAD) systems. Among them, the multilayer perceptron

E-mail address: yusn@ee.ccu.edu.tw (S.-N. Yu). (MLP) is probably the most popular (Hu et al., 1997; Min-

0167-8655/$ - see front matter Ó 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.patrec.2007.01.017

S.-N. Yu, Y.-H. Chen / Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1142–1150 1143

impressive accuracy in classifying the ECG beats into two

(normal and abnormal) categories. However, in order to D2

x(n) g(n) ↓2

extend the imposing power to the multi-category classiﬁca-

tion tasks, hierarchical systems that combine MLP and h(n) ↓2 A1

another ANN are usually indispensable (Minami et al., A2

1999; Osowski and Linh, 2001; Engin, 2004; Güler and h(n) ↓2

Übeyli, 2005b). In these systems, the ﬁrst-level neural net-

Fig. 1. Subband decomposition with two-level discrete wavelet transform,

works are responsible for pre-classifying the beats into nor- where g(n) is a high-pass ﬁlter and h(n) is a low-pass ﬁlter.

mal and abnormal categories (Minami et al., 1999), or

building a model for the input features (Osowski and Linh,

2001; Engin, 2004; Güler and Übeyli, 2005b). An MLP

then follows to complete the multi-category classiﬁcation lution at high frequency and good frequency resolution

tasks in the second level. at low frequency. Because of its great time and frequency

Although the MLP-based systems have achieved high localization ability, the DWT can reveal the local charac-

accuracy in the classiﬁcation of multi-category ECG beats, teristics of the input signal. Moreover, the multi-scale fea-

the inherited backpropagation algorithms produce serious ture of the DWT allows the decomposition of an ECG

computation load. The multi-ANN structure of the hierar- signal into diﬀerent scales, each of which represents partic-

chical systems makes the situation worse. Opposing to the ular coarseness of the signal. Among the various wavelet

intensive computation in MLP, radial basis-function net- bases, the Haar wavelet is the shortest and simplest basis

works (RBFNs) have been attracting a great deal of inter- and it provides satisfactory localization of signal character-

ests because of their rapid training, generality, and istics in time domain; hence it is ideal for short time signals

simplicity characteristics (Al-Fahoum and Howitt, 1999). analysis (Scholl et al., 1999). Therefore, the Haar wavelet

Among the various paradigms of RBFNs, the probabilistic was chosen as the mother wavelet in this study.

neural networks (PNNs) inherit many of these characteris- The procedure of a two-level wavelet decomposition of a

tics and are particularly suitable for classiﬁcation tasks signal x(n) is illustrated in Fig. 1 (Güler and Übeyli, 2005a).

(Wasserman, 1992; Al-Fahoum and Howitt, 1999). There- The decomposed signal is obtained by convoluting the

fore, we choose PNN in this study. input signal with specially designed ﬁlters and downsam-

In this paper, we propose a method to discriminate six pling the ﬁltered signal. As shown in Fig. 1, a high-pass ﬁl-

types of ECG beats. Two-level discrete wavelet decomposi- ter g(Æ) and a low-pass ﬁlter h(Æ) are employed in the

tion is applied to divide the original QRS complex signals decomposition process. The symbol #2 represents down-

into signals in diﬀerent subbands. Three categories of fea- sampling the ﬁltered signal by two. The detail D1 and the

tures are extracted from the signal in each subband. For approximation A1 represent the downsampled signal of

some heart diseases, the interval between two successive the ﬁrst level decomposition using the high-pass and the

beats, called the RR interval, provides useful information low-pass ﬁlters, respectively. Following the ﬁrst level of

for clinical diagnosis. Thus, the instantaneous RR interval decomposition, the approximation A1 is further decom-

is considered as another important feature for ECG dis- posed in the second level using the same ﬁlters. This pro-

crimination. Include the AC power of the original signal, cess can continue. Interested readers should refer to

resulting in totally 11 features for an ECG beat. A PNN related literature for more details (Güler and Übeyli,

is then employed to perform the classiﬁcation task. The 2005a). Considering the short length of the QRS segments

experimental results demonstrate the eﬀectiveness and eﬃ- (64 points/segment) used in this study, we empirically

ciency of the proposed method. The roles of the instanta- determined to use only two-level discrete wavelet decompo-

neous RR interval and the training data size in ECG sition (DWT), which was later proved to achieve satisfac-

beat recognition are investigated. tory results.

2. Proposed method

2.2. Feature extraction

In this section, the discrete wavelet transformation, the

proposed wavelet-based feature extraction, feature normal- The two-level discrete wavelet decomposition produces

ization, and the probabilistic neural classiﬁer are described signal components in diﬀerent subbands. Several features

separately. are important in characterizing these signals. First of all,

signal variances in a subband represent the averaged AC

2.1. Discrete wavelet transformation (DWT) power in that band. With a discrete-time signal x of N sam-

ples, the sample variance is deﬁned as

The discrete wavelet transformation has been widely

1 XN

2

used in signal processing tasks in recent years. The major r2x ¼ ½xðnÞ x ð1Þ

advantage of the DWT is that it provides good time reso- N n¼1

1144 S.-N. Yu, Y.-H. Chen / Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1142–1150

where x is the sample mean of the signal. We use the vari- 2.3. Normalization of feature vectors

ance of the decomposed signal in each subband as the ﬁrst

feature set in our method. Because the quantities of the features may be quite dif-

The autocorrelation function is considered as a measure ferent, a normalization process is necessary to standardize

of similarity or coherence between a signal x(n) and its all the features to the same level. The formula of the nor-

shifted version. If x(n) is of length N, the autocorrelation malization is deﬁned as follows:

function is expressed as

xij xj

x0ij ¼ tansig ð4Þ

X

N jkj1 rxj

Rxx ðlÞ ¼ xðnÞxðn lÞ ð2Þ

n¼i where xij is the jth component of the ith feature vector, xj

and rxj are the mean and standard deviation, respectively,

where l is the time shift index, i = l, k = 0 for l P 0, and of the jth component of the feature vectors, and tansig(Æ) is

i = 0, k = l for l < 0. The variance of the autocorrelation a hyperbolic tangent sigmoid transfer function. The expres-

calculated as the averaged AC power of the autocorrelation sion in the brackets makes the jth component to be normal

function, which measures the coherence of the signal in distributed with zero-mean and unity standard deviation.

each subband (Goumas et al., 2002). Thus, we use it as The hyperbolic tangent sigmoid function maps a wide-ran-

the second feature for subband signals. ged signal to that with limited range [1, +1]. In our exper-

The relative amplitude of the decomposed signal x(n) in iment, the mean and the standard deviation of each

each subband is deﬁned as component in the feature vectors are calculated from the

training dataset and are used throughout the experiments.

minðxðnÞÞ= maxðxðnÞÞ ð3Þ

which represents the morphological characteristics of the 2.4. Classiﬁcation using the probabilistic neural network

signal and is regarded as the third feature for subband

signals. Probabilistic neural network (PNN) is a special type of

Certain ECG arrhythmias, such as APB and PVC, are radial basis-function networks (Wasserman, 1992). The

related with premature heart beats that provide shorter structure of the PNN classiﬁer is illustrated in Fig. 2. It

RR intervals than other types of ECG signals. Changes consists of an input layer, a hidden layer, and an output

in the RR intervals play an important role in characterizing layer. The input layer is merely a distribution layer. No

these types of arrhythmias. Hence, we exploit the instanta- computation is performed in this layer. The hidden layer

neous RR interval as another feature component, which is is also called the pattern layer. Neurons in the hidden layer

deﬁned as the time elapse between the current and previous utilize multi-dimensional kernels to estimate the probabil-

R peaks. ity density function for classiﬁcation. One of the most pop-

In order to test the eﬀect of instantaneous RR interval, ular kernels is Gaussian function since it guarantees the

two feature sets are designed in this study. Feature set one, convergence of the neural network (Rutkowski, 2004).

FS1, consists of the following statistical features: The output layer is a competition layer. The number of

neurons in the competition layer is the same as that of

1. AC power of the original signal, i.e. variance of the ori- the desired classes, i.e. six neurons in the competition layer

ginal QRS complex signal. in our experiments.

2. AC power of the wavelet coeﬃcients in each subband.

3. AC power of the autocorrelation function of the wavelet

coeﬃcients in each subband.

4. Ratio of the minimum to the maximum of the wavelet

coeﬃcients in each subband.

and the instantaneous RR interval. Among these features,

features 1 and 2 represent the powers in the original and

diﬀerent subbands of the signal, feature 3 represents the

coherence of the signal in each subband, and feature 4 rep-

resents the morphological characteristic of each subband.

With two-level Haar wavelet decomposition performed in

this study, one approximation and two detailed signal com-

ponents result for each QRS complex. Therefore, feature

set one, FS1, for each QRS complex contains 10 features.

Feature set two, FS2, which also includes the instantaneous

RR interval, has 11 features. Fig. 2. Probabilistic neural network for pattern classiﬁcation.

S.-N. Yu, Y.-H. Chen / Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1142–1150 1145

3. Experiment design might aﬀect the eﬃciency of the classiﬁcation system are

the smoothing factor, which is the standard deviation of

In this study, 23 ECG records were selected from the the Gaussian kernel, and the training data size. The origi-

MIT-BIH arrhythmia database for analysis and recogni- nal data set was evenly divided into training and testing

tion. These records contain six ECG beat types, including groups. Experiments were performed to test the eﬀect of

the normal beat (N), the left bundle branch block beat the smoothing parameter. Furthermore, to test the eﬀects

(LBBB), the right bundle branch block beat (RBBB), the of the training data size to the result, the training data

atrial premature beat (APB), the premature ventricular con- set was halved in each iteration and the eﬀect was studied.

traction (PVC), and the paced beat (PB). For the purpose of The performance of the PNN classiﬁer is determined by

conformity, signals recorded with ML (Mason–Likar leads the following seven statistical parameters:

system) II were employed in the present experiment. The

originality of the ECG beats is summarized in Table 1. (1) Speciﬁcity: number of correct classiﬁed normal beats

Since the QRS complex is one of the most important over total number of normal beats.

ECG components, in the sense that it is associated with (2) Sensitivity (LBBB): number of correct classiﬁed left

electrical ventricular activation, we segmented the QRS bundle branch block beats over total number of left

complexes from the ECG data ﬁles. Based on the R-peak bundle branch block beats.

position identiﬁed in the annotation ﬁle provided by the (3) Sensitivity (RBBB): number of correct classiﬁed right

MIT/BIH database (Goldberger et al., 2000; Physiobank, bundle branch block beats over total number of right

2003), 64-point QRS segments centered at R-peaks were bundle branch block beats.

extracted from the record. Because the R-peaks were man- (4) Sensitivity (PVC): number of correct classiﬁed pre-

ually annotated, a preprocessor was developed to adjust mature ventricular contraction beats over total num-

the ECG signal to place the position of R-peak precisely ber of premature ventricular contraction beats.

centered in the window. The DC value of each 64-points (5) Sensitivity (APB): number of correct classiﬁed atrial

QRS segment was removed. premature beats over total number of atrial prema-

Considering the short lengths of the QRS segments, we ture beats.

empirically determined to use only two-level discrete wave- (6) Sensitivity (PB): number of correct classiﬁed paced

let decomposition (DWT), which was later proved to beats over total number of paced beats.

achieve satisfactory results. The two-level DWT decom- (7) Overall classiﬁcation accuracy: number of correct

poses each QRS signal into three sets of wavelet coeﬃ- classiﬁed beats over number of total beats.

cients, D1, D2, and A2, as illustrated in Fig. 1. The

corresponding features for the original QRS signal and Two other performance indices for the classiﬁcation sys-

the decomposed wavelet coeﬃcients were then calculated. tem are false positive and false negative. False negative is

Two feature sets were studied in this paper. Feature set 1 deﬁned as the misclassiﬁcation of the desired data to other

(FS1) contains the 10 features described in Section 2.2. categories, which is also called target missing. False posi-

Feature set 2 (FS2) contains the 10 features of FS1 and tive is deﬁned as the misclassiﬁcation of the classiﬁed data

the instantaneous RR interval, resulting in totally 11 that does not belong to this class, which is also called false

features. These arrangements intend to study the role of alarm. A good classiﬁcation system should have both low-

RR interval in ECG beat classiﬁcation. ered false negative and false positive.

In our experiments, we used the probabilistic neural net-

work (PNN) as the pattern classiﬁer. Two factors that

4. Experimental results

Table 1

Originalities and numbers of ECG samples used in the study rized in Tables 2 and 3, respectively. The diagonal elements

in each table are the number of correctly classiﬁed beats of

Type MIT/BIH ﬁle Training (#/ﬁle) Testing (#/ﬁle)

speciﬁc ECG types using the proposed method. In the clin-

N 103, 113, 115, 123, 220, 234 600 600

ical diagnosis based on ECG, premature ventricular con-

LBBB 109, 111, 207, 214 600 600

RBBB 118, 124, 212, 231 600 600 traction (PVC) and atrial premature beats (APB) have

PVC 119 200 200 higher risk of sudden death than the other pathological

221 150 150 types considered in our experiments (Charbonnier, 1996;

200, 233 400 400 Minami et al., 1999; Addison et al., 2000; Zhou, 2003).

APB 209 150 150 Therefore, it is important to minimize the possible lose

222 100 100 (false negative) in recognizing these beat types. In Table

232 600 600 2, FS1 provides generally well recognition power through-

PB 107, 217 600 600 out all categories. However, slightly higher false negative

rates were observed in LBBB, PVC and APB. Twelve

Total 11 600 11 600 LBBB beats and 10 RBBB beats were misclassiﬁed as high

1146 S.-N. Yu, Y.-H. Chen / Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1142–1150

Classiﬁcation results using feature set 1 (FS1) the two diﬀerent feature sets in Tables 2 and 3, both of

Output/ N LBBB RBBB PVC APB PB them demonstrate imposing results. However, FS2 contrib-

desired utes to slightly higher overall classiﬁcation accuracy. The

N 3595 0 0 1 5 0 discrimination power of the method on PVC and APB

LBBB 1 2377 4 19 1 0 using FS2 outperforms that using FS1 at about 1.4% and

RBBB 1 11 2386 6 4 0

PVC 0 10 4 1123 0 0

0.9%, respectively, which is revealed as the increases in clas-

APB 3 2 6 1 840 0 siﬁer sensitivity.

PB 0 0 0 0 0 1200 To examine more precisely the eﬀect of RR interval in

Recognition 99.86 99.04 99.42 97.65 98.82 100.00 ECG beat classiﬁcation, the misclassiﬁcation numbers rep-

rate (%) resented as false negative and false positive are illustrated

Overall classiﬁcation accuracy using FS1 = 99.32%. in Fig. 3a and b, respectively. In both ﬁgures, the false neg-

ative and false positive rates are both zero in the PB cate-

gory, no matter whether FS1 or FS2 was used. The paced

beats (PBs) are triggered by the artiﬁcial pacemaker, which

makes the PBs quite diﬀerent from the beats in other cate-

Table 3

Classiﬁcation results using feature set 2 (FS2) gories. Both of the two wavelet-based feature sets in this

study were proven eﬀective in classifying the PBs. In

Output/ N LBBB RBBB PVC APB PB

desired Fig. 3a, the other ﬁve categories demonstrate relatively

lowered false negative by using FS2 than FS1. The

N 3599 0 0 1 0 0

LBBB 1 2384 5 9 0 0 decreases in the false negative for these categories using

RBBB 0 9 2389 1 2 0 FS2 are large: 80% for N, 59.26% for PVC, and 80% for

PVC 0 6 3 1139 0 0 APB. It is especially important to note that more than

APB 0 1 3 0 848 0 50% improvements in the false negative rates have achieved

PB 0 0 0 0 0 1200

in the N, PVC, or APB categories, which conﬁrms the clin-

Recognition 99.97 99.33 99.54 99.04 99.76 100.00 ical importance of the RR intervals in these beat types.

rate (%) Fig. 3b demonstrates the eﬀect of the false positive of the

Overall classiﬁcation accuracy using FS2 = 99.65%. classiﬁer using FS1 and FS2. Similar to the false negative

index, FS2 outperforms FS1 in reducing the false positives.

The decreases in the false positive rates for the other ﬁve

risk beats. Twenty-six PVC beats and 10 APB beats were categories using FS2 are large: 83.33% for N, 40% for

misclassiﬁed as LBBB, RBBB, or normal sinus beats. LBBB, 45.45% for RBBB, 35.71% for PVC, and 66.67%

Table 3 summarizes the classiﬁcation results using FS2 for APB. Again, more than 50% decrease in the false posi-

which includes FS1 and the instantaneous RR interval. tive rate is achieved in categories N and APB.

Instantaneous RR intervals obtained from premature The smoothing factor of the Gaussian kernel function is

beats, such as PVC and APB, are relative shorter than that a control parameter of the probabilistic neural network. To

of other types of ECG beat types. Using FS2 as the features study the eﬀect of the smoothing factor to the performance

for classiﬁcation, the number of beats misclassiﬁed as high of the PNN classiﬁer, a series of experiments were con-

risk for groups LBBB and RBBB decreased from 12 to 7 ducted and the results are summarized in Table 4. The

and 10 to 6, respectively. Similarly, the number of beats results show that when the smoothing factor increases,

misclassiﬁed as low risk beats for groups PVC and APB the speciﬁcity, sensitivities, and the overall classiﬁcation

also decreases from 26 to 11 and 10 to 2, respectively. It accuracy decrease. Although the classiﬁcation accuracy

is obvious that FS2 substantially improve the eﬀectiveness decreases with the increasing of the smoothing factor, the

of the classiﬁer. speciﬁcity and sensitivities of all categories are higher than

30 30

FS1 FS1

Misclassified Beats

Misclassified Beats

25 25

FS2 FS2

20 20

15 15

10 10

5 5

0 0

N LBBB RBBB PVC APB PB N LBBB RBBB PVC APB PB

Category Classification

Fig. 3. Eﬀects of instantaneous RR interval on the classiﬁer, where FS2 = {FS1, RR}. (a) Number of misclassiﬁed beats in each desired category (false

negative). (b) Number of misclassiﬁed beats in each classiﬁed category (false positive).

S.-N. Yu, Y.-H. Chen / Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1142–1150 1147

Table 4

Eﬀects of diﬀerent smoothing factors in the probabilistic neural network

Smoothing factor Training data size Feature set Speciﬁcity (%) Sensitivity (%) Classiﬁcation accuracy (%)

LBBB RBBB PVC APB PB

0.10 11 600 FS1 99.86 99.04 99.42 97.65 98.82 100.00 99.32

0.20 11 600 FS1 99.69 99.33 99.21 97.39 98.24 100.00 99.22

0.30 11 600 FS1 99.53 99.25 98.92 96.17 96.24 100.00 98.82

0.40 11 600 FS1 99.44 99.21 97.79 94.70 87.53 100.00 97.77

0.50 11 600 FS1 99.44 99.17 95.83 91.04 82.71 100.00 96.64

0.60 11 600 FS1 99.47 99.08 91.92 83.74 81.76 99.75 95.00

0.70 11 600 FS1 99.44 98.96 86.25 81.13 80.00 99.75 93.41

0.80 11 600 FS1 99.58 98.71 79.46 80.52 77.76 99.75 91.78

0.90 11 600 FS1 99.61 98.42 73.25 79.48 76.94 99.75 90.28

1.00 11 600 FS1 99.69 97.79 66.96 77.39 75.29 99.75 88.54

0.10 11 600 FS2 99.97 99.33 99.54 99.04 99.76 100.00 99.65

0.20 11 600 FS2 99.92 99.38 99.58 99.13 99.41 100.00 99.63

0.30 11 600 FS2 99.78 99.38 99.58 98.35 97.65 100.00 99.38

0.40 11 600 FS2 99.53 99.12 99.13 97.83 94.59 100.00 98.89

0.50 11 600 FS2 99.44 99.08 97.96 97.39 90.00 100.00 98.22

0.60 11 600 FS2 99.53 98.88 94.50 96.43 83.29 99.83 96.90

0.70 11 600 FS2 99.58 98.88 88.50 95.57 80.24 99.83 95.36

0.80 11 600 FS2 99.69 98.71 81.46 91.39 79.76 99.75 93.45

0.90 11 600 FS2 99.75 98.46 75.83 83.22 80.24 99.75 91.47

1.00 11 600 FS2 99.83 98.25 70.79 81.30 79.06 99.75 90.14

90% when the smoothing factor is chosen in the range from This process continued until the size of the training set

0.1 to 0.3 for FS1 and in the range from 0.1 to 0.5 for FS2. reached 1/32 of the original training data size. The result

It is obvious that classiﬁcation accuracy is relatively insen- shows that the performance of the PNN classiﬁer only

sitive to the smoothing factor, which conﬁrms with the slightly degraded with the decrease of training data size.

result of Wasserman (1992). Moreover, the speciﬁcity of Even with the smallest data size, i.e. 360 training data,

the normal beats is more insensitive than the sensitivities degradations of the speciﬁcity and the sensitivities of the

of the other abnormal beats. One possible reason is that LBBB, APB, and PB for both of the two feature sets are

the number of the employed normal beats is much larger less than 1%. The most serious degradation due to the

than that of the other categories. To justify this assump- decrease in training data size occurs in PVC with FS1:

tion, we studied the inﬂuence of the training data size for about 4% decrease in sensitivity results when the data size

the PNN classiﬁer in the following experiments with diﬀer- decreases to 1/32. Nevertheless, when substituting FS1 with

ent training data size. FS2, the degradation due to decrease in training data size

Table 5 summarizes the classiﬁcation results of diﬀerent becomes less signiﬁcant: only 2.87% degradation results

training data size. The smoothing factor was set at 0.1 and in the PVC category.

the training data size was halved by evenly selecting the It is obvious that the speciﬁcity is less sensitive to the

training signals from the training set in the previous test. decrease in training data size than the sensitivities of the

Table 5

Eﬀects of diﬀerent training data size: smoothing factor = 0.10

Training data size Feature set Speciﬁcity (%) Sensitivity (%) Classiﬁcation accuracy (%)

LBBB RBBB PVC APB PB

11 600 FS1 99.86 99.04 99.42 97.65 98.82 100.00 99.32

5800 FS1 99.81 98.79 99.33 97.74 98.47 100.00 99.22

2900 FS1 99.67 98.63 98.92 97.30 98.71 100.00 99.03

1450 FS1 99.67 98.42 98.33 95.22 98.35 100.00 98.63

725 FS1 99.58 98.46 98.21 94.17 98.47 99.83 98.48

362 FS1 99.53 98.71 97.50 93.57 98.24 99.83 98.29

5800 FS2 99.89 99.00 99.58 98.78 99.53 100.00 99.52

2900 FS2 99.92 98.96 99.42 98.70 99.41 100.00 99.47

1450 FS2 99.94 98.88 99.08 97.74 99.29 100.00 99.28

725 FS2 99.69 98.58 99.08 97.04 99.29 99.83 99.07

362 FS2 99.47 98.92 98.58 96.17 99.06 99.83 98.86

1148 S.-N. Yu, Y.-H. Chen / Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1142–1150

abnormal beats. Using FS2, instead of FS1, not only raises 20 dB, i.e. noise with 10% of signal amplitude. Equally well

the accuracy and sensitivities of the classiﬁer but also recognition rates were observed throughout all types of

increases the robustness of the system. Comparing to the ECG beats. With SNR lower than 20 dB, more signiﬁcant

smoothing factor, decrease in the training data size shows decreases in accuracy were observed. However, even at

less inﬂuence to the PNN classiﬁer. In summary, the pro- 10 dB in SNR, i.e. noise with 31.62% of signal amplitude,

posed wavelet-based features and PNN classiﬁer make an a recognition accuracy of higher than 90% still remains.

eﬀective and robust ECG beat classiﬁcation system. The The accuracy represented as (mean±s.d.)% also reveals

instantaneous RR interval further improves the robustness the inﬂuence of random noises on the uncertainty of the

of the system. PNN classiﬁer. Higher level of noise introduces slightly

higher uncertainty to the classiﬁer. However, this uncer-

5. Discussions tainty is minor, e.g. only 0.24% s.d. results at 10 dB. The

results demonstrate the high noise-resistant capacity and

With all the advantages of the proposed method, the robustness of the proposed method.

there are some important issues we want to explore in

more depth, including the eﬀect of noises on the classiﬁer,

the comparison of the PNN classiﬁer to the most popular 5.2. Comparison of PNN with feed-forward backpropagation

neural network classiﬁer, and the comparison of the neural network

proposed method to the other methods published in the

literature. The feed-forward backpropagation neural network

(FFBNN) is a well-known neural network which is consid-

ered a powerful nonlinear classiﬁer capable of representing

5.1. Eﬀects of noise on classiﬁcation complex nonlinear functions (Haykin, 1999). In order to

compare the performance of PNN to other neural net-

It is important to consider the eﬀects of noise on classi- works, we designated to adopt a typical three-layer

ﬁcation. The degree of noise was represented as signal-to- FFBNN. The hyperbolic tangent sigmoid function was

noise ratio (SNR) which is deﬁned as used as the activation function and the weights between lay-

2

r ers were modiﬁed by backpropagating the error signals

SNR ¼ 10 log s2 ð5Þ (computed by the output neurons), layer by layer, with

re

the quasi-Newton Broyden–Fletcher–Goldfarb–Shanno

where r2s and r2e are the power of the signal and noise, (BFGS) algorithm (Haykin, 1999).

respectively. In this study, diﬀerent levels of Gaussian noise The optimal number of neurons in the hidden layer was

ranging from 40 dB to 10 dB in SNR, corresponding to determined by varying the number of neurons in the hidden

noises with 1–31.62% of the signal amplitude, were added layer and comparing the performances. Since the result can

to each segment. Because of the random nature of the be aﬀected by initial weights in the network, we repeated

noises, each experiment was repeated for 10 times and each experiment for 10 times and the results were averaged.

the average accuracy was calculated. Table 6 summarizes The result is depicted in Fig. 4. The averaged accuracy

the results. To make the display clear and lucid, only aver- increases sharply at small numbers of neurons in the hid-

aged speciﬁcities and sensitivities were shown. Also in- den layer and saturates with increasing number of neurons

cluded in the table are the classiﬁcation accuracies in that layer. On the contrary, the standard deviation (s.d.)

depicted in mean and standard deviation. of the accuracies decreased with the number of hidden neu-

The results reﬂect the high noise-resistant power of our rons, which implies that FFBNN with larger number of

method. Impressively high average accuracies of higher hidden neurons tends to be less sensitive on initial weights.

than 98% could be achieved even with SNR down to In view of the tendency in Fig. 4 and the smaller s.d., we

Table 6

Eﬀects of noises on the discrimination of ECG beat types

Speciﬁcity (%) Sensitivity (%) Accuracy (mean± s.d.)%

LBBB RBBB PVC APB PB

Original 99.97 99.33 99.54 99.04 99.76 100.00 99.65

Contaminated ECG signals

40 dB 99.98 99.32 99.55 99.12 99.78 99.92 99.65 ± 0.02

35 dB 99.97 99.27 99.62 99.14 99.76 99.92 99.65 ± 0.03

30 dB 99.96 99.24 99.56 98.92 99.71 99.90 99.61 ± 0.03

25 dB 99.81 98.98 99.14 98.46 99.28 99.90 99.34 ± 0.05

20 dB 98.94 98.15 97.19 97.41 98.11 99.77 98.30 ± 0.11

15 dB 96.49 96.53 92.07 96.43 94.79 98.50 95.67 ± 0.23

10 dB 92.87 94.25 82.31 94.24 90.27 91.67 90.80 ± 0.24

S.-N. Yu, Y.-H. Chen / Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1142–1150 1149

100

99.5

99

Average Classification Rate (%)

98.5

98

97.5

97

96.5

96

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Number of Neurons in the Hidden Layer

Fig. 4. Eﬀect of number of neurons in the hidden layer on classiﬁcation accuracy with feed-forward backpropagation neural network, repeated for 10

times and the accuracies are illustrated as (mean ± s.d.)%.

compare with PNN. Comparative results of using PNN and FFBNN classiﬁers

The number of training cycles was limited at 100 epochs, Statistical parameters PNN FFBNN

which was empirically determined to limit the training pro- FS1 FS2 FS1 FS2

cess in a reasonable period of time while keeping the root-

Speciﬁcity 99.86 99.97 99.69 99.83

mean-square errors in the output less than 102. Table 7 Sensitivity (LBBB) 99.04 99.33 99.29 99.08

compares the accuracies by using these two neural network Sensitivity (RBBB) 99.42 99.54 98.72 99.23

classiﬁers, associated with the two feature vectors FS1 and Sensitivity (PVC) 97.65 99.04 95.31 98.12

FS2. The result reveals that PNN outperforms FFBNN in Sensitivity (APB) 98.82 99.76 96.15 98.99

Sensitivity (PB) 100.00 100.00 99.82 99.83

classifying most beat types, resulting in 0.41% and 0.33%

superior in overall classiﬁcation accuracy with FS1 and Overall classiﬁcation accuracy 99.32 99.65 98.73 99.32

FS2, respectively. It is especially important to note that

the sensitivities of PVC and APB based on FS2 using

FFBNN classiﬁer are below 99%, while high values with Table 8

Comparative results of diﬀerent ECG beat classiﬁcation methods

PNN still remains. This observation depicts the superior

discrimination power of PNN when compared to FFBNN. Method Number of beat types Accuracy (%)

Proposed 6 99.65

FHyb-HOSA 7 96.06

5.3. Comparison of the proposed method to other ECG beat MME 5 97.78

classiﬁcation systems Neuro-fuzzy 4 98.00

SOM-SVD 4 92.2

It is interesting to compare our method with other ECG MLP-LVQ 2 96.8

MLP-Fourier 3 98

beat recognition systems presented in the literature. Some

representative ECG beat recognition systems are chosen

for this comparison: ECG recognition using fuzzy hybrid

neural network (FHyb-HOSA) (Osowski and Linh, compares the accuracy of these systems. Since diﬀerent

2001), a modiﬁed mixture of experts network structure numbers of beat types were exploited in diﬀerent systems,

for ECG beats classiﬁcation with diverse features (MME) the averaged classiﬁcation accuracy was calculated for

(Güler and Übeyli, 2005a), ECG beat classiﬁcation using comparison. The result shows that our proposed method

neuro-fuzzy network (Neuro-Fuzzy) (Engin, 2004), expert provides relatively higher classiﬁcation accuracy than the

system using Kohonen and SVD (SOM-SVD) (Hu et al., other systems. However, please note that, although the

1997), ECG beat classiﬁcation using LVQ and autoregres- same MIT-BIH database was utilized to testify the perfor-

sion AR MLP (MLP-LVQ) (Oien et al., 1996), and Fourier mance of these systems, diﬀerent numbers of beat types

and MLP (MLP-Fourier) (Minami et al., 1999). Table 8 belonging to diﬀerent patient records were selected to

1150 S.-N. Yu, Y.-H. Chen / Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1142–1150

conduct the experiments. Therefore, it is diﬃcult to com- Charllis, R.E., Kittney, R.I., 1990. Biomedical signal processing (in four

pare the result fairly. Only the averaged accuracy and the parts). Part 1: time domain methods. Med. Biog. Eng. Comput. (28),

509–524.

overall performance of the systems are justiﬁed. De Chazal, P., Reilly, R.B., 2003. Automatic classiﬁcation of ECG beats

using waveform shape and heart beat interval features. In: Proceedings

6. Conclusion of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustic, Speech and Signal

Processing (ICASSP’03), Hong Kong, China, (2), pp. 269–272.

In this study, we proposed an ECG classiﬁcation scheme Engin, M., 2004. ECG beat classiﬁcation using neuro-fuzzy network.

Pattern Recognition Lett. (25), 1715–1722.

based on wavelet transform and PNN classiﬁer. The QRS Goldberger, A.L., Amaral, L.A.N., Glass, L., Hausdorﬀ, J.M., Ivanov,

complexes were ﬁrst decomposed into subband compo- P.Ch., Mark, R.G., Mietus, J.E., Moddy, G.B., Peng, C.K., Stanley,

nents with two levels of DWT. Three categories of features H.E., 2000. PhysioBank, PhysioToolkit, and PhysioNet: components

corresponding to the energy, the coherence, and the mor- of a new research resource for complex physiologic signals. Circulation

phological characteristics were ﬁrst extracted from the (101), e215–e220.

Goumas, S.K., Zervakis, M.E., Stavrakakis, G.S., 2002. Classiﬁcation of

decomposed waveforms. A PNN classiﬁer was then washing machines vibration signals using discrete wavelet analysis for

employed to discriminate six types of ECG beats. The feature extraction. IEEE Trans. Instrum. Measure. (51), 497–508.

results show a promising accuracy of 99.65%, with equally _ Übeyli, E.D., 2005a. A modiﬁed mixture of experts network

Güler, I.,

outstanding discrimination power of over 99% throughout structure for ECG beats classiﬁcation with diverse features. Eng. Appl.

all types of ECG beats under study. The number of fea- Artiﬁcial Intell. (18), 845–856.

_ Übeyli, E.D., 2005b. ECG beat classiﬁer designed by combined

Güler, I.,

tures need to attain this high accuracy is only 11, which neural network model. Pattern Recognit. (38), 199–208.

is substantially lower than that in the other methods. The Haykin, S., 1999. Neural Networks: A Comprehensive Foundation,

inﬂuences of training data size and added noise to the second ed. Prentice Hall, pp. 156–255.

PNN classiﬁer are minor. From the results, we conclude Hu, Y.H., Palreddy, S., Tompkins, W., 1997. A patient adaptable ECG

that diﬀerent pathological changes in ECG beats can be beat classiﬁer using a mixture of experts approach. IEEE Trans.

Biomed. Eng. (44), 891–900.

faithfully represents by the three categories of features Minami, K., Nakajima, H., Toyoshima, T., 1999. Real-time discrimina-

extracted from the decomposed waveforms. The instanta- tion of ventricular tachyarrhythmia with Fourier-transform neural

neous RR interval plays an important role to further fur- network. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. (46), 179–185.

nish the capability of the system, especially in the Moraes, J.C.T.B., Seixas, M.O., Vilani, F.N., Costa, E.V., 2002. A real

discrimination of high risk heart diseases such as PVCs time QRS complex classiﬁcation method using Mahalanobis distance.

Comput. Cardiol., 201–204.

and APBs. This study proves that the proposed method Oien, G.E., Bertelsen, N.A., Eftestol, T., Husoy, J.H., 1996. ECG rhythm

is an excellent model for the computer-aided diagnosis of classiﬁcation using artiﬁcial neural networks. In: IEEE Digital Signal

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Osowski, S., Linh, T.H., 2001. ECG beat recognition using fuzzy hybrid

Acknowledgement neural network. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. (48), 1265–1271.

Physiobank Archieve Index, MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database. <http://

www.physionet.org/physiobank/database> (Access time: 10.12.2003).

This study was supported in part by the grant NSC94- Prasad, G.K., Sahambi, J.S., 2003. Classiﬁcation of ECG arrhythmias

2213-E-194-049 from the National Science Council, using multi-resolution analysis and neural networks. In: IEEE Con-

Taiwan. ference on Convergent Technologies, Bangalore, India, vol. 1, pp. 227–

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