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Investigation of low dimensional feature spaces for automatic sleep staging

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Background:: Automatic sleep stage classification depends crucially on the selection of a good set of descriptive features. However, the selection of a feature set with an appropriate low computational cost without compromising classification performance is still a challenge. This study attempts to represent sleep EEG patterns using a minimum number of features, without significant performance loss. Methods:: Three feature selection algorithms were applied to a high dimensional feature space comprising 84 features. These methods were based on a bootstrapping approach guided by Gini ranking and mutual information between the features. The algorithms were tested on three scalp electroencephalography (EEG) and one ear-EEG datasets. The relationship between the information carried by different features was investigated using mutual information and illustrated by a graphical clustering tool. Results:: The minimum number of features that can represent the whole feature set without performance loss was found to range between 5 and 11 for different datasets. In ear-EEG, 7 features based on Continuous Wavelet Transform (CWT) resulted in similar performance as the whole set whereas in two scalp EEG datasets, the difference between minimal CWT set and the whole set was statistically significant (0.008 and 0.017 difference in average kappa). Features were divided into groups according to the type of information they carry. The group containing relative power features was identified as the most informative feature group in sleep stage classification, whereas the group containing non-linear features was found to be the least informative. Conclusions:: This study showed that EEG sleep staging can be performed based on a low dimensional feature space without significant decrease in sleep staging performance. This is especially important in the case of wearable devices like ear-EEG where low computational complexity is needed. The division of the feature space into groups of features, and the analysis of the distribution of feature groups for different feature set sizes, is helpful in the selection of an appropriate feature set.

TidsskriftComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2021

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