Feature extraction and state identification in biomedical signals using hierarchical fuzzy clustering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Many problems in the field of biomedical signal processing can be reduced to a task of state recognition and event prediction. Examples can be found in tachycardia detection from ECG signals, epileptic seizure or psychotic attack prediction from an EEG signal, and prediction of vehicle drivers falling asleep from both signals. The problem generally treats a set of ordered measurements and asks for the recognition of some patterns of observed elements that will forecast an event or a transition between two different states of the biological system. It is proposed to apply clustering methods to grouping discontinuous related temporal patterns of a continuously sampled measurement. The vague switches from one stationary state to another are naturally treated by means of fuzzy clustering. In such cases, an adaptive selection of the number of clusters (the number of underlying semi-stationary processes) can overcome the general non-stationary nature of biomedical signals and enable the formation of a warning cluster. The algorithm suggested for the clustering is a new recursive algorithm for hierarchical fuzzy partitioning. Each pattern can have a non-zero membership in more than one data subset in the hierarchy. A 'natural' and feasible solution to the cluster validity problem is suggested by combining hierarchical and fuzzy concepts. The algorithm is shown to be effective for a variety of data sets with a wide dynamic range of both covariance matrices and number of members in each class. The new method is applied to state recognition during recovery from exercise using the heart rate signal and to the forecasting of generalised epileptic seizures from the EEG signal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-614
Number of pages7
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1998


  • EEG
  • Events forecasting
  • Heart rate variability
  • Hierarchical clustering
  • Hybrid systems
  • Temporal pattern recognition
  • Unsupervised fuzzy clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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