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The effect of accelerometer location on the classification of single-site forearm mechanomyograms

Author(s): Alves Natasha | Sejdić Ervin | Sahota Bhupinder | Chau Tom

Journal: BioMedical Engineering OnLine
ISSN 1475-925X

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 23;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Recently, pattern recognition methods have been deployed in the classification of multiple activation states from mechanomyogram (MMG) signals for the purpose of controlling switching interfaces. Given the propagative properties of MMG signals, it has been suggested that MMG classification should be robust to changes in sensor placement. Nonetheless, this purported robustness remains speculative to date. This study sought to quantify the change in classification accuracy, if any, when a classifier trained with MMG signals from the muscle belly, is subsequently tested with MMG signals from a nearby location. Methods An arrangement of 5 accelerometers was attached to the flexor carpi radialis muscle of 12 able-bodied participants; a reference accelerometer was located over the muscle belly, two peripheral accelerometers were positioned along the muscle's transverse axis and two more were aligned to the muscle's longitudinal axis. Participants performed three classes of muscle activity: wrist flexion, wrist extension and semi-pronation. A collection of time, frequency and time-frequency features were considered and reduced by genetic feature selection. The classifier, trained using features from the reference accelerometer, was tested with signals from the longitudinally and transversally displaced accelerometers. Results Classification degradation due to accelerometer displacement was significant for all participants, and showed no consistent trend with the direction of displacement. Further, the displaced accelerometer signals showed task-dependent de-correlations with respect to the reference accelerometer. Conclusions These results indicate that MMG signal features vary with spatial location and that accelerometer displacements of only 1-2 cm cause sufficient feature drift to significantly diminish classification accuracy. This finding emphasizes the importance of consistent sensor placement between MMG classifier training and deployment for accurate control of switching interfaces.
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