Mining the ECG: Algorithms and Applications

This research focuses on the development of algorithms to extract diagnostic information from the ECG signal, which can be used to improve automatic detection systems and home monitoring solutions. In the first part of this work, a generically applicable algorithm for model selection in kernel principal component analysis is presented, which was inspired by the derivation of respiratory information from the ECG signal. This method not only solves a problem in biomedical signal processing, but more importantly offers a solution to a long-standing problem in the field of machine learning. Next, a methodology to quantify the level of contamination in a segment of ECG is proposed. This level is used to detect artifacts, and to improve the performance of different classifiers, by removing these artifacts from the training set. Furthermore, an evaluation of three different methodologies to compute the ECG-derived ...

Varon, Carolina — KU Leuven


Spatio-temporal characterization of the surface electrocardiogram for catheter ablation outcome prediction in persistent atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice, and one of the main causes of ictus and strokes. Despite the advances in the comprehension of its mechanisms, its thorough characterization and the quantification of its effects on the human heart are still an open issue. In particular, the choice of the most appropriate therapy is frequently a hard task. Radiofrequency catheter ablation (CA) is becoming one of the most popular solutions for the treatment of the disease. Yet, very little is known about its impact on heart substrate during AF, thus leading to an inaccurate selection of positive responders to therapy and a low success rate; hence, the need for advanced signal processing tools able to quantify AF impact on heart substrate and assess the effectiveness of the CA therapy in an objective and ...

Marianna Meo — Université Nice Sophia Antipolis


Privacy Preserving Processing of Biomedical Signals with Application to Remote Healthcare Systems

To preserve the privacy of patients and service providers in biomedical signal processing applications, particular attention has been given to the use of secure multiparty computation techniques. This thesis focuses on the development of a privacy preserving automatic diagnosis system whereby a remote server classifies a biomedical signal provided by the patient without getting any information about the signal itself and the final result of the classification. Specifically, we present and compare two methods for the secure classification of electrocardiogram (ECG) signals: the former based on linear branching programs and the latter relying on neural networks. Moreover a protocol that performs a preliminary evaluation of the signal quality is proposed. The thesis deals with all the requirements and difficulties related to working with data that must stay encrypted during all the computation steps. The proposed systems prove that carrying out ...

Lazzeretti, Riccardo — University of Siena


Statistical Signal and Image Processing Techniques in Corneal Modeling

In this thesis, we consider two interrelated problems, which are the enhancement of videokeratoscopic images for more accurate corneal topography estimation and model-order selection of corneal surfaces when expanded using orthogonal Zernike polynomials. Corneal topography estimation that is based on the Placido disk principle relies on good quality of pre-corneal tear film and sufficiently wide eyelid (palpebral) aperture to avoid reflections from eyelashes. However, in practice, these conditions are not always fulfilled resulting in missing regions, smaller corneal coverage, and subsequently poorer estimates of corneal topography. Our aim is to enhance the standard operating range of a Placido disk videokeratoscope to obtain reliable corneal topography estimates in patients with poor tear film quality, such as encountered in those diagnosed with dry eye, and with narrower palpebral apertures as in the case of Asian subjects. This is achieved by incorporating in ...

Alkhaldi, Weaam — Technical University of Darmstad


Spatio-temporal Prediction of Wind Fields

Short-term wind and wind power forecasts are required for the reliable and economic operation of power systems with significant wind power penetration. This thesis presents new statistical techniques for producing forecasts at multiple locations using spatio-temporal information. Forecast horizons of up to 6 hours are considered for which statistical methods outperform physical models in general. Several methods for producing hourly wind speed and direction forecasts from 1 to 6 hours ahead are presented in addition to a method for producing five-minute-ahead probabilistic wind power forecasts. The former have applications in areas such as energy trading and defining reserve requirements, and the latter in power system balancing and wind farm control. Spatio-temporal information is captured by vector autoregressive (VAR) models that incorporate wind direction by modelling the wind time series using complex umbers. In a further development, the VAR coefficients are ...

Dowell, Jethro — University of Strathclyde


Extraction of efficient and characteristic features of multidimensional time series

In numerous signal processing applications one disposes of multiple probes, delivering simultaneously information about one or multiple observed processes. The resulting multidimensional time series are often highly redundant and may contain stochastic contributions. The perception of the useful information becomes therefore very difficult and sometimes impossible. Thus, the major issue of concern of this thesis resides in the development of novel algorithms for the extraction of the salient and characteristic features of multidimensional time series. The proposed algorithms are based on parametric signal processing, namely we assume that the features of the experimental data can be represented efficiently by a specific model. We present a global framework for the selection of a specific model out of the large span of techniques proposed in the literature. For the selection of the model classes we use, in addition to prior knowledge about ...

Vetter, Rolf — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology


Parametric and non-parametric approaches for multisensor data fusion

Multisensor data fusion technology combines data and information from multiple sensors to achieve improved accuracies and better inference about the environment than could be achieved by the use of a single sensor alone. In this dissertation, we propose parametric and nonparametric multisensor data fusion algorithms with a broad range of applications. Image registration is a vital first step in fusing sensor data. Among the wide range of registration techniques that have been developed for various applications, mutual information based registration algorithms have been accepted as one of the most accurate and robust methods. Inspired by the mutual information based approaches, we propose to use the joint R´enyi entropy as the dissimilarity metric between images. Since the R´enyi entropy of an image can be estimated with the length of the minimum spanning tree over the corresponding graph, the proposed information-theoretic registration ...

Ma, Bing — University of Michigan


Analysis, Modelling, and Simulation of an Integrated Multisensor System for Maritime Border Control

In this dissertation a notional multi-sensor system acting in a maritime border control scenario for Homeland Security (HS) is analyzed, modelled, and simulated. The functions performed by the system are the detection, tracking, identification and classification of naval targets that enter a sea region, the evaluation of their threat level and the selection of a suitable reaction to them. The emulated system is composed of two platforms carrying multiple sensors: a land based platform, located on the coast, and an air platform, moving on an elliptic trajectory in front of the coast. The land based platform is equipped with a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) radar, an infrared camera (IR) and a station belonging to an Automatic Identification System (AIS). The air platform carries an Airborne Early Warning Radar (AEWR) that can operate on a spotlight Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode, ...

Giompapa, Sofia — Universita di Pisa


Theoretical aspects and real issues in an integrated multiradar system

In the last few years Homeland Security (HS) has gained a considerable interest in the research community. From a scientific point of view, it is a difficult task to provide a definition of this research area and to exactly draw up its boundaries. In fact, when we talk about the security and the surveillance, several problems and aspects must be considered. In particular, the following factors play a crucial role and define the complexity level of the considered application field: the number of potential threats can be high and uncertain; the threat detection and identification can be made more complicated by the use of camouflaging techniques; the monitored area is typically wide and it requires a large and heterogeneous sensor network; the surveillance operation is strongly related to the operational scenario, so that it is not possible to define a ...

Fortunati Stefano — University of Pisa


Signal processing algorithms for wireless acoustic sensor networks

Recent academic developments have initiated a paradigm shift in the way spatial sensor data can be acquired. Traditional localized and regularly arranged sensor arrays are replaced by sensor nodes that are randomly distributed over the entire spatial field, and which communicate with each other or with a master node through wireless communication links. Together, these nodes form a so-called ‘wireless sensor network’ (WSN). Each node of a WSN has a local sensor array and a signal processing unit to perform computations on the acquired data. The advantage of WSNs compared to traditional (wired) sensor arrays, is that many more sensors can be used that physically cover the full spatial field, which typically yields more variety (and thus more information) in the signals. It is likely that future data acquisition, control and physical monitoring, will heavily rely on this type of ...

Bertrand, Alexander — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Transformation methods in signal processing

This dissertation is concerned with the application of the theory of rational functions in signal processing. The PhD thesis summarizes the corresponding results of the author’s research. Since the systems of rational functions are defined by the collection of inverse poles with multiplicities, the following parameters should be determined: the number, the positions and the multiplicities of the inverse poles. Therefore, we develop the hyperbolic variant of the so-called Nelder–Mead and the particle swarm optimization algorithm. In addition, the latter one is integrated into a more general multi-dimensional framework. Furthermore, we perform a detailed stability and error analysis of these methods. We propose an electrocardiogram signal generator based on spline interpolation. It turns to be an efficient tool for testing and evaluating signal models, filtering techniques, etc. In this thesis, the synthesized heartbeats are used to test the diagnostic distortion ...

Kovács, Péter — Eötvös L. University, Budapest, Hungary


Heart rate variability : linear and nonlinear analysis with applications in human physiology

Cardiovascular diseases are a growing problem in today’s society. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that these diseases make up about 30% of total global deaths and that heart diseases have no geographic, gender or socioeconomic boundaries. Therefore, detecting cardiac irregularities early-stage and a correct treatment are very important. However, this requires a good physiological understanding of the cardiovascular system. The heart is stimulated electrically by the brain via the autonomic nervous system, where sympathetic and vagal pathways are always interacting and modulating heart rate. Continuous monitoring of the heart activity is obtained by means of an ElectroCardioGram (ECG). Studying the fluctuations of heart beat intervals over time reveals a lot of information and is called heart rate variability (HRV) analysis. A reduction of HRV has been reported in several cardiological and noncardiological diseases. Moreover, HRV also has a prognostic ...

Vandeput, Steven — KU Leuven


Extraction and Denoising of Fetal ECG Signals

Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. The fetal electrocardiogram (fECG), which is believed to contain much more information as compared with conventional sonographic methods, can be measured by placing electrodes on the mother’s abdomen. However, it has very low power and is mixed with several sources of noise and interference, including the strong maternal ECG (mECG). In previous studies, several methods have been proposed for the extraction of fECG signals recorded from the maternal body surface. However, these methods require a large number of sensors, and are ineffective with only one or two sensors. In this study, state modeling, statistical and deterministic approaches are proposed for capturing weak traces of fetal cardiac signals. These three methods implement different models of the quasi-periodicity of the cardiac signal. In the first approach, the heart rate and its ...

Niknazar, Mohammad — University of Grenoble


Advanced Multi-Dimensional Signal Processing for Wireless Systems

The thriving development of wireless communications calls for innovative and advanced signal processing techniques targeting at an enhanced performance in terms of reliability, throughput, robustness, efficiency, flexibility, etc.. This thesis addresses such a compelling demand and presents new and intriguing progress towards fulfilling it. We mainly concentrate on two advanced multi-dimensional signal processing challenges for wireless systems that have attracted tremendous research attention in recent years, multi-carrier Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) systems and multi-dimensional harmonic retrieval. As the key technologies of wireless communications, the numerous benefits of MIMO and multi-carrier modulation, e.g., boosting the data rate and improving the link reliability, have long been identified and have ignited great research interest. In particular, the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM)-based multi-user MIMO downlink with Space-Division Multiple Access (SDMA) combines the twofold advantages of MIMO and multi-carrier modulation. It is the essential element ...

Cheng, Yao — Ilmenau University of Technology


Simulation Methods for Linear and Nonlinear Time Series Models with Application to Distorted Audio Signals

This dissertation is concerned with the development of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for the Bayesian restoration of degraded audio signals. First, the Bayesian approach to time series modelling is reviewed, then established MCMC methods are introduced. The first problem to be addressed is that of model order uncertainty. A reversible-jump sampler is proposed which can move between models of different order. It is shown that faster convergence can be achieved by exploiting the analytic structure of the time series model. This approach to model order uncertainty is applied to the problem of noise reduction using the simulation smoother. The effects of incorrect autoregressive (AR) model orders are demonstrated, and a mixed model order MCMC noise reduction scheme is developed. Nonlinear time series models are surveyed, and the advantages of linear-in- the-parameters models explained. A nonlinear AR (NAR) model, ...

Troughton, Paul Thomas — University of Cambridge

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