Cardiorespiratory dynamics: algorithms and application to mental stress monitoring

The rate at which our heart beats, is a dynamical process enabling adaptive changes according to the demands of our body. These variations in heart rate are widely studied in so-called heart rate variability (HRV) analyses, as they contain much information about the activity of our autonomic nervous system. Variability in the heart rate arises from several processes, such as thermoregulation, hormones, arterial blood pressure, respiration, etc. One of the main short-term modulators of the heart rate is respiration. This phenomenon is called respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and comprises the rhythmic fluctuation of the heart rate at respiratory frequency. It has also widely been used as an index of vagal outflow. However, this has been widely debated as some studies have shown that the magnitude of RSA changes with respiratory rate and the depth of breathing, independently of parasympathetic activity. ...

Widjaja, Devy — KU Leuven


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


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


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


Exploiting Sparsity for Efficient Compression and Analysis of ECG and Fetal-ECG Signals

Over the last decade there has been an increasing interest in solutions for the continuous monitoring of health status with wireless, and in particular, wearable devices that provide remote analysis of physiological data. The use of wireless technologies have introduced new problems such as the transmission of a huge amount of data within the constraint of limited battery life devices. The design of an accurate and energy efficient telemonitoring system can be achieved by reducing the amount of data that should be transmitted, which is still a challenging task on devices with both computational and energy constraints. Furthermore, it is not sufficient merely to collect and transmit data, and algorithms that provide real-time analysis are needed. In this thesis, we address the problems of compression and analysis of physiological data using the emerging frameworks of Compressive Sensing (CS) and sparse ...

Da Poian, Giulia — University of Udine


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


Contributions to Single-Channel Speech Enhancement with a Focus on the Spectral Phase

Single-channel speech enhancement refers to the reduction of noise signal components in a single-channel signal composed of both speech and noise. Spectral speech enhancement methods are among the most popular approaches to solving this problem. Since the short-time spectral amplitude has been identified as a highly perceptually relevant quantity, most conventional approaches rely on processing the amplitude spectrum only, ignoring any information that may be contained in the spectral phase. As a consequence, the noisy short-time spectral phase is neither enhanced for the purpose of signal reconstruction nor is it used for refining short-time spectral amplitude estimates. This thesis investigates the use of the spectral phase and its structure in algorithms for single-channel speech enhancement. This includes the analysis of the spectral phase in the context of theoretically optimal speech estimators. The resulting knowledge is exploited in formulating single-channel speech ...

Johannes Stahl — Graz University of Technology


Biomechanics based analysis of sleep

The fact that a third of a human life is spent in a bed indicates the essential character of sleep. While some people might opt voluntarily for sleep deprivation, others don’t get to choose. Their healthy pattern of sleep is disrupted due to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and restless legs syndrome. Most clinical diagnoses revolve around complaints of excessive daytime sleepiness. People usually wait quite long however before contacting professional help, and might only do so when complaints have gone from minor to serious. It can be argued that people with minor complaints will have negligible compliance to rather obtrusive therapies, and should not be treated with pharmaceuticals. However, cognitive and behavioral therapy has proven its effectiveness for clinically diagnosed patients in different domains, and might thus also enhance the quality of life for people with minor ...

Willemen, Tim — KU Leuven


Ultra low-power biomedical signal processing: an analog wavelet filter approach for pacemakers

The purpose of this thesis is to describe novel signal processing methodologies and analog integrated circuit techniques for low-power biomedical systems. Physiological signals, such as the electrocardiogram (ECG), the electroencephalogram (EEG) and the electromyogram (EMG) are mostly non-stationary. The main difficulty in dealing with biomedical signal processing is that the information of interest is often a combination of features that are well localized temporally (e.g., spikes) and others that are more diffuse (e.g., small oscillations). This requires the use of analysis methods sufficiently versatile to handle events that can be at opposite extremes in terms of their time-frequency localization. Wavelet Transform (WT) has been extensively used in biomedical signal processing, mainly due to the versatility of the wavelet tools. The WT has been shown to be a very efficient tool for local analysis of nonstationary and fast transient signals due ...

Haddad, Sandro Augusto Pavlík — Delft University of Technology


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


Self-Organization and Data Compression in Wireless Sensor Networks of Extreme Scales: Application to Environmental Monitoring, Climatology and Bioengineering

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) aim for accurate data gathering and representation of one or multiple physical variables from the environment, by means of sensor reading and wireless data packets transmission to a Data Fusion Center (DFC). There is no comprehensive common set of requirements for all WSN, as they are application dependent. Moreover, due to specific node capabilities or energy consumption constraints several tradeoffs have to be considered during the design, and particularly, the price of the sensor nodes is a determining factor. The distinction between small and large scale WSNs does not only refers to the quantity of sensor nodes, but also establishes the main design challenges in each case. For example, the node organization is a key issue in large scale WSNs, where many inexpensive nodes have to properly work in a coordinated manner. Regarding the amount of ...

Chidean, Mihaela I. — Rey Juan Carlos University


Polynomial Matrix Eigenvalue Decomposition Techniques for Multichannel Signal Processing

Polynomial eigenvalue decomposition (PEVD) is an extension of the eigenvalue decomposition (EVD) for para-Hermitian polynomial matrices, and it has been shown to be a powerful tool for broadband extensions of narrowband signal processing problems. In the context of broadband sensor arrays, the PEVD allows the para-Hermitian matrix that results from the calculation of a space-time covariance matrix of the convolutively mixed signals to be diagonalised. Once the matrix is diagonalised, not only can the correlation between different sensor signals be removed but the signal and noise subspaces can also be identified. This process is referred to as broadband subspace decomposition, and it plays a very important role in many areas that require signal separation techniques for multichannel convolutive mixtures, such as speech recognition, radar clutter suppression, underwater acoustics, etc. The multiple shift second order sequential best rotation (MS-SBR2) algorithm, built ...

Wang, Zeliang — Cardiff University


Audio Watermarking, Steganalysis Using Audio Quality Metrics, and Robust Audio Hashing

We propose a technique for the problem of detecting the very presence of hidden messages in an audio object. The detector is based on the characteristics of the denoised residuals of the audio file. Our proposition is established upon the presupposition that the hidden message in a cover object leaves statistical evidence that can be detected with the use of some audio distortion measures. The distortions caused by hidden message are measured in terms of objective and perceptual quality metrics. The detector discriminates between cover and stego files using a selected subset of features and an SVM classifier. We have evaluated the detection performance of the proposed steganalysis technique with the well-known watermarking and steganographic methods. We present novel and robust audio fingerprinting techniques based on the summarization of the time-frequency spectral characteristics of an audio object. The perceptual hash ...

Ozer, Hamza — Bogazici University


Bayesian Fusion of Multi-band Images: A Powerful Tool for Super-resolution

Hyperspectral (HS) imaging, which consists of acquiring a same scene in several hundreds of contiguous spectral bands (a three dimensional data cube), has opened a new range of relevant applications, such as target detection [MS02], classification [C.-03] and spectral unmixing [BDPD+12]. However, while HS sensors provide abundant spectral information, their spatial resolution is generally more limited. Thus, fusing the HS image with other highly resolved images of the same scene, such as multispectral (MS) or panchromatic (PAN) images is an interesting problem. The problem of fusing a high spectral and low spatial resolution image with an auxiliary image of higher spatial but lower spectral resolution, also known as multi-resolution image fusion, has been explored for many years [AMV+11]. From an application point of view, this problem is also important as motivated by recent national programs, e.g., the Japanese next-generation space-borne ...

Wei, Qi — University of Toulouse

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