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The performance of gas-sensor array systems is greatly influenced by the pattern recognition scheme applied on the instrument's measurement data. The traditional method of choice is principal component analysis (PCA), aiming for reduction in dimensionality and visualization of multivariate measurement data. PCA, as a second-order statistical tool, performs well in many cases, but lacks the ability to give meaningful representations for non-Gaussian data, which often is a property of gas-sensor array measurement data. If, instead, higher order statistical methods are considered for data analysis, more useful information can be extracted from the data. This paper introduces the higher order statistical method called independent component analysis (ICA) as a novel tool for analysis of gas-sensor array measurement data. A comparison between the performances of PCA and ICA is illustrated both in theory and for two sets of practical measurement data. The described experiments show that ICA is capable of handling sensor drift combined with improved discrimination, dimensionality reduction, and more adequate data representation when compared to PCA.
Date of Publication: April 2003