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This paper introduces a three-stage procedure based on artificial neural networks for the automatic detection of epileptiform events (EVs) in a multichannel electroencephalogram (EEG) signal. In the first stage, two discrete perceptrons fed by six features are used to classify EEG peaks into three subgroups: 1) definite epileptiform transients (ETs); 2) definite non-ETs; and 3) possible ETs and possible non-ETs. The pre-classification done in the first stage not only reduces the computation time but also increases the overall detection performance of the procedure. In the second stage, the peaks falling into the third group are aimed to be separated from each other by a nonlinear artificial neural network that would function as a postclassifier whose input is a vector of 41 consecutive sample values obtained from each peak. Different networks, i.e., a backpropagation multilayer perceptron and two radial basis function networks trained by a hybrid method and a support vector method, respectively, are constructed as the postclassifier and then compared in terms of their classification performances. In the third stage, multichannel information is integrated into the system for contributing to the process of identifying an EV by the electroencephalographers (EEGers). After the integration of multichannel information, the overall performance of the system is determined with respect to EVs. Visual evaluation, by two EEGers, of 19 channel EEG records of 10 epileptic patients showed that the best performance is obtained with a radial basis support vector machine providing an average sensitivity of 89.1%, an average selectivity of 85.9%, and a false detection rate (per hour) of 7.5.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2005