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In this paper, we studied and validated a simple heart beat classifier based on ECG feature models selected with the focus on an improved generalization capability. We considered features from the RR series, as well as features computed from the ECG samples and different scales of the wavelet transform, at both avail able leads. The classification performance and generalization were studied using publicly available databases: the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia, the MIT-BIH Supraventricular Arrhythmia, and the St. Pe tersburg Institute of Cardiological Technics (INCART) databases. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation recommendations for class labeling and results presentation were followed. A floating feature selection algorithm was used to obtain the best performing and generalizing models in the training and validation sets for different search configurations. The best model found comprehends eight features, was trained in a partition of the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia, and was evaluated in a completely disjoint partition of the same database. The results obtained were: global accuracy of 93%; for normal beats, sensitivity (S) 95%, positive predictive value (P+) 98%; for supraventricular beats, S 11%, P+ 39%; and for ventricular beats S 81%, P+ 87%. In order to test the generalization capability, performance was also evaluated in the INCART, with results comparable to those obtained in the test set. This classifier model has fewer features and performs better than other state-of-the-art methods with results suggesting better generalization capability.