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The separation of pathological discontinuous adventitious sounds (DAS) from vesicular sounds (VS) is of great importance to the analysis of lung sounds since DAS are related to certain pulmonary pathologies. An automated way of revealing the diagnostic character of DAS, by isolating them from VS, based on their nonstationarity, is presented. The proposed algorithm uses two adaptive network-based fuzzy inference systems to compose a generalized fuzzy rule-based stationary-nonstationary filter (GFST-NST). The training procedure of the fuzzy inference systems involves the outputs of the wavelet transform-based stationary-nonstationary filter (WTST-NST), proposed by Hadjileontiadis and Panas (1997). The basic idea of the GFST-NST was initially proposed by the authors with the introduction of the fuzzy rule-based stationary-nonstationary filter (FST-NST) (1997), tested with the separation of crackles from VS. The main contribution of this paper is the modification of the structure of the FST-NST filter to a serial-type fuzzy filter that, unlike the parallel operation of the FST-NST filter, sends a predicted stationary signal (VS) into the predictor of the nonstationary (DAS). Applying the GFST-NST filter to fine-coarse crackles and squawks, selected from three lung sound databases, the coherent structure of DAS is revealed and they are separated from VS. The separation performance of the GFST-NST filter was evaluated through quantitative and qualitative indexes that proved its efficiency and superiority against the FST-NST filter. When compared to the WTST-NST filter, the GFST-NST filter performed similarly in accuracy and objectiveness, but in a faster way. Thus, the GFST-NST filter combines the separation accuracy of the WTST-NST filter with the real-time implementation of the FST-NST filter, so it can easily be used in clinical medicine as a module of an integrated intelligent patient evaluation system.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:2 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 1998