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A Trainable Neural Network Ensemble for ECG Beat Classification

Authors: Atena Sajedin, Shokoufeh Zakernejad, Soheil Faridi, Mehrdad Javadi, Reza Ebrahimpour


This paper illustrates the use of a combined neural network model for classification of electrocardiogram (ECG) beats. We present a trainable neural network ensemble approach to develop customized electrocardiogram beat classifier in an effort to further improve the performance of ECG processing and to offer individualized health care. We process a three stage technique for detection of premature ventricular contraction (PVC) from normal beats and other heart diseases. This method includes a denoising, a feature extraction and a classification. At first we investigate the application of stationary wavelet transform (SWT) for noise reduction of the electrocardiogram (ECG) signals. Then feature extraction module extracts 10 ECG morphological features and one timing interval feature. Then a number of multilayer perceptrons (MLPs) neural networks with different topologies are designed. The performance of the different combination methods as well as the efficiency of the whole system is presented. Among them, Stacked Generalization as a proposed trainable combined neural network model possesses the highest recognition rate of around 95%. Therefore, this network proves to be a suitable candidate in ECG signal diagnosis systems. ECG samples attributing to the different ECG beat types were extracted from the MIT-BIH arrhythmia database for the study.

Keywords: Wavelet Transform, multi layer perceptrons, ECG beat Classification, Combining Classifiers, Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC)

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