Using Hierarchical Clustering Methods to Classify Motor Activities of COPD Patients from Wearable Sensor Data
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CitationSherrill, Delsey M., Marilyn L. Moy, John J. Reilly, and Paolo Bonato. 2005. Using hierarchical clustering methods to classify motor activities of COPD patients from wearable sensor data. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2:16.
AbstractBackground: Advances in miniature sensor technology have led to the development of wearable systems that allow one to monitor motor activities in the field. A variety of classifiers have been proposed in the past, but little has been done toward developing systematic approaches to assess the feasibility of discriminating the motor tasks of interest and to guide the choice of the classifier architecture. Methods: A technique is introduced to address this problem according to a hierarchical framework and its use is demonstrated for the application of detecting motor activities in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation. Accelerometers were used to collect data for 10 different classes of activity. Features were extracted to capture essential properties of the data set and reduce the dimensionality of the problem at hand. Cluster measures were utilized to find natural groupings in the data set and then construct a hierarchy of the relationships between clusters to guide the process of merging clusters that are too similar to distinguish reliably. It provides a means to assess whether the benefits of merging for performance of a classifier outweigh the loss of resolution incurred through merging. Results: Analysis of the COPD data set demonstrated that motor tasks related to ambulation can be reliably discriminated from tasks performed in a seated position with the legs in motion or stationary using two features derived from one accelerometer. Classifying motor tasks within the category of activities related to ambulation requires more advanced techniques. While in certain cases all the tasks could be accurately classified, in others merging clusters associated with different motor tasks was necessary. When merging clusters, it was found that the proposed method could lead to more than 12% improvement in classifier accuracy while retaining resolution of 4 tasks. Conclusion: Hierarchical clustering methods are relevant to developing classifiers of motor activities from data recorded using wearable systems. They allow users to assess feasibility of a classification problem and choose architectures that maximize accuracy. By relying on this approach, the clinical importance of discriminating motor tasks can be easily taken into consideration while designing the classifier.
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