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Automatic epilepsy detection using fractal dimensions segmentation and GP-SVM classification

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Objective: The most important part of signal processing for classification is feature extraction as a mapping from original input electroencephalographic (EEG) data space to new features space with the biggest class separability value. Features are not only the most important, but also the most difficult task from the classification process as they define input data and classification quality.

An ideal set of features would make the classification problem trivial. This article presents novel methods of feature extraction processing and automatic epilepsy seizure classification combining machine learning methods with genetic evolution algorithms.

Methods: Classification is performed on EEG data that represent electric brain activity. At first, the signal is preprocessed with digital filtration and adaptive segmentation using fractal dimensions as the only segmentation measure.

In the next step, a novel method using genetic programming (GP) combined with support vector machine (SVM) confusion matrix as fitness function weight is used to extract feature vectors compressed into lower dimension space and classify the final result into ictal or interictal epochs. Results: The final application of GP SVM method improves the discriminatory performance of a classifier by reducing feature dimensionality at the same time.

Members of the GP tree structure represent the features themselves and their number is automatically decided by the compression function introduced in this paper. This novel method improves the overall performance of the SVM classification by dramatically reducing the size of input feature vector.

Conclusion: According to results, the accuracy of this algorithm is very high and comparable, or even superior to other automatic detection algorithms. In combination with the great efficiency, this algorithm can be used in real-time epilepsy detection applications.

From the results of the algorithm's classification, we can observe high sensitivity, specificity results, except for the Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizure (GTCS). As the next step, the optimization of the compression stage and final SVM evaluation stage is in place.

More data need to be obtained on GTCS to improve the overall classification score for GTCS.