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Title: Heterogeneous recognition of bioacoustic signals for human-machine interfaces
Author: Mace, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 9887
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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Human-machine interfaces (HMI) provide a communication pathway between man and machine. Not only do they augment existing pathways, they can substitute or even bypass these pathways where functional motor loss prevents the use of standard interfaces. This is especially important for individuals who rely on assistive technology in their everyday life. By utilising bioacoustic activity, it can lead to an assistive HMI concept which is unobtrusive, minimally disruptive and cosmetically appealing to the user. However, due to the complexity of the signals it remains relatively underexplored in the HMI field. This thesis investigates extracting and decoding volition from bioacoustic activity with the aim of generating real-time commands. The developed framework is a systemisation of various processing blocks enabling the mapping of continuous signals into M discrete classes. Class independent extraction efficiently detects and segments the continuous signals while class-specific extraction exemplifies each pattern set using a novel template creation process stable to permutations of the data set. These templates are utilised by a generalised single channel discrimination model, whereby each signal is template aligned prior to classification. The real-time decoding subsystem uses a multichannel heterogeneous ensemble architecture which fuses the output from a diverse set of these individual discrimination models. This enhances the classification performance by elevating both the sensitivity and specificity, with the increased specificity due to a natural rejection capacity based on a non-parametric majority vote. Such a strategy is useful when analysing signals which have diverse characteristics, false positives are prevalent and have strong consequences, and when there is limited training data available. The framework has been developed with generality in mind with wide applicability to a broad spectrum of biosignals. The processing system has been demonstrated on real-time decoding of tongue-movement ear pressure signals using both single and dual channel setups. This has included in-depth evaluation of these methods in both offline and online scenarios. During online evaluation, a stimulus based test methodology was devised, while representative interference was used to contaminate the decoding process in a relevant and real fashion. The results of this research provide a strong case for the utility of such techniques in real world applications of human-machine communication using impulsive bioacoustic signals and biosignals in general.
Supervisor: Vaidyanathan, Ravi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral