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Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114

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Digital Signal Processing
A hybrid evolutionary approach to segmentation of non-stationary
Hamed Azami
, Saeid Sanei
, Karim Mohammadi
, Hamid Hassanpour
Department of Electrical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
Department of Computing, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey, UK
School of Information Technology and Computer Engineering, Shahrood University, Iran
a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t
Article history:
Available online 5 March 2013
Non-stationary signal
Adaptive segmentation
Kalman lter
Fractal dimension
Evolutionary algorithm
Genetic algorithm
Imperialist competitive algorithm
Automatic segmentation of non-stationary signals such as electroencephalogram (EEG), electrocardiogram
(ECG) and brightness of galactic objects has many applications. In this paper an improved segmentation
method based on fractal dimension (FD) and evolutionary algorithms (EAs) for non-stationary signals is
proposed. After using Kalman lter (KF) to reduce existing noises, FD which can detect the changes
in both the amplitude and frequency of the signal is applied to reveal segments of the signal. In
order to select two acceptable parameters of FD, in this paper two authoritative EAs, namely, genetic
algorithm (GA) and imperialist competitive algorithm (ICA) are used. The proposed approach is applied
to synthetic multi-component signals, real EEG data, and brightness changes of galactic objects. The
proposed methods are compared with some well-known existing algorithms such as improved nonlinear
energy operator (INLEO), Varris and wavelet generalized likelihood ratio (WGLR) methods. The simulation
results demonstrate that segmentation by using KF, FD, and EAs have greater accuracy which proves the
signicance of this algorithm.
2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Non-stationary data such as electroencephalogram (EEG), elec-
trocardiogram (ECG) and electromyogram (EMG) originate from the
sources of time-varying statistics. In such cases the signals are of-
ten divided into smaller segments during which the signal remains
approximately stationary. The segmentation may be xed or adap-
tive. Dividing the non-stationary signals into xed size segments
is easy and fast. However, it cannot accurately follow the epoch
boundaries [13]. In adaptive segmentation, on the other hand, the
boundaries are accurately and automatically followed [46].
Since timefrequency signal analysis and processing (TFSAP) ex-
ploits variations in both time and frequency, most of the brain
signals are decomposed in the timefrequency (TF) domain [7]. Be-
cause the instantaneous energy depends on the frequency of the
signal, in [8], Anisheh and Hassanpour have proposed to use TF
distribution (TFD) as a test method for their proposed signal seg-
mentation method.
In order to increase the accuracy of the classication in EEG
signals, Kosar, Lhotska and Krajca have proposed to use the seg-
mentation method as a pre-processing step. It is done by dividing
Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: (H. Azami),
(S. Sanei), (K. Mohammadi),
(H. Hassanpour).
signal to segments of different lengths that are stationary. In this
method two characteristics are used that are based on estimation
of average frequency in the segment and the value of mean ampli-
tude in the window [9].
We have proposed a novel method to segment a signal in gen-
eral and real EEG signal in particular using standard deviation, in-
tegral operation, discrete wavelet transform, and variable threshold
[10]. In this paper we illustrate that the standard deviation can in-
dicate changes in the amplitude and/or frequency [10]. To remove
the effect of shifting and smooth the signal, the integral operation
is used as a pre-processing step. However, the performance of the
method is completely dependent on the noise components.
In order to detect the anomalies in the trac signal of com-
puter networks, a new method called generalized likelihood ratio
(GLR) is proposed [11]. In this method two sliding windows move
alongside the entire signal. Each window of this method is mod-
eled by an auto regressive (AR) model. If the sliding windows fall
within a segment, since both windows have the same statistical
properties, the modeling error between the two windows is low.
However, if both sliding windows arent placed in the same seg-
ments, the modeling error rises. Dening a suitable threshold level,
if the local maximum of modeling error is above this level, a seg-
ment boundary point is detected [12].
To enhance the GLR method, it has been suggested to use
wavelet as a pre-processing stage. This new method was named
wavelet GLR (WGLR) method [13]. There are still two shortages in
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1104 H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114
WGLR method: 1) in the method, several parameters such as win-
dow length and overlapping percentage of the successive windows
must experimentally be adjusted; 2) moving step 1 in successive
windows for GLR method causes the method to become unreliable
for signal segmentation.
Kaser has introduced nonlinear energy operator (NLEO) for seg-
menting a signal, as follows [14]:

= x
(n) x(n 1)x(n +1) (1)
He has also proved if the signal is a sinusoidal wave, [x(n)]
will be dened as:
Q (n) =
A Cos(
n +)
= A

is signicantly smaller than the sampling frequency, then,
Q (n) is equal to A

. In other words, any change in ampli-
tude (A) or frequency (
) affects Q (n). When there is a multi-
frequency or multi-component signal, the output of the NLEO will
include a DC part and the time-varying parts called cross-terms
( f (w
i, j=1,2,...,R&i=j
) are dened as:


n +)


+ f (w

i, j=1,2,...,R&i=j
These cross-terms decrease the accuracy of signal segmentation.
An improved NLEO (INLEO) method utilizes wavelet transform to
overcome the effects of these cross-terms [2].
Real data often includes noise; this noise deteriorates the
boundary detection procedure. To better avoid the noise effect,
Kalman lter (KF) is used in this article. KF is an ecient recursive
lter that predicts the state of a dynamic system from a series of
measurements with error. After ltering the signal, fractal dimen-
sion (FD) is estimated. FD has two parameters which are named
window length and overlapping percentage of the successive win-
dows. If these parameters are not selected properly, the segment
boundaries may inaccurately be selected.
To obtain the desired parameters of FD, evolutionary algorithm
(EA) may be employed as a fast search technique. The fundamental
motivation behind using EA, which makes it suitable for this ap-
plication, is its fast convergence to an acceptable response in the
dened space.
Two well established EAs have been examined here. These two
methods are called genetic algorithm (GA) and imperialist compet-
itive algorithm (ICA). GA is a primitive EA inspired by evolutionary
biology and genetics such as inheritance, mutation, selection, and
recombination [15]. From the results of their performances, ICA has
been conrmed to be more powerful and performs better than GA
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In Section 2.1 KF
is briey reviewed. In Section 2.2 Katzs algorithm as a way to ob-
tain FD is introduced briey. Section 2.3 explains two EAs include
GA and ICA. In Section 2.4 the proposed method is introduced in
four steps. Section 3 provides introduction to three types of data
that includes synthetic data, real EEG and real photon emission
data and then, the achieved results of this proposed method com-
pared with the results of some of the existing methods such as
WGLR, Varris and INLEO. The nal section presents the conclusion
of this novel method for segmentation of non-stationary signals
based on KF, FD and EAs.
2. The hybrid approach
2.1. Kalman lter
KF is a powerful recursive algorithm that approximates the state
of a dynamic system linearly from a signal sequence [1719]. KF is
mainly applied for solving two major problems (I) reducing noise
and (II) tracking the changes in the state of linear systems [20,
21]. The KF works in two stages: rst stage is prediction and the
second is correction. In the rst stage, the system state is predicted
using a dynamic model. In the second stage the model is corrected
with the help of the observation sequence. During this process the
covariance of the approximation error is minimized.
2.2. Fractal dimension
In Euclidean space, line and image are known to be one-
dimensional and two-dimensional, respectively and non-integer di-
mension does not exist but FD represents a non-integer dimension
by exploiting the concepts from modern mathematics. It is com-
monly used in analysis of biomedical signals such as EEG and ECG,
image processing and electrochemical processes [2224]. FD is a
useful method to indicate variation in both amplitude and fre-
quency of a signal. In Fig. 1, it is shown how FD is changed when
frequency or amplitude of a signal is changed.
The original signal includes four segments. The rst and sec-
ond segments have the same amplitude. The frequency of the rst
part is however different from that of the second part. In the third
segment the amplitude becomes different from that of the second
segment. Amplitude and frequency in the 4th segment are differ-
ent from those of the third segment. The reason for creating this
signal is to show that if two adjacent epochs of a signal have dif-
ferent amplitudes and/or frequencies, the FD will vary.
There are some methods to calculate FD of a signal such as Hi-
aguchi, Petrosian, Katzs methods [25,26]. Because FD is directly
computed in time-varying signal, it has low calculation load, in
other words FD is calculated fast. Generally, each one of these
methods has some advantages and disadvantages that vary in dif-
ferent applications. Katzs algorithm has a lower sensitivity and
good speed in contrast with the two other algorithms [26,27].
In this algorithm the dimension of FD of a signal is dened as
FD =
where L shows the length of the time series or the total distance
between consecutive points and d shows the maximum distance
between the rst data of time series and the data that has max-
imum distance from it. Mathematically, d is expressed by the fol-
lowing equation:
d = max
, x
where x
is the ith data point that has maximum distance from
the rst data point of the time sequence at time point l [26,27].
2.3. Evolutionary algorithm
In this part two EAs, namely, ICA and GA are briey introduced.
2.3.1. Genetic algorithm
GA is a search technique to nd the approximate solutions
in the dened space. GA has been successfully applied to some
dicult problems such as customizable FPGA IP core, traveling
salesman problem (TSP), network routing problems, and cluster-
ing methods [28,29]. The GA has many benets, for example, its
H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114 1105
Fig. 1. Variation of FD when amplitude or frequency changes.
Fig. 2. Children reproduction.
concept is easy to understand, it supports multi-objective opti-
mization, it is good for noisy environments, its answers get better
during the time, and it inherently parallels [29].
Regarding our particular interest, GA has ve steps as follows:
Step 1: Initializing population; rst step in GA is generating a pop-
ulation of strings (called chromosomes), then, encode them
into the so-called individuals. Since a binary GA has been
used in the paper, rst we have converted continuous val-
ues into binary. This is performed by uniform sampling
and linear quantization of the samples into 2
levels. The
sample values are then grouped into non-overlapping seg-
ments (subranges) of 16 bits and each segment (subrange)
is divided into two xed parts of 8 bits. Then, a unique
discrete value is assigned to each subrange [30].
Step 2: Calculating the tness of each member; in the second step
the tness function is calculated to evaluate the proximity
of each member to a desired value.
Step 3: Reproducing new members for the best ts; in each it-
eration of GA, some of the chromosomes with highest
tness values are eliminated and replaced by new mem-
bers. New members are produced by the so-called parents.
Fig. 2 shows how two chromosomes are recreated from
their parents [30].
Step 4: Introducing random mutations in new generation; muta-
tion is a physiologically-inspired disturbance to the system
and is often used to avoid possible local minima. To model
this for real-world optimization, initially, a random num-
ber for each bit of the chromosome is created, then, if the
random number is greater than a pre-dened mutation
threshold, that bit is ipped.
Fig. 3. The owchart of GA-based optimization cycle.
Step 5: Stopping condition; continue performing steps 2, 3 and 4
until a pre-specied number of iterations is reached. Fi-
nally, the owchart of GA is presented in Fig. 3 [31].
2.3.2. Imperialist competitive algorithm
ICA is a novel population-based optimization algorithm pro-
posed in 2007 by Atashpaz-Gargari and Lucas [16]. Today this
algorithm has many applications such as designing controller for
industrial systems, solving optimization problems in PID controller,
communication systems, and training and analysis of articial neu-
ral networks [3235].
Like other evolutionary algorithms, this algorithm begins with
the initial population with random numbers that each of them is
1106 H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114
Fig. 4. Flowchart of the ICA.
Fig. 5. A real photon emission data; (a) the number of received photons as a function of time and (b) the difference between the received photons.
called a Country. Some of the members of the population that
have best tness values are selected as imperialists. Each member
of the remaining population is called a colony. Total tness values
of an empire relies on both the power of the imperialist country
and the power of its colonies.
In each stage, the countries move toward their related imperi-
alist. If the tness value of a colony achieves more than its related
tness value of imperialist then, this colony and its related im-
perialist transform to imperialist and colony, respectively. In every
stage, the weakest colony of the weakest empire moves toward the
closest empire, and the empire without any colony is eliminated.
After a while, all empires fall down except for the most powerful
one and all the colonies go under the control of this unique empire
[16]. Finally the owchart of the corresponding ICA is presented in
Fig. 4.
2.4. Proposed adaptive segmentation
This method consists of four steps as follows:
(1) First, the original signal is ltered by KF. KF reduces the
noise of the original signal which makes the obtained signal
smoother than the original signal. This lter does not intro-
duce any shift to the signal either. The third advantage of KF is
that it is able to approximate the missing parts of the signal.
Moreover, KF is much faster than discrete wavelet transform
(DWT) that has used in previous signal segmentation meth-
ods. Also, we can change the KF parameters easily and it is
very exible. However, in DWT we can use limited number of
levels and parameters compared with KF.
(2) The FDs of the ltered signal are computed by two sliding
windows mentioned in the INLEO and WGLR methods. FD is
calculated using Katzs method. We use FD variations to ob-
tain the segment boundaries as follows:
= |FD
|, t =1, 2, . . . , L 1 (6)
where t and L are the number of analyzed window and the to-
tal number of analyzed windows, respectively. In other words,
is the fractal dimension of the signal overlapped with tth
window analyzed.
(3) As noted before, there are two parameters that affect the seg-
mentation method (i) length of the window and (ii) percent-
age of overlap. If these parameters arent chosen correctly, the
H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114 1107
Fig. 6. Results of the proposed technique (window length = 1.986 s and overlapping percentage of the successive windows = 54.1%); (a) original signal, (b) ltered signal by
KF, (c) output of FD, and (d) G function result.
Fig. 7. Minimum tness values of all imperialists versus number of iterations using E
as tness function.
boundaries of segments may be detected inaccurately. In this
part we propose two EAs, namely, GA and ICA. The EAs mini-
mize the following tness function over k shifts of the sliding

where N shows the number of samples in G, and ceil stands
for ceiling. It should be mentioned that the GA and ICA search
the best responses for each time instant.
(4) Determining a threshold is one of the important problems
in segmentation of the signal. In many researches, the mean
value or sum of the mean value and standard deviation (or a
similar offset value) is proposed as a threshold. If the dened
threshold is large, some segment boundaries may not be de-
tected. When the threshold is low, some idle points may be
detected as boundaries. In this paper the mean value of G (G)
is dened as the threshold. When the local maximum is bigger
than the threshold, the current time is chosen as a boundary
of the segment.
1108 H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114
Fig. 8. Minimum tness values of all chromosomes versus number of iterations using E
as tness function.
Fig. 9. Results of the proposed technique without using ICA or GA (window length = 2.159 s and overlapping percentage of the successive windows = 52.5%); (a) original
signal, (b) ltered signal by KF, (c) output of FD, and (d) G function result.
3. Simulation data and results
In this part synthetic data, real EEG data, and brightness of
galactic objects downloaded from NASAs website (http://adsabs. are introduced. The proposed
method was applied to these data and the results were compared
with the other methods including WGLR, Varris and INLEO. To
simulate all of these methods, MATLAB R2009a was used.
3.1. Simulation data
To evaluate the performance of this method we created 50
multi-component signals. One piece of these signals includes the
following seven epochs:
Epoch 1: 5.5cos(2t) +3.5cos(6t)
Epoch 2: 3.5cos(3t) +7cos(11t)
Epoch 3: 7cos(t) +5.5cos(7t)
Epoch 4: 2.5cos(3t) +4.5cos(5t) +3cos(7t)
Epoch 5: 2cos(2.5t) +2cos(5t) +8cos(10t)
Epoch 6: 5cos(3t) +5cos(8t) +4cos(10t)
Epoch 7: 5cos(2.5t) +3.8cos(5t) +4.5cos(8t)
In order to make the signals more similar to a real non-stationary
signals we added Gaussian noise with SNR = 5, 10, and 15 dBs.
Electrical activity of a group of neural cells of the brain gener-
ates potentials that are called EEG signals. In this paper we used
40 EEG signals recorded from the scalp of ten patients. The length
of signals and the sampling frequency were 30 s and 256 Hz, re-
Analysis of brightness of galactic objects is used widely in as-
tronomy science. For example, when a galactic object is moving in
front of a star, the receiving brightness from the star is changed.
By analyzing such information, we can obtain some valuable in-
formation about the moving galactic object such as its orbit and
size. If the rate of photon arrival experiences some serious statis-
tical changes, this could be because of an explosion that has made
H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114 1109
Fig. 10. Results of the proposed technique without using ICA or GA (window length = 2.028 s and overlapping percentage of the successive windows = 53.2%); (a) original
signal, (b) ltered signal by KF, (c) output of FD, and (d) G function result.
Fig. 11. Results of the proposed technique without using ICA or GA (window length = 1.907 s and overlapping percentage of the successive windows = 55.7%); (a) original
signal, (b) ltered signal by KF, (c) output of FD, and (d) G function result.
a new source or just sudden increase in brightness of an existing
source [36].
A signal which shows the number of photons that have been
detected as a function of time is illustrated in Fig. 5(a). The sig-
nal in Fig. 5(a) can be considered to have Poisson distribution. By
calculating the time difference of the signal in Fig. 5(b) we can
achieve a signal that represents the number of input photons in
each time instance. Sampling cycle was assumed to be two mi-
3.2. Simulation results
In Fig. 6(a) and Fig. 6(b) the synthetic data described above and
the ltered signal by KF are shown, respectively. As we can see,
the ltered signal is smoother than the original signal. Fig. 6(c) and
Fig. 6(d) illustrate the FD of the ltered signal and the changes in
G function.
Selecting an acceptable initial population and the number of
iterations is very important in EAs. For lower values of these pa-
rameters, the speed of our approach considerably increases. On
the other hand, for larger values of the selected parameters the
speed of the proposed methods signicantly reduces. Like other
EAs, we must make a trade-off for the parameters in the applica-
tion. Generally, the trade-off is only made by trials and errors. The
number of iterations for ICA was 70 and initial imperialist values
and colonies were dened as 5 and 40 countries, respectively. The
GA applied here has 45 populations and the number of iterations
is 70. When the initial populations and number of iterations were
increased, the performance of the proposed method was not sig-
nicantly changed. Therefore, for this application of the EAs, these
populations and number of iterations were accurately selected.
The crossover and mutation functions are assumed to be two
points and Gaussian, respectively. Small windows may not be able
to explain long-term statistics effectively, and long windows ignore
small block variations. The overlapping percentage of the succes-
sive windows affects both the computational load and accuracy of
the segmentation results. Length of the window and the percent-
age of overlap for both the GA and the ICA are selected between
2% and 10% of the signal length.
1110 H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114
Fig. 12. Results of the existing techniques; (a) original signal, (b) output of Varris method, (c) output of WGLR method, and (d) output of INLEO method.
Fig. 13. Segmentation of real EEG by the proposed method; (a) original signal, (b) after ltering by KF, (c) output of the FD, and (d) G function result. It can be seen that all
ve segments can be accurately segmented.
Figs. 7 and 8 depict the minimum cost of all imperialists
versus number of iterations (for ICA) and minimum cost of
chromosomes versus number of iterations (for GA), respectively.
As it can be seen in Figs. 7 and 8, ICA converges to the de-
sired solution faster, while GA has trapped in the local op opti-
H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114 1111
Fig. 14. Segmentation of real EEG using the existing methods; (a) original signal, (b) output of GLR method, (c) output of WGLR method, (d) output of INLEO method, and
(e) output of Varris method.
It should be mentioned that generally, window length and over-
lapping percentage of the successive windows are the major con-
cern for the conventional methods. In other words, empirically
adjusting these parameters is the main problem in those meth-
ods. Hence, we have suggested the use of ICA or GA to overcome
this problem. In Figs. 6, 9, 10, and 11, the percentage of overlaps
and the window lengths are approximately equal. There are many
gures the same as these gures.

depends on
= |FD
| (t = 1, 2, . . . , L 1)
where G
and L pertain to the window length and percentage of
overlap. As can be seen, Figs. 9, 10 and 11 have several undesired
recognitions. When the undesired recognitions were increased, the
sum of difference between G
and mean value of G
or G
) was increased. Thus, in the proposed approach,
ICA or GA tries to reduce these undesired recognitions by minimiz-
ing E
and automatically choose the best parameters (parameters
in Fig. 6). It should be noted that to increase the effect of the
difference, we have used ceil (using ceil enhances only a bit the
performance of the function).
To demonstrate the results of applying our proposed method
we compared its results with those of Varris, WGLR and IN-
LEO methods [37,13,2]. Fig. 12(a) shows the original signal as in
Fig. 6(a). The outputs of segmentation by the above three methods
are shown in Figs. 12(c), 12(d), and 12(e). As can be seen in Fig. 12,
Varris, WGLR and INLEO methods cannot accurately detect seg-
ments boundaries of the synthetic signal. Thus, the reliabilities of
the methods are much worse than the proposed method. It should
be noted that in this paper, threshold parameters have been se-
lected based on the references quoted in the paper without any
changes. As can be seen in Figs. 12(b), 12(c), 12(d) and 12(e), if
we decrease the threshold levels, although the number of missing
boundaries decreases, the false boundaries increase signicantly or
vice versa.
1112 H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114
In order to evaluate the performance of this method com-
pared to other existing methods three ratios are used: the true
positive (TP), miss or false negative (FN) and false positive (FP)
that are dened respectively as: TP = (N
/N), FN = (N
/N), and
FP = (N
Here N
, N
and N
represent the number of true, missed and
falsely detected segments and N shows the actual number of seg-
ment boundaries.
As can be seen in Table 1, although INLEO method can dis-
tinguish between the segments rather accurately, the FP ratios of
the method are not suciently acceptable. Unlike INLEO method,
WGLR method has the low FPs. However, the method cannot detect
the segments accurately. In other words, the TPs obtained by the
WGLR method are not reliable. Varris method performs approxi-
mately the same as WGLR method regarding to the TPs. However,
the FPs obtained by the Varris method are worse than those of
WGLR. None of the previous methods have acceptable reliability
with respect to TPs, FNs, and/or FPs. The results show that the
suggested methods with ICA and GA have better FPs and TPs val-
ues compared to the existing methods, respectively. It ought to be
noted that the performance of ICA is better than that of GA for all
the evaluation parameters.
Fig. 13(a) shows real EEG signal and Figs. 13(b), 13(c) and 13(d)
show the signal after ltering by KF, the FD of the ltered signal,
and changes in G function, respectively.
Fig. 14(a) shows the real EEG signal, as in Fig. 13(a). To realize
the performance of the proposed method, the output of segmen-
tation by GLR, WGLR, INLEO and Varris methods is also shown in
Figs. 14(b), 14(c), 14(d) and 14(e), respectively. It can be realized
that the proposed method detects the EEG signal segments better
than those achieved by the existing methods.
The results of segmentation applying the proposed method us-
ing ICA as the better EA comparing with GA, and the three other
existing methods to a set of 40 real EEG data are shown in Table 2.
Although INLEO method has the acceptable true positive ratio, the
Table 1
Results of applying the proposed methods on a set of synthetic data compared with
three existing techniques including INLEO, WGLR and Varris methods.
Proposed method using ICA
SNR 5 dB 10 dB 15 dB
TP 0.824 0.893 0.932
FN 0.181 0.109 0.072
FP 0.103 0.029 0.029
Proposed method using GA
SNR 5 dB 10 dB 15 dB
TP 0.819 0.893 0.930
FN 0.176 0.107 0.070
FP 0.147 0.205 0.176
INLEO method
SNR 5 dB 10 dB 15 dB
TP 0.624 0.701 0.732
FN 0.376 0.299 0.268
FP 1.194 0.813 0.752
WGLR method
SNR 5 dB 10 dB 15 dB
TP 0.362 0.416 0.456
FN 0.638 0.584 0.544
FP 0.187 0.144 0.13
Varris method
SNR 5 dB 10 dB 15 dB
TP 0.360 0.395 0.434
FN 0.640 0.605 0.566
FP 0.263 0.227 0.182
Table 2
Results of applying the proposed method with ICA to 40 real EEG data compared
with INLEO, WGLR and Varris methods.
Method TP ratio FN ratio FP ratio
Proposed method with ICA 89.78% 10.22% 8.1%
INLEO method 83.05% 16.95% 224.5%
WGLR method 67.85% 32.15% 38%
Varris method 50.05% 49.95% 65.35%
Fig. 15. Segmentation of the difference signal of the real photons arrival rates using the proposed method; (a) original signal, (b) ltered signal by KF, (c) output of FD, and
(d) G function result. It can be seem that all ve segments can be accurately detected.
H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114 1113
Fig. 16. Segmentation of the difference signal of the real photons arrival rates using the existing methods; (a) original signal, (b) output of GLR method, (c) output of WGLR
method, (d) output of Varris method, and (e) output of INLEO method.
false positive ratio of this method has the highest false positive ra-
tio. Therefore, INLEO method has low reliability and may not be
suitable in segmentation of real EEG data. Also, WGLR and Varris
methods not only dont have true positive ratios but also their false
positive ratios are slightly higher.
In Fig. 15(a) the signal segmentation as the difference be-
tween the real photons arrival rates using the proposed method
is shown. Figs. 15(b), 15(c), and 15(d) show the signal after lter-
ing by KF, the FD of the ltered signal, and changes in G function,
As can be seen in Fig. 15, in the rst segment the signal has
smooth variation. In the rst part of the second segment, the am-
plitude starts to increase and unlike the second segment, in the
3rd segment the amplitude of the signal increases. The 4th and
5th segments have different frequencies. When the input signal is
collected online from persons body, the above concept can assist
the physiologists to recognize when there is a change or an onset
of an abnormality.
In Fig. 16(a) the real data signal as in Fig. 15(a) is shown. To
realize the performance of the proposed method, rst, the output
of segmentation by GLR, WGLR, Varris and INLEO methods is also
shown in Figs. 16(b), 16(c), 16(d), and 16(e), respectively.
4. Conclusions
In this paper an improved adaptive segmentation approach us-
ing KF, Katzs method for computing FD and EAs has been in-
troduced. The new hybrid structure has provided a stronger evo-
lutionary technique for analysis of non-stationary data such as
EEG and ECG signals. Although Katzs method, as the best method
1114 H. Azami et al. / Digital Signal Processing 23 (2013) 11031114
to calculate the fractal dimension, is not very sensitive to small
changes in signal, the results considerably have changed when we
have had ordinary noises. Therefore, KF could be useful as a pre-
processing step for all data sources. After ltering signal by KF, FD
that is a fast technique has revealed the changes in both the ampli-
tude and frequency of the signal. Finally, to optimize the selection
of parameters of the FD, the EAs have been used. In this paper, two
EAs, namely, GA and ICA have been used. The proposed algorithm
has been applied to synthetic data, real EEG data, and brightness
changes of the galactic objects. The results have indicated superi-
ority of the proposed method for segmenting the signals compared
with three existing well established methods as benchmarks.
The authors would like to thank the anonymous editor and re-
viewers for their valuable suggestions and comments.
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Hamed Azami received his M.Sc. degree from Iran University of Sci-
ence and Technology (IUST), Tehran, Iran in 2011, as a top-ranked student
with honor degrees. He is currently a lecturer at Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering, Shomal University, Iran. His research interests
include Biomedical Signal and Image Processing, Neural Networks, Evolu-
tionary Algorithms, and Wireless Communication Systems.
Saeid Sanei received his Ph.D. degree in biomedical signal and im-
age processing from Imperial College London, London, U.K. in 1991. He
has authored many books, book chapters, and more than 260 papers and
has chaired many international events. Currently, he is a Reader in neuro-
computing at the Department of Computing, University of Surrey, U.K. His
research interests include Signal Processing, Biomedical Engineering, and
Pattern Recognition.
Karim Mohammadi received his Ph.D. degree from Department of
Electrical Engineering, Oakland University, USA in 1981. He is the author
of several books, book chapters and more than 160 scientic publications
in journals and international conferences. He is currently a faculty mem-
ber of Department of Electrical Engineering of IUST as a professor.
Hamid Hassanpour received his Ph.D. degree in Electronic Engineering
from Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, in 2004. He
is the author of several books, book chapters and approximately 130 sci-
entic publications in journals and international conferences. His research
interests include Biomedical Signal Processing, TimeFrequency Signal Pro-
cessing and Analysis, Image Processing, and Robotics.