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Multiresolution Wavelet and Thresholding Method

Soroor Behbahani 1 Nader Jafarnia Dabanloo 2

1- Biomedical Engineering Department, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

Soroor_Behbahani@yahoo.com

2- Biomedical Engineering Department, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.

Jafarnia@srbiau.ac.ir

Abstract

The electrocardiogram (ECG) is a diagnostic tool that

measures and records the electrical activity of the

heart in exquisite detail. Interpretation of these details

allows diagnosis of a wide range of heart conditions.

Automatic extraction of time plane features is

important for cardiac disease diagnosis. This paper

presents a multi-resolution wavelet transform based

system for detection and evaluation of QRS complex.

In first step of this paper we use the selective confident

method to find the QRS complex, at next step we use a

threshold method to find the QRS complex and finally

we apply the composition of first step algorithm and

thresholding method which shows robust ability of

finding QRS compared to other methods. Achieved

overall accuracy of R and QRS detection for

only

4

d scale without threshold is 84.48%, the

composition of

5 4 3

, , d d d without threshold 93.23%,

only

4

d with threshold 90%, and

5 4 3

, , d d d with

threshold 98.2%.

Keywords: ECG signal, QRS waves, Feature

Extraction, threshold method, Db6 wavelets.

1. Introduction

The electrocardiogram is an important tool for providing

information about functional status of the heart. Analysis

of ECG is of great importance in the detection of cardiac

diseases which are the main cause of mortality in many

countries.

The Q, R and S wave of ECG signal occur in rapid

succession, do not all appear in all leads and reflect a

single event so are thus normally considered as a whole

complex. A Q wave is any downward deflection after the

P-wave. An R-wave is an upward deflection and the S

wave is any downward deflection after the R-wave.

The QRS complex of the electrocardiographic signal has

the normal duration from 0.06s to 0.1s and provides

information about the heart rate, the conduction velocity,

the condition of tissues within the heart and various

abnormalities. Its shape, duration and time of occurrence

provide valuable information about the current state of the

heart. Because of its specific shape, the QRS complex

serves as an entry point for almost all automated ECG

analysis algorithms and detection of the QRS complex is

the most important task in automatic ECG signal analysis

[1].

Ventricles contain more muscle mass than the atria,

therefore the QRS complex is considerably larger than the

P wave. The QRS complex is often used to determine the

axis of the electrocardiogram .The atrial repolarization

wave, which resembles an inverse P wave, is buried

inside the QRS wave. The atrial repolarization wave is

obscured by the QRS because it is far smaller in

magnitude. The duration, amplitude, and morphology of

the QRS complex is useful in diagnosing cardiac

arrhythmias, conduction abnormalities, ventricular

hypertrophy, myocardial infarction, electrolyte

derangements, and other disease states.

The QRS detection is not a simple task, due to the varying

morphologies of normal and abnormal complexes and

because the ECG signal experiences different types of

disturbances with complex origin [2].

There are several methods for detection of significant

points of ECG. Some of these methods are, low pass

differentiation (LPD), Multichannel ART-based neural

network (MART), wavelet transform (WT), and etc.

In signal processing, there are a number of

different functions that can perform on the

signal in order to translate it into different forms that

are more suitable for different applications. The most

popular function is the Fourier transform that converts a

signal from time versus amplitude to frequency versus

amplitude. This transform is useful for many applications,

but it is not based in time. To combat this problem,

mathematicians came up with the short term Fourier

transform which can convert a signal to frequency versus

time. Unfortunately, this transform also has its

shortcomings mostly that it cannot get decent resolutions

for both high and low frequencies at the same time.

So to converted and manipulated the signal while keeping

resolution across the entire signal and still being based in

time, wavelets come into play. Wavelets are finite

2

windows through which the signal can be viewed. In

order to move the window about the length of the signal,

the wavelets can be translated about time in addition to

being compressed and widened.

Using DWT in feature extraction may lead to an optimal

frequency resolution in all frequency ranges as it has a

varying window size, broad at lower frequencies, and

narrow at higher frequencies. The DWT characterization

will deliver the stable features to the morphology

variations of the ECG waveforms [3].

This paper presents a multi-resolution wavelet transform

based system for detection and evaluation of QRS

complex. In first step of this paper we use the represented

algorithm in [2], and fined the QRS complex, at next step

we use a threshold method to find the QRS complex and

finally we apply the composition of first step algorithm

and thresholding method which shows robust ability of

finding QRS in compared to other methods. The

performance of the system is validated using original 12

lead ECG recording collected from the Physionet PTB

diagnostic database [8].

2. Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT)

A wavelet is a waveform of effectively limited duration

that has an average value of zero. Similar to Fourier series

analysis, where sinusoids are chosen as the basis function,

wavelet analysis is also based on a decomposition of a

signal using an orthonormal (typically, although not

necessarily) family of basic functions. Unlike a sine

wave, a wavelet has its energy concentrated in time.

Sinusoids are useful in analyzing periodic and time-

invariant phenomena, while wavelets are well suited for

the analysis of transient, time-varying signals, thus well

suited for ECG signals. Basically wavelet transform is the

convolution operation of the subject signal ) (t f and the

wavelet function ) (t . The discrete wavelet transform is

expressed as,

}

= dt t t f X

k j k j

) ( ) (

, ,

(1)

The approximation coefficient of the signal ) (t f is

represented as,

}

= dt t t f A

k j k j

) ( ) (

, ,

| (2)

Where ) (t | is scaling function, j and k are scale and

location respectively. For a range of scale n, the original

signal ) (t f under discrete wavelet transform can be

represented as,

=

+ =

n

j

j n

t d t f t f

1

) ( ) ( ) ( (3)

Where ) (t f

n

is mean signal approximation and is given

by,

) ( ) (

, ,

t A t f

k n k n n

| = (4)

and ) (t d

j

is detail signal approximation in scale j .

Thus given an approximation of a signal using

translations of a mother wavelet up to some chosen scale,

a better approximation can be achieved by using

expansion signals with half the width and half as wide

translation steps. The wavelet transform as such

decomposes a signal into two sub signals detail signal

and approximation signal. Detail signal contains the upper

half of the frequency components and approximation

signal contains the lower half.

The decomposition can be further repeated on the

approximation signal in order to g t the second detail and

approximation signal. Thus in discrete wavelet domain,

multi-resolution analysis can be performed.

2.1. Wavelet Selection

The large number of known wavelet families and

functions provides a rich space in which to search for a

wavelet which will very efficiently represent a signal of

interest in a large variety of applications. Wavelet

families include Biorthogonal, Coiflet, Harr, Symmlet,

Daubechies wavelets, etc. There is no absolute way to

choose a certain wavelet. The choice of the wavelet

function depends on the application. To obtain the

wavelet analysis, we used the Matlab program, which

contains a very good wavelet toolbox. First the

considered ECG signal was decomposed using db6

wavelet of the order of 1-8 has been evaluated (Figure2).

3. Peaks Detection

In order to detect the peaks, specific details of the signal

were selected. The method developed by Li et al [4]

involves preprocessing of initial QRS beats to select

modulus maxima greater than threshold and post

processing to remove the unrelated noisy peaks appearing

as R-waves. The method uses four thresholds for the

detection of modulus maxima at four different scales.

Mahmood abadi[5] suggest the selection of details d3-d5

for R-Wave detection, whereas S.C.Saxena et al [6]

employs detail signal d4 for detection of QRS peak.

Awadhesh Pachauri, and Manabendra Bhuyan[7]

represent a method without requirement of preprocessing

and the selection of detail signal d4 has been justified by

energy, frequency and correlation analysis. Furthermore,

they calculate total number of R waves using hard

thresholding.

In this paper we use we apply the composition of use the

selective confident method [2] and thresholding method

3

which shows robust ability of finding QRS in compared

to other methods.

Figure1: Wavelet coefficients for scale levels 18

3.1. R peak Detection

R peak is the largest amplitude point which is greater than

threshold points are located in the wave.

It can be seen in figure1 that small scales (1-4), represent

the high frequency components and large scales represent

the low frequency components of sample ECG signal.

Eighth level reconstruction coefficients represent high

frequency contents of the ECG waveform which in most

of the cases appear to be high frequency noises.

It is clear that most energy of the QRS complex is

concentrated at decomposition level 3, 4 and 5. Thus, d3,

d4 and d5 coefficients are identified for the detection of

QRS complex. The plot of the reconstructed wave

comprising of, d3, d4 and d5 is shown in Figure 2.

5 4 3 1

d d d e + + = (5)

From Figure 2, it is clear that although the QRS region is

properly captured but it is difficult to identify R peak due

to its oscillatory nature. So, a function

2

e is defined as

[2],

n

d d d

e

2

) (

5 3 4

2

+

= (6)

where n is the level of decomposition. Then the modulus

of

2 1

e e is taken. The corresponding plot is shown in

figure 4 along with the original wave. The accuracy of the

entire feature extraction work mainly depends upon the

identification accuracy of R peak.

3.2. Thresholding Method

The selected detail coefficient

4

d is used to perform the

detection of R-wave. For this purpose a practical lower

limit is applied to remove unrelated peaks appearing due

to noise.

There are several thresholding methods known. Here we

apply hard thresholding in which the samples below a

predetermined threshold are set to zero. The threshold is

selected as 15% of maximum value of

4

d and applied as

follows [4]:

0 )) ( (

)) ( (

) max( 15 %

4

4

4

=

=

=

i d

threshold i d if

d threshold

In some researches the detail coefficient

4

d has been

chosen to detect R wave based on Energy, frequency and

correlation Analysis [4]. In this paper we compared the

results of R detection based on only

4

d , and composition

of

5 4 3

, , d d d , also we apply both of these cases with and

without using threshold method. The results are shown in

figure 2-5 respectively.

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

-10

-5

0

5

x 10

-4

d1

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

-5

0

5

x 10

-3

d2

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

-0.05

0

0.05

d3

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

-0.5

0

0.5

d4

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

-0.5

0

0.5

d5

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

-0.5

0

0.5

d6

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

-0.2

0

0.2

d7

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

-0.1

0

0.1

d8

4

Figure 2: Original signal and plot of

5 4 3 1

d d d e + + =

3.3. Q and S Detection

A Q and S peak occurs about the R peak with in

0.1second. Calculating the distance from zero point or

close zero left side of R peak within the threshold limit

denotes Q peak.

Once the R peak is detected, the Q and S points are to be

identified to detect the complete QRS complex. Generally

the Q and S waves have high frequency and low

amplitude and their energies are mainly at small scale. So,

decomposition coefficients from d2 to d5 are used.

Q and S points are the points of inflexion in either side of

the R peak. So the first zero slope points on either side of

the R peak will represent the Q and S point. Figure 5

shows the detected QRS complex.First two zero slope

points on either side of R peak (as detected earlier) are

identified as Q and S points respectively.

3.4. QRS Detection with baseline drift

In order to evaluate the represented algorithm of finding

QRS complex and R wave, we apply this algorithm on an

ECG signal with baseline drift. Since there was not an

available ECG signal with baseline drift, we use a

manipulate signal which made from an ECG signal added

to a random sinuous and cosines wave. Then the

algorithm was applied on manipulate signal. The results

of QRS and R wave detection are shown in figure 7 and 8

respectively.

4. Results

In the present work, physionet PTB diagnostic database is

used to detect the QRS complex. As discussed in the

previous section, simulation and testing has been carried

out, the results of which are presented in Figures 1-8. For

validation of the algorithm, 50 databases were checked.

Achieved overall accuracy of R and QRS detection for

only

4

d scale without threshold is 84.48%, the

composition of

5 4 3

, , d d d without threshold 93.23%,

only

4

d with threshold 90%, and

5 4 3

, , d d d with

threshold 98.2%.

Figure 3: Original signal and plot of modulus of

2 1

e e

Figure 4: QRS detection on ECG signal

5. Conclusion

In this paper, an algorithm based on Wavelet Transform is

presented for the detection of QRS complex of ECG

signal. Wavelet Decomposition of ECG wave up to level

8 using orthogonal Daubechis 6 wavelet generates 8

scales of detail coefficients. Smaller scales correspond to

high frequency components and higher scales correspond

to low frequency components of the signals.

The multi-resolution wavelet transform based system with

different wavelet scales used to find the QRS complex,

and finally the composition of selective confident and

thresholding method shows robust ability of finding QRS

compared to other methods.

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

-0.5

0

0.5

1

original signal

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

-0.5

0

0.5

1

e1

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

-0.5

0

0.5

1

original signal

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

-2

0

2

4

x 10

-4

e1 x e2

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

-0.2

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

1.2

QRS

5

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

0

100

200

300

400

500

R Detection With Thresholding(d4)

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

0

200

400

600

800

R Detection With Thresholding(e1*e2)

Figure 5: R detection with and without threshold based on

5 4 3

, , d d d

Figure 7: QRS detection on ECG signal with baseline drift

Figure 6: Comparison of R detection with threshold based on

5 4 3

, , d d d and

4

d

Figure 8: R wave detection on ECG signal with baseline drift

From the result, it can be seen that this method is having a

Comparatively high sensitivity, so it can be used as a

useful and robust tool for automatic and on line disease

classification and biometric recognition. Since the

application of wavelet transformation in electro

cardiology is relatively new field of research, many

methodological aspects (Choice of the mother wavelet,

values of the scale parameters) of the wavelet technique

will require further investigations in order to improve the

clinical usefulness of this novel signal processing

technique. Simultaneously diagnostic and prognostic

significance of wavelet techniques in various fields of

electro cardiology needs to be established in large clinical

studies. But some of the ECG waveform may show very

erratic nature due to electrode contact noise or some

complicated cardiac abnormalities. The algorithm is not

tested with them because of lack of availability of that

special kind of database.

6. References

[1] C. Li, C. Zheng, C. Tai, Detection of ECG characteristic points by

wavelet transforms, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 42(1)

(1995) 2128.

[2] Saurabh Pal, Madhuchhanda Mitra, Detection of ECG characteristic

points using Multiresolution WaveletAnalysis based Selective

Coefficient Method, Elsevier, Measurement 43 (2010), 255261.

[3] S. Karpagachelvi, Dr. M.Arthanari, Prof. & Head, M. Sivakumar,

QRS Wave Detection Using Multiresolution Analysis, Vol. 10 Issue 5

Ver. 1.0, (2010), 39-42.

[4] Cuiwei Li, Chongxun Zheng, and Changfeng Tai, Detection of ECG

Characteristic points using Wavelet Transforms, IEEE Trans. Biomed.

Eng, Vol. 42, No. 1, (1995).

[5] S. Z. Mahmoodabadi, A .Ahmadian , M. D.Abolhasani, M. Eslami, J.

H.Bidgoli, ECG Feature Extraction Based on Multiresolution Wavelet

Transform, Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE, Engineering in Medicine

and Biology 27th Annual Conference Shanghai, China, September 1-

4,(2005).

[6] S.C. Saxena, V. Kumar and S.T. Hande, QRS Detection using New

Wavelets, Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology, Volume 26,

November1, pages 7-15, (2002).

[7]Awadhesh Pachauri, and Manabendra Bhuyan, Robust Detection of

R-Wave Using Wavelet Technique, World Academy of Science,

Engineering and Technology 56, (2009).

[8] http://www.physionet.org/mitdb

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

-200

0

200

400

600

800

R Detection Without Thresholding(e1*e2)

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

0

200

400

600

800

R Detection With Thresholding(e1*e2)

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

2

4

6

8

Manipulated signal

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

-2

0

2

4

x 10

-4

e1 x e2

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

2

4

6

8

Manipulated signal

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000

-0.5

0

0.5

1

e1

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