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Automated Classification and Removal of EEG Artifacts with SVM and Wavelet-ICA.


Brain electrical activity recordings by electroencephalography (EEG) are often contaminated with signal artifacts. Procedures for automated removal of EEG artifacts are frequently sought for clinical diagnostics and brain computer interface (BCI) applications. In recent years, a combination of independent component analysis (ICA) and discrete wavelet transform (DWT) has been introduced as standard technique for EEG artifact removal. However, in performing the wavelet-ICA procedure, visual inspection or arbitrary thresholding may be required for identifying artifactual components in the EEG signal. We now propose a novel approach for identifying artifactual components separated by wavelet-ICA using a pre-trained support vector machine (SVM). Our method presents a robust and extendable system that enables fully automated identification and removal of artifacts from EEG signals, without applying any arbitrary thresholding. Using test data contaminated by eye blink artifacts, we show that our method performed better in identifying artifactual components than did existing thresholding methods. Furthermore, wavelet-ICA in conjunction with SVM successfully removed target artifacts, while largely retaining the EEG source signals of interest. We propose a set of features including kurtosis, variance, Shannon's entropy and range of amplitude as training and test data of SVM to identify eye blink artifacts in EEG signals. This combinatorial method is also extendable to accommodate multiple types of artifacts present in multi-channel EEG. We envision future research to explore other descriptive features corresponding to other types of artifactual components.