Heartbeat classification using disease-specific feature selection

Zhancheng Zhang, Jun Dong, Xiaoqing Luo, Kup Sze Choi, Xiaojun Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Automatic heartbeat classification is an important technique to assist doctors to identify ectopic heartbeats in long-term Holter recording. In this paper, we introduce a novel disease-specific feature selection method which consists of a one-versus-one (OvO) features ranking stage and a feature search stage wrapped in the same OvO-rule support vector machine (SVM) binary classifier. The proposed method differs from traditional approaches in that it focuses on the selection of effective feature subsets for distinguishing a class from others by making OvO comparison. The electrocardiograms (ECG) from the MIT-BIH arrhythmia database (MIT-BIH-AR) are used to evaluate the proposed feature selection method. The ECG features adopted include inter-beat and intra-beat intervals, amplitude morphology, area morphology and morphological distance. Following the recommendation of the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), all the heartbeat samples of MIT-BIH-AR are grouped into four classes, namely, normal or bundle branch block (N), supraventricular ectopic (S), ventricular ectopic (V) and fusion of ventricular and normal (F). The division of training and testing data complies with the inter-patient schema. Experimental results show that the average classification accuracy of the proposed feature selection method is 86.66%, outperforming those methods without feature selection. The sensitivities for the classes N, S, V and F are 88.94%, 79.06%, 85.48% and 93.81% respectively, and the corresponding positive predictive values are 98.98%, 35.98%, 92.75% and 13.74% respectively. In terms of geometric means of sensitivity and positive predictivity, the proposed method also demonstrates better performance than other state-of-the-art feature selection methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • Disease specific
  • Feature selection
  • Heartbeat classification
  • Support vector machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics

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