Robust Detection of Atrial Fibrillation Using Classification of a Linearly-Transformed Window of R-R Intervals Tachogram

Islam M. S., Ben Ismail M. M., Bchir O., Zakariah M., Alotaibi Y. A.

IEEE Access, vol.7, pp.110012-110022, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/access.2019.2933507
  • Journal Name: IEEE Access
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.110012-110022
  • Keywords: Biomedical signal processing, cardiology, machine learning, medical diagnosis, public healthcare
  • TED University Affiliated: No


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. It increases the risk of stroke, dementia, and death; therefore, its timely diagnosis at an initial stage is crucial. Often wearable mobile devices are recommended for the primary detection of this life-Threatening arrhythmia. Irregularity of the heartbeat duration, often measured through R-R intervals (RRI), has been intensively investigated during the past four decades for automatic detection of AF. However, little improvement has been made when the input signal (RRI tachogram) contains different types of arrhythmic rhythms. In this paper, we propose a neighborhood component analysis (NCA) based linear transformation of a window of RRI tachogram to improve the robustness of AF detection. Several state-of-The-Art classification models are trained and tested using transformed signals, and AF detection performance are evaluated using the challenging MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database containing various types of arrhythmic rhythms. The experimental results show significant improvement in AF detection performance using the transformed signals compared to those for signals in the original space and after linear-discriminant-Analysis-based transformation. In particular, for the Naive Bayesian classification of the transformed signals, we obtained 98.59% sensitivity, 99.91% specificity, 99.16% positive predictive value, and 99.79% accuracy. The proposed AF detection method outperforms the existing methods reported in the past four decades. Owing to the use of a short window of RRI tachogram (15 consecutive RRIs), the proposed method can be incorporated into a deployable mobile screening device for robust detection of AF.