An EEG-Based Attentiveness Recognition System Using Hilbert–Huang Transform and Support Vector Machine

Chia Ju Peng, Yi Chun Chen, Chun Chuan Chen, Shih Jui Chen, Barthélemy Cagneau, Luc Chassagne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: Attentiveness recognition benefits the detection of the mental state and concentration when humans perform specific tasks. Hilbert–Huang transform (HHT) is useful for the analysis of nonlinear or nonstationary bio-signals including brainwaves. In this work, a method is proposed for the characterization of attentiveness levels by using electroencephalogram (EEG) signals and HHT analysis. Methods: Single-channel EEG signals from the frontal area were acquired from participants at different levels of attentiveness and were decomposed into a set of intrinsic mode functions (IMF) by empirical mode decomposition (EMD). Hilbert transform analysis was applied to each IMF to obtain the marginal frequency spectrum. Then the band powers and spectral entropies (SEs) were selected as the attributes of a support vector machine (SVM) for a two-class classification task. Results: Compared with the predictive models of approximate entropy (ApEn) and fast Fourier transform (FFT), the results show that the band powers extracted from IMF2 to IMF5 of α and β waves and their SE can best discriminate between attentive and relaxed states with the average classification accuracy of 84.80%. Conclusion: In conclusion, this integrated signal processing method is capable of attentiveness recognition that can offer efficient differentiation and may be used in a clinical setting for the detection of attention deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-238
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Attentiveness
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Hilbert-Huang transform
  • Machine learning


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