In recent years, a huge body of data generated by various applications in domains like social networks and healthcare have paved the way for the development of high performance models. Deep learning has transformed the field of data analysis by dramatically improving the state of the art in various classification and prediction tasks. Combined with advancements in electromyography it has given rise to new gesture recognition applications, such as human computer interfaces, sign language recognition, robotics control and rehabilitation games.
The purpose of this thesis is to develop novel methods for electromyography signal analysis based on deep learning for the problem of gesture recognition. Specifically, we focus on methods for data preparation and developing accurate models even when few data are available. Electromyography signals are in general one-dimensional time-series with a rich frequency content. Various feature sets have been proposed in literature however due to the stochastic nature of the signals the performance of the developed models depends on the combination of the features and the classifier. On the other hand, the end-to-end training scheme of deep learning models reduces the effort needed for finding the best features and classification model, yet a suitable preprocessing of the signals is still required. Another problem is that variations in gesture duration, sensor placement and muscle physiology require continuous adaptation of the trained models using new recorded data.
The implementation is based on surface electromyography sensors, which comprise the input to the end-to-end deep learning pipelines that process and classify the electromyography signals. Preprocessing and data preparation techniques for electromyograms are examined, while data augmentation and transfer learning approaches allow developing personalized models even when few data are available. Besides their successful application in other domains, the use of deep learning models allows the development of systems that can easily generalize to new users.
The use of electromyography sensors is important because the developed system can detect whether any unwanted compensatory movements are performed, which under typical vision-based interfaces is impossible.
The advancements proposed in this thesis have been evaluated with publicly available data repositories. However, considering that the models are trained in an end-to-end fashion they can be easily adapted to different setups.
Awarded for the paper with title “A Hilbert Curve Based Representation of sEMG Signals for Gesture Recognition” presented in IWSSIP 2019 Osijek, Croatia.