A Deep Transfer Learning Approach to Reducing the Effect of Electrode Shift in EMG Pattern Recognition-Based Control


An important barrier to commercialization of pattern recognition myoelectric control of prostheses is the lack of robustness to confounding factors such as electrode shift, skin impedance variations, and learning effects. To overcome this challenge, a novel supervised adaptation approach based on transfer learning (TL) with convolutional neural networks (CNNs) is proposed which requires only a short training session (a few seconds for each class) to recalibrate the system. TL is proposed as a solution to the problem of insufficient calibration data due to short training times for both classification and regression-based control schemes. This approach was validated for electrode shift of roughly 2.5cm with 13 able-bodied subjects to estimate individual and combined wrist motions. With this method, the original CNN (trained before the shift) was fine-tuned with the calibration data from after shifting. The results show that the proposed technique outperforms training a CNN from scratch (random initialization of weights) or a support vector machine (SVM) using the minimal calibration data. Moreover, it demonstrates superior performance than previous LDA and QDA-based adaptation approaches. As the outcomes confirm, the proposed CNN TL method provides a practical solution for adaptation to external factors, improving the robustness of electromyogram (EMG) pattern recognition systems.