A Multi-Variate Approach to Predicting Myoelectric Control Usability

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Pattern recognition techniques leveraging the use of electromyography signals have become a popular approach to provide intuitive control of myoelectric devices. Performance of these control interfaces is commonly quantified using offline classification accuracy, despite studies having shown that this metric is a poor indicator of usability. Researchers have identified alternative offline metrics that better correlate with online performance; however, the relationship has yet to be fully defined in the literature. This has necessitated the continued trial-and-error-style online testing of algorithms developed using offline approaches. To bridge this information divide, we conducted an exploratory study where thirty-two different metrics from the offline training data were extracted. A correlation analysis and an ordinary least squares regression were implemented to investigate the relationship between the offline metrics and six aspects online use. The results indicate that the current offline standard, classification accuracy, is a poor indicator of usability and that other metrics may hold predictive power. The metrics identified in this work also may constitute more representative evaluation criteria when designing and reporting new control schemes. Furthermore, linear combinations of offline training metrics generate substantially more accurate predictions than using individual metrics. We found that the offline metric feature efficiency generated the best predictions for the usability metric throughput. A combination of two offline metrics (mean semi-principal axes and mean absolute value) significantly outperformed feature efficiency alone, with a 166% increase in the predicted R 2 value (i.e., VEcv). These findings suggest that combinations of metrics could provide a more robust framework for predicting usability.