Compression of EMG Signals Using Deep Convolutional Autoencoders

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Efficient storage and transmission of electromyogram (EMG) data are important for emerging applications such as telemedicine and big data, as a vital tool for further advancement of the field. However, due to limitations in internet speed and hardware resources, transmission and storage of EMG data are challenging. As a solution, this work proposes a new method for EMG data compression using deep convolutional autoencoders (CAE). Eight-channel EMG data from 10 subjects, and high-density EMG data from 18 subjects, were investigated for compression. The CAE architecture was designed to extract an abstract data representation that is heavily compressed, but from which the salient information for classification can be effectively reconstructed. The proposed method attained efficient compression; for CR = 1600, the average PRDN (percentage RMS difference normalized) was 31.5% and the wrist motions classification accuracy (CA) reduced roughly 5%. The CAE substantially outperformed the state-of-the-art high-efficiency video coding and a well-known wavelet-thresholding compression technique. Moreover, by reducing the bit-resolution of the CAE's compressed data from 24 bits to 6 bits, an additional 4-fold compression was achieved without significant degradation of the reconstruction performance. Furthermore, the CAE's inter-subject performance was promising; e.g., for CR = 1600, the PRDN for the inter-subject case was only 2.6% less than that of the within-subject performance. The powerful EMG compression performance with remarkable reconstruction results reflects the CAEs potential as an automatic end-to-end approach with the ability to learn the complete encoding and decoding process. Furthermore, the excellent inter-subject performance demonstrates the generalizability and usability of the proposed approach.