Performance optimization of ERP-based BCIs using dynamic stopping.

BBCI group of the Machine Learning Department, Berlin Institute of Technology, Berlin, Germany.
Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 08/2011; 2011:4580-3. DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6091134
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Brain-computer interfaces based on event-related potentials face a trade-off between the speed and accuracy of the system, as both depend on the number of iterations. Increasing the number of iterations leads to a higher accuracy but reduces the speed of the system. This trade-off is generally dealt with by finding a fixed number of iterations that give a good result on the calibration data. We show here that this method is sub optimal and increases the performance significantly in only one out of five datasets. Several alternative methods have been described in literature, and we test the generalization of four of them. One method, called rank diff, significantly increased the performance over all datasets. These findings are important, as they show that 1) one should be cautious when reporting the potential performance of a BCI based on post-hoc offline performance curves and 2) simple methods are available that do boost performance.

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    ABSTRACT: P300 spellers provide a means of communication for individuals with severe physical limitations, especially those with locked-in syndrome, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, P300 speller use is still limited by relatively low communication rates due to the multiple data measurements that are required to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of event-related potentials for increased accuracy. Therefore, the amount of data collection has competing effects on accuracy and spelling speed. Adaptively varying the amount of data collection prior to character selection has been shown to improve spelling accuracy and speed. The goal of this study was to optimize a previously developed dynamic stopping algorithm that uses a Bayesian approach to control data collection by incorporating a priori knowledge via a language model. Participants ($n = 17$) completed online spelling tasks using the dynamic stopping algorithm, with and without a language model. The addition of the language model resulted in improved participant performance from a mean theoretical bit rate of 46.12 bits/min at 88.89% accuracy to 54.42 bits/min ($p< 0.0065$) at 90.36% accuracy.
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