An Accurate ECG-Based Transportation Safety Drowsiness Detection Scheme

Kwok Tai Chui, Kim Fung Tsang, Hao Ran Chi, Bingo Wing Kuen Ling, Chung Kit Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Many traffic injuries and deaths are caused by the drowsiness of drivers during driving. Existing drowsiness detection schemes are not accurate due to various reasons. To resolve this problem, an accurate driver drowsiness classifier (DDC) has been developed using an electrocardiogram genetic algorithm-based support vector machine (ECG GA-SVM). In existing studies, a cross correlation kernel and a convolution kernel have both been applied for performing the classification. The DDC is designed by a Mercer kernel KDDC formed by commuting the cross correlation kernel Kxcorr,ij and the convolution kernel Kconv,ij. Kxcorr,ij, and captures the symmetric information among ECG signals from different classes, while Kconv,ij captures the antisymmetric information among ECG signals from the same class. The final KDDC (a precomputed kernel) is obtained by a genetic mutation using a multiobjective genetic algorithm. This renders an optimal KDDC that confidently serves as the full descriptor of the drowsiness. The performance of KDDC is compared with the most prevailing kernels. The obtained DDC yields an overall accuracy of 97.01%, sensitivity of 97.16%, and specificity of 96.86%. The analysis reveals that the accuracy of KDDC is better than those of both Kxcorr,ij and Kconv,ij by more than 11%, and typical kernels including linear, quadratic, third order polynomial, and Gaussian radial basis function by 17-63%, respectively. Comparing with related works using the image-based method and the biometric signal-based method, KDDC improves the accuracy by 48.4-87.2%. Testing results showed that KDDC has a less than 1% deviation from simulated results. Also, the average delay of DDC was bounded by 0.55 ms. This renders the real time implementation. Thus, the developed ECG GA-SVM provides an accurate and instantaneous warning to the drivers before they fall into sleep. As a result this ensures the public transport safety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7479464
Pages (from-to)1438-1452
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Drowsiness detection
  • electrocardiogram
  • genetic algorithm
  • optimization
  • precomputed kernel
  • support vector machine
  • transportation safety


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