Brain-computer interface classifier for wheelchair commands using neural network with fuzzy particle swarm optimization

Rifai Chai, Sai Ho Ling, Gregory P. Hunter, Yvonne Tran, Hung T. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the classification of a three-class mental task-based brain-computer interface (BCI) that uses the Hilbert-Huang transform for the features extractor and fuzzy particle swarm optimization with cross-mutated-based artificial neural network (FPSOCM-ANN) for the classifier. The experiments were conducted on five able-bodied subjects and five patients with tetraplegia using electroencephalography signals from six channels, and different time-windows of data were examined to find the highest accuracy. For practical purposes, the best two channel combinations were chosen and presented. The three relevant mental tasks used for the BCI were letter composing, arithmetic, and Rubik's cube rolling forward, and these are associated with three wheelchair commands: left, right, and forward, respectively. An additional eyes closed task was collected for testing and used for on-off commands. The results show a dominant alpha wave during eyes closure with average classification accuracy above 90%. The accuracies for patients with tetraplegia were lower compared to the able-bodied subjects; however, this was improved by increasing the duration of the time-windows. The FPSOCM-ANN provides improved accuracies compared to genetic algorithm-based artificial neural network (GA-ANN) for three mental tasks-based BCI classifications with the best classification accuracy achieved for a 7-s time-window: 84.4% (FPSOCM-ANN) compared to 77.4% (GA-ANN). More comparisons on feature extractors and classifiers were included. For two-channel classification, the best two channels were O1 and C4, followed by second best at P3 and O2, and third best at C3 and O2. Mental arithmetic was the most correctly classified task, followed by mental Rubik's cube rolling forward and mental letter composing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6683068
Pages (from-to)1614-1624
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial neural network (ANN)
  • brain-computer interface (BCI)
  • electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT)
  • particle swarm optimization (PSO)


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