Term of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Rami Haddad

Committee Member 1

Rocio Alba-Flores

Committee Member 2

Mohammad Ahad


Electroencephalogram (EEG) has been used in a wide array of applications to study mental disorders. Due to its non-invasive and low-cost features, EEG has become a viable instrument in Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI). These BCI systems integrate user's neural features with robotic machines to perform tasks. However, due to EEG signals being highly dynamic in nature, BCI systems are still unstable and prone to unanticipated noise interference. An important application of this technology is to help facilitate the lives of the tetraplegic through assimilating human brain impulses and converting them into mechanical motion. However, BCI systems are remarkably challenging to implement as recorded brain signals can be unreliable and vary in pattern throughout time. In the initial work, a novel classifier structure is proposed to classify different types of imaginary motions (left hand, right hand, and imagination of words starting with the same letter) across multiple sessions using an optimized set of electrodes for each user. The proposed technique uses raw brain signals obtained utilizing 32 electrodes and classifies the imaginary motions using Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). To enhance the classification rate and optimize the set of electrodes of each subject, a majority voting system combining a set of simple ANNs is used. This electrode optimization technique achieved classification accuracies of 69.83%, 94.04% and 84.56% respectively for the three subjects considered in this work. In the second work, the signal variations are studied in detail for a large EEG dataset. Using the Independent Component Analysis (ICA) with a dynamic threshold model, noise features were filtered. The data was classified to a high precision of more than 94% using artificial neural networks. A decreased variance in classification validated both, the effectiveness of the proposed dynamic threshold systems and the presence of higher concentrations of noise in data for specific subjects. Using this variance and classification accuracy, subjects were separated into two groups. The lower accuracy group was found to have an increased variance in classification. To confirm these results, a Kaiser windowing technique was used to compute the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for all subjects and a low SNR was obtained for all EEG signals pertaining to the group with the poor data classification. This work not only establishes a direct relationship between high signal variance, low SNR, and poor signal classification but also presents classification results that are significantly higher than the accuracies reported by prior studies for the same EEG user dataset.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


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