Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble Équipe Ingénierie de l'Interaction Humain-Machine

Équipe Ingénierie de l'Interaction

EMG Amplitude Estimators Based on Probability Distribution for Muscle-Computer Interface

In Fluctuation and Noise Letters 12(3). pages 1350016-1-1350016-18. 2013.

Angkoon Phinyomark, Franck Quaine, Yann Laurillau, Sirinee Thongpanja, Chusak Limsakul, Pornchai Phukpattaranont


To develop an advanced muscle–computer interface (MCI) based on surface electromyo- graphy (EMG) signal, the amplitude estimations of muscle activities, i.e., root mean square (RMS) and mean absolute value (MAV) are widely used as a convenient and accurate input for a recognition system. Their classification performance is comparable to advanced and high computational time-scale methods, i.e., the wavelet transform. However, the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) performance of RMS and MAV depends on a probability density function (PDF) of EMG signals, i.e., Gaussian or Laplacian. The PDF of upper-limb motions associated with EMG signals is still not clear, especially for dynamic muscle contraction. In this paper, the EMG PDF is investigated based on surface EMG recorded during finger, hand, wrist and forearm motions. The results show that on average the experimental EMG PDF is closer to a Laplacian density, partic- ularly for male subject and flexor muscle. For the amplitude estimation, MAV has a higher SNR, defined as the mean feature divided by its fluctuation, than RMS. Due to a same discrimination of RMS and MAV in feature space, MAV is recommended to be used as a suitable EMG amplitude estimator for EMG-based MCIs.