PASCAL - Pattern Analysis, Statistical Modelling and Computational Learning

Optimizing Spatial Filters for BCI: Margin- and Evidence-Maximization Approaches
Jason Farquhar, Jeremy Hill and Bernhard Schölkopf
In: Challenging Brain-Computer Interfaces: MAIA Project Workshop 2006, 9-10 Nov 2006, Rome, Italy.


We present easy-to-use alternatives to the often-used two-stage Common Spatial Pattern + classifier approach for spatial filtering and classification of Event-Related Desychnronization signals in BCI. We report two algorithms that aim to optimize the spatial filters according to a criterion more directly related to the ability of the algorithms to generalize to unseen data. Both are based upon the idea of treating the spatial filter coefficients as hyperparameters of a kernel or covariance function. We then optimize these hyper-parameters directly along side the normal classifier parameters with respect to our chosen learning objective function. The two objectives considered are margin maximization as used in Support-Vector Machines and the evidence maximization framework used in Gaussian Processes. Our experiments assessed generalization error as a function of the number of training points used, on 9 BCI competition data sets and 5 offline motor imagery data sets measured in Tubingen. Both our approaches show consistent improvements relative to the commonly used CSP+linear classifier combination. Strikingly, the improvement is most significant in the higher noise cases, when either few trails are used for training, or with the most poorly performing subjects. This a reversal of the usual "rich get richer" effect in the development of CSP extensions, which tend to perform best when the signal is strong enough to accurately find their additional parameters. This makes our approach particularly suitable for clinical application where high levels of noise are to be expected.

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EPrint Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Project Keyword:Project Keyword UNSPECIFIED
Subjects:Brain Computer Interfaces
ID Code:2673
Deposited By:Jeremy Hill
Deposited On:22 November 2006