The effects of lossy compression on diagnostically relevant seizure information in EEG signals

IEEE J Biomed Health Inform. 2013 Jan;17(1):121-7. doi: 10.1109/TITB.2012.2222426. Epub 2012 Oct 3.


This paper examines the effects of compression on EEG signals, in the context of automated detection of epileptic seizures. Specifically, it examines the use of lossy compression on EEG signals in order to reduce the amount of data which has to be transmitted or stored, while having as little impact as possible on the information in the signal relevant to diagnosing epileptic seizures. Two popular compression methods, JPEG2000 and SPIHT, were used. A range of compression levels was selected for both algorithms in order to compress the signals with varying degrees of loss. This compression was applied to the database of epileptiform data provided by the University of Freiburg, Germany. The real-time EEG analysis for event detection automated seizure detection system was used in place of a trained clinician for scoring the reconstructed data. Results demonstrate that compression by a factor of up to 120:1 can be achieved, with minimal loss in seizure detection performance as measured by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the seizure detection system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Data Compression / methods*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Young Adult