Tracheal activity recognition based on acoustic signals

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014;2014:1436-9. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2014.6943870.


Tracheal activity recognition can play an important role in continuous health monitoring for wearable systems and facilitate the advancement of personalized healthcare. Neck-worn systems provide access to a unique set of health-related data that other wearable devices simply cannot obtain. Activities including breathing, chewing, clearing the throat, coughing, swallowing, speech and even heartbeat can be recorded from around the neck. In this paper, we explore tracheal activity recognition using a combination of promising acoustic features from related work and apply simplistic classifiers including K-NN and Naive Bayes. For wearable systems in which low power consumption is of primary concern, we show that with a sub-optimal sampling rate of 16 kHz, we have achieved average classification results in the range of 86.6% to 87.4% using 1-NN, 3-NN, 5-NN and Naive Bayes. All classifiers obtained the highest recognition rate in the range of 97.2% to 99.4% for speech classification. This is promising to mitigate privacy concerns associated with wearable systems interfering with the user's conversations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics*
  • Adult
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Trachea / physiology*
  • Young Adult