Deep neural network for semi-automatic classification of term and preterm uterine recordings

Artif Intell Med. 2020 May;105:101861. doi: 10.1016/j.artmed.2020.101861. Epub 2020 Apr 19.


Pregnancy is a complex process, and the prediction of premature birth is uncertain. Many researchers are exploring non-invasive approaches to enhance its predictability. Currently, the ElectroHysteroGram (EHG) and Tocography (TOCO) signal are a real-time and non-invasive technology which can be employed to predict preterm birth. For this purpose, sparse autoencoder (SAE) based deep neural network (SAE-based DNN) is developed. The deep neural network has three layers including a stacked sparse autoencoder (SSAE) network with two hidden layers and one final softmax layer. To this end, the bursts of all 26 recordings of the publicly available TPEHGT DS database corresponding to uterine contraction intervals and non-contraction intervals (dummy intervals) were manually segmented. 20 features were extracted by two feature extraction algorithms including sample entropy and wavelet entropy. Afterwards, the SSAE network is adopted to learn high-level features from raw features by unsupervised learning. The softmax layer is added at the top of the SSAE network for classification. In order to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method, this study used 10-fold cross-validation and four indicators to evaluate classification performance. Experimental research results display that the performance of deep neural network can achieve Sensitivity of 98.2%, Specificity of 97.74%, and Accuracy of 97.9% in the publicly TPEHGT DS database. The performance of deep neural network outperforms the comparison models including deep belief networks (DBN) and hierarchical extreme learning machine (H-ELM). Finally, experimental research results reveal that the proposed method could be valid applied to semi-automatic identification of term and preterm uterine recordings.

Keywords: EHG and TOCO signals; sample entropy; softmax; stacked sparse autoencoder; wavelet entropy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't