Smartwatch-Based Eating Detection: Data Selection for Machine Learning from Imbalanced Data with Imperfect Labels

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Mar 9;21(5):1902. doi: 10.3390/s21051902.


Understanding people's eating habits plays a crucial role in interventions promoting a healthy lifestyle. This requires objective measurement of the time at which a meal takes place, the duration of the meal, and what the individual eats. Smartwatches and similar wrist-worn devices are an emerging technology that offers the possibility of practical and real-time eating monitoring in an unobtrusive, accessible, and affordable way. To this end, we present a novel approach for the detection of eating segments with a wrist-worn device and fusion of deep and classical machine learning. It integrates a novel data selection method to create the training dataset, and a method that incorporates knowledge from raw and virtual sensor modalities for training with highly imbalanced datasets. The proposed method was evaluated using data from 12 subjects recorded in the wild, without any restriction about the type of meals that could be consumed, the cutlery used for the meal, or the location where the meal took place. The recordings consist of data from accelerometer and gyroscope sensors. The experiments show that our method for detection of eating segments achieves precision of 0.85, recall of 0.81, and F1-score of 0.82 in a person-independent manner. The results obtained in this study indicate that reliable eating detection using in the wild recorded data is possible with the use of wearable sensors on the wrist.

Keywords: activity recognition; automated dietary assessment; data selection; inertial sensors; information fusion; smartwatch.