Ablation analysis to select wearable sensors for classifying standing, walking, and running
December 30, 2020
Sensors, Vol. 21, No. 1, 30 December 2020, 194.
The field of human activity recognition (HAR) often utilizes wearable sensors and machine learning techniques in order to identify the actions of the subject. This paper considers the activity recognition of walking and running while using a support vector machine (SVM) that was trained on principal components derived from wearable sensor data. An ablation analysis is performed in order to select the subset of sensors that yield the highest classification accuracy. The paper also compares principal components across trials to inform the similarity of the trials. Five subjects were instructed to perform standing, walking, running, and sprinting on a self-paced treadmill, and the data were recorded while using surface electromyography sensors (sEMGs), inertial measurement units (IMUs), and force plates. When all of the sensors were included, the SVM had over 90% classification accuracy using only the first three principal components of the data with the classes of stand, walk, and run/sprint (combined run and sprint class). It was found that sensors that were placed only on the lower leg produce higher accuracies than sensors placed on the upper leg. There was a small decrease in accuracy when the force plates are ablated, but the difference may not be operationally relevant. Using only accelerometers without sEMGs was shown to decrease the accuracy of the SVM.