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Detecting depression using vocal, facial and semantic communication cues

Summary

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is known to result in neurophysiological and neurocognitive changes that affect control of motor, linguistic, and cognitive functions. MDD's impact on these processes is reflected in an individual's communication via coupled mechanisms: vocal articulation, facial gesturing and choice of content to convey in a dialogue. In particular, MDD-induced neurophysiological changes are associated with a decline in dynamics and coordination of speech and facial motor control, while neurocognitive changes influence dialogue semantics. In this paper, biomarkers are derived from all of these modalities, drawing first from previously developed neurophysiologically motivated speech and facial coordination and timing features. In addition, a novel indicator of lower vocal tract constriction in articulation is incorporated that relates to vocal projection. Semantic features are analyzed for subject/avatar dialogue content using a sparse coded lexical embedding space, and for contextual clues related to the subject's present or past depression status. The features and depression classification system were developed for the 6th International Audio/Video Emotion Challenge (AVEC), which provides data consisting of audio, video-based facial action units, and transcribed text of individuals communicating with the human-controlled avatar. A clinical Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) score and binary depression decision are provided for each participant. PHQ predictions were obtained by fusing outputs from a Gaussian staircase regressor for each feature set, with results on the development set of mean F1=0.81, RMSE=5.31, and MAE=3.34. These compare favorably to the challenge baseline development results of mean F1=0.73, RMSE=6.62, and MAE=5.52. On test set evaluation, our system obtained a mean F1=0.70, which is similar to the challenge baseline test result. Future work calls for consideration of joint feature analyses across modalities in an effort to detect neurological disorders based on the interplay of motor, linguistic, affective, and cognitive components of communication.
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Summary

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is known to result in neurophysiological and neurocognitive changes that affect control of motor, linguistic, and cognitive functions. MDD's impact on these processes is reflected in an individual's communication via coupled mechanisms: vocal articulation, facial gesturing and choice of content to convey in a dialogue. In...

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Sparse-coded net model and applications

Summary

As an unsupervised learning method, sparse coding can discover high-level representations for an input in a large variety of learning problems. Under semi-supervised settings, sparse coding is used to extract features for a supervised task such as classification. While sparse representations learned from unlabeled data independently of the supervised task perform well, we argue that sparse coding should also be built as a holistic learning unit optimizing on the supervised task objectives more explicitly. In this paper, we propose sparse-coded net, a feedforward model that integrates sparse coding and task-driven output layers, and describe training methods in detail. After pretraining a sparse-coded net via semi-supervised learning, we optimize its task-specific performance in a novel backpropagation algorithm that can traverse nonlinear feature pooling operators to update the dictionary. Thus, sparse-coded net can be applied to supervised dictionary learning. We evaluate sparse-coded net with classification problems in sound, image, and text data. The results confirm a significant improvement over semi-supervised learning as well as superior classification performance against deep stacked autoencoder neural network and GMM-SVM pipelines in small to medium-scale settings.
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Summary

As an unsupervised learning method, sparse coding can discover high-level representations for an input in a large variety of learning problems. Under semi-supervised settings, sparse coding is used to extract features for a supervised task such as classification. While sparse representations learned from unlabeled data independently of the supervised task...

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