Phonocardiographic signal analysis method using a modified hidden Markov model

Ping Wang, Chu Sing Lim, Sunita Chauhan, Jong Yong A. Foo, Venkataraman Anantharaman

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Auscultation is an important diagnostic indicator for cardiovascular analysis. Heart sound classification and analysis play an important role in the auscultative diagnosis. This study uses a combination of Mel-frequency cepstral coefficient (MFCC) and hidden Markov model (HMM) to efficiently extract the features for pre-processed heart sound cycles for the purpose of classification. A system was developed for the interpretation of heart sounds acquired by phonocardiography using pattern recognition. The task of feature extraction was performed using three methods: time-domain feature, short-time Fourier transforms (STFT) and MFCC. The performances of these feature extraction methods were then compared. The results demonstrated that the proposed method using MFCC yielded improved interpretative information. Following the feature extraction, an automatic classification process was performed using HMM. Satisfactory classification results (sensitivity ≥0.952; specificity ≥0.953) were achieved for normal subjects and those with various murmur characteristics. These results were based on 1398 datasets obtained from 41 recruited subjects and downloaded from a public domain. Constituents characteristics of heart sounds were also evaluated using the proposed system. The findings herein suggest that the described system may have the potential to be used to assist doctors for a more objective diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Auscultation
  • Feature extraction
  • Heart sound
  • Hidden Markov model
  • Mel-frequency cepstral coefficient
  • Phonocardiography

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