Improved GMM with parameter initialization for unsupervised adaptation of Brain-Computer interface

Guangquan Liu, Gan Huang, Jianjun Meng, Dingguo Zhang, Xiangyang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


An important property of brain signals is their nonstationarity. How to adapt a brain-computer interface (BCI) to the changing brain states is one of the challenges faced by BCI researchers, especially in real application where the subject's real intent is unknown to the system. Gaussian mixture model (GMM) has been used for the unsupervised adaptation of the classifier in BCI. In this paper, a method of initializing the model parameters is proposed for expectation maximization-based GMM parameter estimation. This improved GMM method and other two existing unsupervised adaptation methods are applied to groups of constructed artificial data with different data properties. Performances of these methods in different situations are analyzed. Compared with the other two unsupervised adaptation methods, this method shows a better ability of adapting to changes and discovering class information from unlabelled data. The methods are also applied to real EEG data recorded in 19 experiments. For real data, the proposed method achieves an error rate significantly lower than the other two unsupervised methods. Results of the real data agree with the analysis based on the artificial data, which confirms not only the effectiveness of our method but also the validity of the constructed data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-691
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Brain-computer interface (BCI)
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Expectation maximization (EM)
  • Gaussian mixture model (GMM)
  • Unsupervised adaptation


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