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PATTERN: Pain Assessment for paTients who can’t TEll using Restricted Boltzmann machiNe



Accurately assessing pain for those who cannot make self-report of pain, such as minimally responsive or severely brain-injured patients, is challenging. In this paper, we attempted to address this challenge by answering the following questions: (1) if the pain has dependency structures in electronic signals and if so, (2) how to apply this pattern in predicting the state of pain. To this end, we have been investigating and comparing the performance of several machine learning techniques.


We first adopted different strategies, in which the collected original n-dimensional numerical data were converted into binary data. Pain states are represented in binary format and bound with above binary features to construct (n + 1) -dimensional data. We then modeled the joint distribution over all variables in this data using the Restricted Boltzmann Machine (RBM).


Seventy-eight pain data items were collected. Four individuals with the number of recorded labels larger than 1000 were used in the experiment. Number of avaliable data items for the four patients varied from 22 to 28. Discriminant RBM achieved better accuracy in all four experiments.


The experimental results show that RBM models the distribution of our binary pain data well. We showed that discriminant RBM can be used in a classification task, and the initial result is advantageous over other classifiers such as support vector machine (SVM) using PCA representation and the LDA discriminant method.

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