Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group

Engineering Human-Computer Interaction
Research Group

Probability Density Functions of Stationary Surface EMG Signals in Noisy Environments

In IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement 65(7). pages 1547 - 1557. 2016.

Sirinee Thongpanja, Angkoon Phinyomark, Franck Quaine, Yann Laurillau, Chusak Limsakul, Pornchai Phukpattaranont

IEEE (Eds.)


The probability density function (pdf) of an electromyography (EMG) signal provides useful information for choosing an appropriate feature extraction technique. The pdf is influenced by many factors, including the level of contraction force, muscle type, and noise. In this paper, we investigated the pdfs of noisy EMG signals artificially contaminated with five different noise types: 1) Electrocardiography (ECG) interference; 2) many spurious background spikes; 3) white Gaussian noise; 4) motion artifact; and 5) power line interference at various levels of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In addition, we evaluated a set of statistical descriptors for identifying a noisy EMG signal from its pdf, specifically kurtosis, negentropy, L-kurtosis, and robust measures of kurtosis (KR1 and KR2). The results show that at low SNR (<;5 dB), all noise types affect the statistical descriptors for the pdf of a noisy EMG signal. In addition, KR2 performs the best among these descriptors in identifying a noisy EMG signal from its pdf, because it is computed based on the quantiles of the data. As a result, it can avoid the effects of outliers resulting in the correct identification of pdf shape of noisy EMGs with all contamination types and all levels of SNR.