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In Journal of neural engineering ; h5-index 52.0

Objective Accurate decoding of surface electromyography (sEMG) is pivotal for muscle-to-machine-interfaces (MMI) and their application e.g. rehabilitation therapy. sEMG signals have high inter-subject variability, due to various factors, including skin thickness, body fat percentage, and electrode placement. Deep learning algorithms require long training time and tend to overfit if only few samples are available. In this study, we aim to investigate methods to calibrate deep learning models to a new user when only a limited amount of training data is available. Approach Two methods are commonly used in the literature, subject-specific modeling and transfer learning. In this study, we investigate the effectiveness of transfer learning using weight initialization for recalibration of two different pretrained deep learning models on new subjects data and compare their performance to subject- specific models. We evaluate two models on three publicly available databases (NinaPro Database 2,3 and 4) and compare the performance of both calibration schemes in terms of accuracy, required training data, and calibration time. Main results On average over all settings, our transfer learning approach improves 5 %-points on the pretrained models without fine-tuning, and 12 %-points on the subject-specific models, while being trained for 22% fewer epochs on average. Our results indicate that transfer learning enables faster learning on fewer training samples than user-specific models. Significance To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comparison of subject- specific modeling and transfer learning. These approaches are ubiquitously used in the field of sEMG decoding. But the lack of comparative studies until now made it difficult for scientists to assess appropriate calibration schemes. Our results guide engineers evaluating similar use cases.

Lehmler Stephan Johann, Saif-Ur-Rehman Muhammad, Glasmachers Tobias, Iossifidis Ioannis


Deep Transfer Learning, Subject-specific Modeling, sEMG classification