Evaluation of artificial intelligence techniques for the classification of different activities of daily living and falls

  • Ivanoe De Falco
  • Giuseppe De Pietro
  • Giovanna Sannino
Intelligent Biomedical Data Analysis and Processing


Automatic detection of falls is extremely important, especially in the remote monitoring of elderly people, and will become more and more critical in the future, given the constant increase in the number of older adults. Within this framework, this paper deals with the task of evaluating several artificial intelligence techniques to automatically distinguish between different activities of daily living (ADLs) and different types of falls. To do this, UniMiB SHAR, a publicly available data set containing instances of nine different ADLs and of eight kinds of falls, is considered. We take into account five different classes of classification algorithms, namely tree-based, discriminant-based, support vector machines, K-nearest neighbors, and ensemble mechanisms, and we consider several representatives for each of these classes. These are all the classes contained in the Classification Learner app contained in MATLAB, which serves as the computational basis for our experiments. As a result, we apply 22 different classification algorithms coming from artificial intelligence under a fivefold cross-validation learning strategy, with the aim to individuate which the most suitable is for this data set. The numerical results show that the algorithm with the highest classification accuracy is the ensemble based on subspace as the ensemble method and on KNN as learner type. This shows an accuracy equal to 86.0%. Its results are better than those in the other papers in the literature that face this specific 17-class problem.


Artificial intelligence Classification Fall detection Activities of daily living 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the writing of this paper does not cause any competing interests to them.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICARNational Research Council of ItalyNaplesItaly

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