Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 50, Issue 11, pp 1137–1145 | Cite as

Compressive sensing scalp EEG signals: implementations and practical performance

  • Amir M. Abdulghani
  • Alexander J. Casson
  • Esther Rodriguez-Villegas
Special Issue - Original Article


Highly miniaturised, wearable computing and communication systems allow unobtrusive, convenient and long term monitoring of a range of physiological parameters. For long term operation from the physically smallest batteries, the average power consumption of a wearable device must be very low. It is well known that the overall power consumption of these devices can be reduced by the inclusion of low power consumption, real-time compression of the raw physiological data in the wearable device itself. Compressive sensing is a new paradigm for providing data compression: it has shown significant promise in fields such as MRI; and is potentially suitable for use in wearable computing systems as the compression process required in the wearable device has a low computational complexity. However, the practical performance very much depends on the characteristics of the signal being sensed. As such the utility of the technique cannot be extrapolated from one application to another. Long term electroencephalography (EEG) is a fundamental tool for the investigation of neurological disorders and is increasingly used in many non-medical applications, such as brain–computer interfaces. This article investigates in detail the practical performance of different implementations of the compressive sensing theory when applied to scalp EEG signals.


Compressive sensing Electroencephalography (EEG) Sampling theory Wearable computing systems e-Health 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amir M. Abdulghani
    • 1
  • Alexander J. Casson
    • 1
  • Esther Rodriguez-Villegas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK

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