Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 2716–2732 | Cite as

Feature Extraction From Parametric Time–Frequency Representations for Heart Murmur Detection

  • L. D. Avendaño-ValenciaEmail author
  • J. I. Godino-Llorente
  • M. Blanco-Velasco
  • G. Castellanos-Dominguez


The detection of murmurs from phonocardiographic recordings is an interesting problem that has been addressed before using a wide variety of techniques. In this context, this article explores the capabilities of an enhanced time–frequency representation (TFR) based on a time-varying autoregressive model. The parametric technique is used to compute the TFR of the signal, which serves as a complete characterization of the process. Parametric TFRs contain a large quantity of data, including redundant and irrelevant information. In order to extract the most relevant features from TFRs, two specific approaches for dimensionality reduction are presented: feature extraction by linear decomposition, and tiling partition of the tf plane. In the first approach, the feature extraction was carried out by means of eigenplane-based PCA and PLS techniques. Likewise, a regular partition and a refined Quadtree partition of the tf plane were tested for the tiled-TFR approach. As a result, the feature extraction methodology presented, which searches for the most relevant information immersed on the TFR, has demonstrated to be very effective. The features extracted were used to feed a simple k-nn classifier. The experiments were carried out using 45 phonocardiographic recordings (26 normal and 19 records with murmurs), segmented to extract 548 representative individual beats. The results using these methods point out that better accuracy and flexibility can be accomplished to represent non-stationary PCG signals, showing evidences of improvement with respect to other approaches found in the literature. The best accuracy obtained was 99.06 ± 0.06%, evidencing high performance and stability. Because of its effectiveness and simplicity of implementation, the proposed methodology can be used as a simple diagnostic tool for primary health-care purposes.


Heart sounds Feature extraction Time–frequency representation Time-varying autoregressive model Murmur detection 



Two-dimensional PCA




Bayesian information criterion


Continuous wavelet transform




Heart sound


k-nearest neighbors


Least-squares TVAR


Principal component analysis




Partial least squares


Signal-to-noise ratio




Time–frequency representation


Time-varying autoregressive


Wigner–Ville distribution



The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Ana Maria Matijasevic and Dr. Guillermo Agudelo who are working with Universidad de Caldas for organizing the acquisition of the PCG data. This research was carried out under grants: “Centro de Investigación e Innovación de Excelencia ARTICA,” funded by COLCIENCIAS; and TEC2006-12887-C02 from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Spain.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. D. Avendaño-Valencia
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. I. Godino-Llorente
    • 2
  • M. Blanco-Velasco
    • 3
    • 4
  • G. Castellanos-Dominguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Electrónica y ComputaciónUniversidad Nacional de ColombiaCaldas, ManizalesColombia
  2. 2.Departamento de Ingeniería de Circuitos y SistemasUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Universidad de AlcalaAlcala de Henares, MadridSpain
  4. 4.Departamento Teoría de la Señal y ComunicacionesAlcalá de Henares, MadridSpain

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