Surface EMG decomposition based on K-means clustering and convolution kernel compensation

Yong Ning, Xiangjun Zhu, Shanan Zhu, Yingchun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


A new approach has been developed by combining the K-mean clustering (KMC) method and a modified convolution kernel compensation (CKC) method for multichannel surface electromyogram (EMG) decomposition. The KMC method was first utilized to cluster vectors of observations at different time instants and then estimate the initial innervation pulse train (IPT). The CKC method, modified with a novel multistep iterative process, was conducted to update the estimated IPT. The performance of the proposed K-means clustering-Modified CKC (KmCKC) approach was evaluated by reconstructing IPTs from both simulated and experimental surface EMG signals. The KmCKC approach successfully reconstructed all 10 IPTs from the simulated surface EMG signals with true positive rates (TPR) of over 90% with a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of-10 dB. More than 10 motor units were also successfully extracted from the 64-channel experimental surface EMG signals of the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscles when a contraction force was held at 8 N by using the KmCKC approach. A 'two-source' test was further conducted with 64-channel surface EMG signals. The high percentage of common MUs and common pulses (over 92% at all force levels) between the IPTs reconstructed from the two independent groups of surface EMG signals demonstrates the reliability and capability of the proposed KmCKC approach in multichannel surface EMG decomposition. Results from both simulated and experimental data are consistent and confirm that the proposed KmCKC approach can successfully reconstruct IPTs with high accuracy at different levels of contraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6824163
Pages (from-to)471-477
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • convolution kernel compensation (CKC)
  • innervation pulse train (IPT)
  • surface EMG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Health Information Management


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