Comparison of modelled pursuits with ESPRIT and the matrix pencil method in the modelling of medical percussion signals

Kenneth Ian Brown*, Jez Wells

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this paper is to compare Modelled Pursuits (MoP), a recently developed iterative signal decomposition method, with more established matrix based subspace methods used to aid or automate medical percussion diagnoses.

Medical percussion is a technique used by clinicians to aid the diagnosis of pulmonary disease. It requires considerable expertise, so it is desirable to automate this process where possible. Previous work has examined the application of modal decomposition techniques, since medical percussion signals (MPS) can be intuitively characterised as combinations of exponentially decaying sinusoidal (EDS) vibrations. Best results have typically been reported with matrix based subspace methods such as Estimation of Signal Parameters via Rotational Invariance Techniques (ESPRIT) and the Matrix Pencil Method (MPM).

Since ESPRIT and MPM are computationally expensive, this paper investigates whether an iterative method such as MoP can produce similar results with less computation and/or memory overheads. Using randomly generated synthetic signals designed to replicate typical ‘tympanic’ and ‘resonant’ percussion signals, we compared each method: MoP, ESPRIT, and MPM, for accuracy, speed and memory usage.

We find that for low Signal to Noise Ratios (SNRs) MoP gives less accuracy than both ESPRIT and MPM, however for high SNRs (as would be typically encountered in a clinical setting) it is more accurate than MPM but less accurate than ESPRIT. We conclude that in embedded clinical applications where both operations-per-second and memory-usage are a factor, MoP is less computationally intensive than ESPRIT and thus is worth considering for use in those contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105777
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical signal processing and control
Issue number3
Early online date3 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors


  • Medical percussion, EDS, Modelled Pursuits, MoP, ESPRIT, MPM.

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