Evolving classifiers to recognize the movement characteristics of Parkinson’s Disease patients

Michael Adam Lones, Stephen Leslie Smith, Jane Elizabeth Alty, Stuart Lacy, Katherine Possin, Stuart Jamieson, Andy Tyrrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating neurological condition that affects approximately 1 in 500 people and often leads to severe disability. To improve clinical care, better assessment tools are needed that increase the accuracy of differential diagnosis and disease monitoring. In this paper, we report how we have used evolutionary algorithms to induce classifiers capable of recognising the movement characteristics of Parkinson’s disease patients. These diagnostically-relevant patterns of movement are known to occur over multiple time scales. To capture this, we used two different classifier architectures: sliding-window genetic programming classifiers, which model over-represented local patterns that occur within time series data, and artificial biochemical networks, computational dynamical systems that respond to dynamical patterns occurring over longer time scales. Classifiers were trained and validated using movement recordings of 49 patients and 41 age-matched controls collected during a recent clinical study. By combining classifiers with diverse behaviours, we were able to construct classifier ensembles with diagnostic accuracies in the region of 95%, comparable to the accuracies achieved by expert clinicians. Further analysis indicated a number of features of diagnostic relevance, including the differential effect of handedness and the over-representation of certain patterns of acceleration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-576
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation
Issue number4
Early online date16 Sept 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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