Neuropsychologia 2019 Jun 14;129:200-211. Epub 2019 Apr 14.
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Northeastern University, 110819 Shenyang, Liaoning, China.
In recent years, a large proportion of traffic accidents are caused by driver fatigue. The brain has been conceived as a complex network, whose function can be assessed with EEG. Hence, in this research, fourteen subjects participated in the real driving experiments, and a comprehensive EEG-based expert system was designed for detecting driver fatigue. Collected EEG signals were first decomposed into delta-range, theta-range, alpha-range and beta-range by wavelet packet transform (WPT). Unlike other approaches, a multi-channel network construction method based on Phase Lag Index (PLI) was then proposed in this paper. Finally, the functional connectivity between alert state (at the beginning of the drive) and fatigue state (at the end of the drive) in multiple frequency bands were analyzed. The results indicate that functional connectivity of the brain area was significantly different between alert and fatigue states, especially in alpha-range and beta-range. Particularly, the frontal-to-parietal functional connectivity was weakened. Meanwhile, lower clustering coefficient (C) values and higher characteristic path length (L) values were observed in fatigue state in comparison with alert state. Based on this, two new EEG feature selection approaches, C and L in the corresponding sub-frequency range were applied to feature recognition and classification system. Using a support vector machine (SVM) machine learning algorithm, these features were combined to distinguish between alert and fatigue states, achieving an accuracy of 94.4%, precision of 94.3%, sensitivity of 94.6% and false alarm rate of 5.7%. The results suggest that brain network analysis approaches combined with SVM are helpful to alert drivers while being sleepy or even fatigue.