An evaluation of measures to dissociate language and communication disorders from healthy controls using machine learning techniques

Gaspers, J. and Thiele, K. and Cimiano, P. and Foltz, A. and Stenneken, P. and Tscherepanow, M. (2012) An evaluation of measures to dissociate language and communication disorders from healthy controls using machine learning techniques. Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium. pp. 209-218. DOI: 10.1145/2110363.2110389

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Reliably distinguishing patients with verbal impairment due to brain damage, e.g. aphasia, cognitive communication disorder (CCD), from healthy subjects is an important challenge in clinical practice. A widely-used method is the application of word generation tasks, using the number of correct responses as a performance measure. Though clinically well-established, its analytical and explanatory power is limited. In this paper, we explore whether additional features extracted from task performance can be used to distinguish healthy subjects from aphasics or CCD patients. We considered temporal, lexical, and sublexical features and used machine learning techniques to obtain a model that minimizes the empirical risk of classifying participants incorrectly. Depending on the type of word generation task considered, the exploitation of features with state-of-the-art machine learning techniques outperformed the predictive accuracy of the clinical standard method (number of correct responses). Our analyses confirmed that number of correct responses is an adequate measure for distinguishing aphasics from healthy subjects. However, our additional features outperformed the traditional clinical measure in distinguishing patients with CCD from healthy subjects: The best classifcation performance was achieved by excluding number of correct responses. Overall, our work contributes to the challenging goal of distinguishing patients with verbal impairments from healthy subjects.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Linguistics and English Language
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2015 02:12
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2015 03:47
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5543
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1145/2110363.2110389
Publisher: ACM
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