Naive scoring of human sleep based on a hidden Markov model of the electroencephalogram

Farid Yaghouby, Pradeep Modur, Sridhar Sunderam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical sleep scoring involves tedious visual review of overnight polysomnograms by a human expert. Many attempts have been made to automate the process by training computer algorithms such as support vector machines and hidden Markov models (HMMs) to replicate human scoring. Such supervised classifiers are typically trained on scored data and then validated on scored out-of-sample data. Here we describe a methodology based on HMMs for scoring an overnight sleep recording without the benefit of a trained initial model. The number of states in the data is not known a priori and is optimized using a Bayes information criterion. When tested on a 22-subject database, this unsupervised classifier agreed well with human scores (mean of Cohen's kappa > 0.7). The HMM also outperformed other unsupervised classifiers (Gaussian mixture models, k-means, and linkage trees), that are capable of naive classification but do not model dynamics, by a significant margin (p < 0.05).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Naive scoring of human sleep based on a hidden Markov model of the electroencephalogram'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this