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Acta Biotheor. 2013 Sep;61(3):437-47. doi: 10.1007/s10441-013-9192-6. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Sequentiality of daily life physiology: an automatized segmentation approach.

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UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS/TIMC-IMAG UMR 5525 (Equipe PRETA), 38041, Grenoble, France,


Based on the hypotheses that (1) a physiological organization exists inside each activity of daily life and (2) the pattern of evolution of physiological variables is characteristic of each activity, pattern changes should be detected on daily life physiological recordings. The present study aims at investigating whether a simple segmentation method can be set up to detect pattern changes on physiological recordings carried out during daily life. Heart and breathing rates and skin temperature have been non-invasively recorded in volunteers following scenarios made of "daily life" steps (13 records). An observer, undergoing the scenario, wrote down annotations during the recording time. Two segmentation procedures have been compared to the annotations, a visual inspection of the signals and an automatic program based on a trends detection algorithm applied to one physiological signal (skin temperature). The annotations resulted in a total number of 213 segments defined on the 13 records, the best visual inspection detected less segments (120) than the automatic program (194). If evaluated in terms of the number of correspondences between the times marks given by annotations and those resulting from both physiologically based segmentations, the automatic program was better than the visual inspection. The mean time lags between annotation and program time marks remain <60 s (the precision of annotation times marks). We conclude that physiological variables time series recorded in common life conditions exhibit different successive patterns that can be detected by a simple trends detection algorithm. Theses sequences are coherent with the corresponding annotated activity.

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