Atrial fibrillation classification based on convolutional neural networks

Kwang Sig Lee, Sunghoon Jung, Yeongjoon Gil, Ho Sung Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The global age-adjusted mortality rate related to atrial fibrillation (AF) registered a rapid growth in the last four decades, i.e., from 0.8 to 1.6 and 0.9 to 1.7 per 100,000 for men and women during 1990-2010, respectively. In this context, this study uses convolutional neural networks for classifying (diagnosing) AF, employing electrocardiogram data in a general hospital. Methods: Data came from Anam Hospital in Seoul, Korea, with 20,000 unique patients (10,000 normal sinus rhythm and 10,000 AF). 30 convolutional neural networks were applied and compared for the diagnosis of the normal sinus rhythm vs. AF condition: 6 Alex networks with 5 convolutional layers, 3 fully connected layers and the number of kernels changing from 3 to 256; and 24 residual networks with the number of residuals blocks (or kernels) varying from 8 to 2 (or 64 to 2). Results: In terms of the accuracy, the best Alex network was one with 24 initial kernels (i.e., kernels in the first layer), 5,268,818 parameters and the training time of 89 s (0.997), while the best residual network was one with 6 residual blocks, 32 initial kernels, 248,418 parameters and the training time of 253 s (0.999). In general, the performance of the residual network improved as the number of its residual blocks (its depth) increased. Conclusion: For AF diagnosis, the residual network might be a good model with higher accuracy and fewer parameters than its Alex-network counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number206
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 29


  • Alex networks
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Convolutional neural networks
  • Residual networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics

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