Subject identification via ECG fiducial-based systems: influence of the type of QT interval correction

Francesco Gargiulo, Antonio Fratini, Mario Sansone, Carlo Sansone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrocardiography (ECG) has been recently proposed as biometric trait for identification purposes. Intra-individual variations of ECG might affect identification performance. These variations are mainly due to Heart Rate Variability (HRV). In particular, HRV causes changes in the QT intervals along the ECG waveforms. This work is aimed at analysing the influence of seven QT interval correction methods (based on population models) on the performance of ECG-fiducial-based identification systems. In addition, we have also considered the influence of training set size, classifier, classifier ensemble as well as the number of consecutive heartbeats in a majority voting scheme. The ECG signals used in this study were collected from thirty-nine subjects within the Physionet open access database. Public domain software was used for fiducial points detection. Results suggested that QT correction is indeed required to improve the performance. However, there is no clear choice among the seven explored approaches for QT correction (identification rate between 0.97 and 0.99). MultiLayer Perceptron and Support Vector Machine seemed to have better generalization capabilities, in terms of classification performance, with respect to Decision Tree-based classifiers. No such strong influence of the training-set size and the number of consecutive heartbeats has been observed on the majority voting scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Bibliographical note



  • biometrics identification systems
  • classification
  • electrocardiogram
  • QT interval correction


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