Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Computer Science

First Advisor

Kayvan Najarian


Over the last 20 years, much work has focused on computer-aided clinical decision support systems due to a rapid increase in the need for management and processing of medical knowledge. Among all fields of medicine, trauma care has the highest need for proper information management due to the high prevalence of complex, life-threatening injuries. In particular, hemorrhage, which is encountered in most traumatic injuries, is a dominant factor in determining survival in both civilian and military settings. This complication can be better managed using a more in-depth analysis of patient information. Trauma physicians must make precise and rapid decisions, while considering a large number of patient variables and dealing with stressful environments. The ability of a computer-aided decision making system to rapidly analyze a patient’s condition can enable physicians to make more accurate decisions and thereby significantly improve the quality of care provided to patients. The first part of this study is focused on classification of highly complex databases using a hierarchical method which combines two complementary techniques: logistic regression and machine learning. This method, hereafter referred to as Classification Using Significant Features (CUSF), includes a statistical process to select the most significant variables from the correlated database. Then a machine learning algorithm is used to identify the data into classes using only the significant variables. As the main application addressed by CUSF, a set of computer-assisted rule-based trauma decision making system are designed. Computer aided decision-making system not only provides vital assistance for physicians in making fast and accurate decisions, proposed decisions are supported by transparent reasoning, but also can confirm a physicians’ current knowledge, enabling them to detect complex patterns and information which may reveal new knowledge not easily visible to the human eyes. The second part of this study proposes an algorithm based on a set of novel wavelet features to analyze physiological signals, such as Electrocardiograms (ECGs) that can provide invaluable information typically invisible to human eyes. These wavelet-based method, hereafter referred to as Signal Analysis Based on Wavelet-Extracted Features (SABWEF), extracts information that can be used to detect and analyze complex patterns that other methods such as Fourier cannot deal with. For instance, SABWEF can evaluate the severity of hemorrhagic shock (HS) from ECG, while the traditional technique of applying power spectrum density (PSD) and fractal dimension (FD) cannot distinguish between the ECG patterns of patients with HS (i.e. blood loss), and those of subjects undergoing physical activity. In this study, as the main application of SABWEF, ECG is analyzed to distinguish between HS and physical activity, and show that SABWEF can be used in both civilian and military settings to detect HS and its extent. This is the first reported use of an ECG analysis method to classify blood volume loss. SABWEF has the capability to rapidly determine the degree of volume loss from hemorrhage, providing the chance for more rapid remote triage and decision making.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2008