Are nonlinear model-free conditional entropy approaches for the assessment of cardiac control complexity superior to the linear model-based one?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We test the hypothesis that the linear model-based (MB) approach for the estimation of conditional entropy (CE) can be utilized to assess the complexity of the cardiac control in healthy individuals. Methods: An MB estimate of CE was tested in an experimental protocol (i.e., the graded head-up tilt) known to produce a gradual decrease of cardiac control complexity as a result of the progressive vagal withdrawal and concomitant sympathetic activation. The MB approach was compared with traditionally exploited nonlinear model-free (MF) techniques such as corrected approximate entropy, sample entropy, corrected CE, two k-nearest-neighbor CE procedures and permutation CE. Electrocardiogram was recorded in 17 healthy subjects at rest in supine position and during head-up tilt with table angles of 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, and 75°. Heart period (HP) was derived as the temporal distance between two consecutive Rwave peaks and analysis was carried out over stationary sequences of 256 successive HPs. Results: The performance of the MB method in following the progressive decrease of HP complexity with tilt table angles was in line with those of MF approaches and theMBindexwas remarkably correlated with the MF ones. Conclusion: The MB approach can be utilized to monitor the changes of the complexity of the cardiac control, thus speeding up dramatically the CE calculation. Significance: The remarkable performance of the MB approach challenges the notion, generally assumed in cardiac control complexity analysis based on CE, about the need of MF techniques and could allow real-time applications. © 2016 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1296
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Cardiovascular regulation
  • Head-up tilt
  • Heart rate variability
  • Mutual information
  • Entropy
  • Nonlinear systems
  • Head-up tilts
  • Mutual informations
  • Heart
  • calculation
  • clinical article
  • controlled study
  • electrocardiogram
  • entropy
  • experimental model
  • female
  • head
  • heart cycle
  • heart rate variability
  • human
  • k nearest neighbor
  • male
  • rest
  • statistical model
  • supine position
  • vagus nerve
  • algorithm
  • biological model
  • comparative study
  • computer simulation
  • evaluation study
  • heart
  • heart rate
  • heart rate measurement
  • nonlinear system
  • physiological feedback
  • physiology
  • procedures
  • reproducibility
  • sensitivity and specificity
  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Heart Rate
  • Heart Rate Determination
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


Dive into the research topics of 'Are nonlinear model-free conditional entropy approaches for the assessment of cardiac control complexity superior to the linear model-based one?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this