Are Strategies Favoring Pattern Matching a Viable Way to Improve Complexity Estimation Based on Sample Entropy?

Alberto Porta, José Fernando Valencia, Beatrice Cairo, Vlasta Bari, Beatrice De Maria, Francesca Gelpi, Franca Barbic, Raffaello Furlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been suggested that a viable strategy to improve complexity estimation based on the assessment of pattern similarity is to increase the pattern matching rate without enlarging the series length. We tested this hypothesis over short simulations of nonlinear deterministic and linear stochastic dynamics affected by various noise amounts. Several transformations featuring a different ability to increase the pattern matching rate were tested and compared to the usual strategy adopted in sample entropy (SampEn) computation. The approaches were applied to evaluate the complexity of short-term cardiac and vascular controls from the beat-to-beat variability of heart period (HP) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP) in 12 Parkinson disease patients and 12 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects at supine resting and during head-up tilt. Over simulations, the strategies estimated a larger complexity over nonlinear deterministic signals and a greater regularity over linear stochastic series or deterministic dynamics importantly contaminated by noise. Over short HP and SAP series the techniques did not produce any practical advantage, with an unvaried ability to discriminate groups and experimental conditions compared to the traditional SampEn. Procedures designed to artificially increase the number of matches are of no methodological and practical value when applied to assess complexity indexes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number724
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 30 2020


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