Paulo Lopez-Meyer, Stephanie Schuckers, Oleksandr Makeyev, Juan M. Fontana, Edward Sazonov, Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, in press, 2011.
The number of distinct foods consumed in a meal is of significant clinical concern in the study of obesity and other eating disorders. This paper proposes the use of information contained in chewing and swallowing sequences for meal segmentation by food types. Data collected from experiments of 17 volunteers were analyzed using two different clustering techniques. First, an unsupervised clustering technique, Affinity Propagation (AP), was used to automatically identify the number of segments within a meal. Second, performance of the unsupervised AP method was compared to a supervised learning approach based on Agglomerative Hierarchical Clustering (AHC). While the AP method was able to obtain 90% accuracy in predicting the number of food items, the AHC achieved an accuracy >95%. Experimental results suggest that the proposed models of automatic meal segmentation may be utilized as part of an integral application for objective Monitoring of Ingestive Behavior in free living conditions.