Optimization of Model Training Based on Iterative Minimum Covariance Determinant in Motor-Imagery BCI

Jing Jin, Hua Fang, Ian Daly, Ruocheng Xiao, Yangyang Miao, Xingyu Wang, Andrzej Cichocki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The common spatial patterns (CSP) algorithm is one of the most frequently used and effective spatial filtering methods for extracting relevant features for use in motor imagery brain-computer interfaces (MI-BCIs). However, the inherent defect of the traditional CSP algorithm is that it is highly sensitive to potential outliers, which adversely affects its performance in practical applications. In this work, we propose a novel feature optimization and outlier detection method for the CSP algorithm. Specifically, we use the minimum covariance determinant (MCD) to detect and remove outliers in the dataset, then we use the Fisher score to evaluate and select features. In addition, in order to prevent the emergence of new outliers, we propose an iterative minimum covariance determinant (IMCD) algorithm. We evaluate our proposed algorithm in terms of iteration times, classification accuracy and feature distribution using two BCI competition datasets. The experimental results show that the average classification performance of our proposed method is 12% and 22.9% higher than that of the traditional CSP method in two datasets (p < 0.05), and our proposed method obtains better performance in comparison with other competing methods. The results show that our method improves the performance of MI-BCI systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2150030
JournalInternational Journal of Neural Systems
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • CSP
  • feature optimization
  • IMCD
  • MI-BCIs
  • outlier detection


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