WLnet: Towards an Approach for Robust Workload Estimation Based on Shallow Neural Networks

Zhe Sun, Binghua Li, Feng Duan, Hao Jia, Shan Wang, Yu Liu, Andrzej Cichocki, Cesar F. Caiafa, Jordi Sole-Casals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Electroencephalography (EEG) is a non-invasive technology used for the human brain-computer interface. One of its important applications is the evaluation of the mental state of an individual, such as workload estimation. In previous works, common spatial pattern feature extraction methods have been proposed for the EEG-based workload detection. Recently, several novel methods were introduced to detect EEG pattern workloads. However, it is still unknown which one of these methods is the one that offers the best performance for the workload EEG pattern feature detection. In this article, four methods were used to extract workload EEG features: (a) common spatial pattern feature extraction; (b) temporally constrained sparse group spatial pattern feature extraction; (c) EEGnet; and (d) the new proposed shallow convolutional neural network for workload estimation (WLnet). The classification accuracy of these four methods was compared. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed WLnet achieved the best detection accuracy in both stress and non-stress conditions. We believe that the proposed methods may be relevant to real-life applications of mental workload estimation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9293273
Pages (from-to)3165-3173
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • EEG
  • electroencephalogram
  • human computer interface
  • Shallow neural network
  • workload estimation


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