Lempel-Ziv Complexity Analysis for the Evaluation of Atrial Fibrillation Organization

Daniel Abásolo, Raúl Alcaraz, José J. Rieta, and Roberto Hornero


Biomedical signal processing, Electrocardiogram, Atrial fibrillation, Lempel-Ziv complexity


The Lempel-Ziv (LZ) complexity is a non-linear time series analysis metric that reflects the arising rate of new patterns along with the sequence. Thus, it captures its temporal sequence and, quite conveniently, it can be computed with short data segments. In the present work, a detailed analysis on LZ complexity is presented within the context of atrial fibrillation (AF) organization estimation. As the analysed time series depend on the original sampling rate (fs), we evaluated the relationship between LZ complexity and fs. Furthermore, different implementations of LZ complexity were tested. Our results show the usefulness of LZ complexity to estimate AF organization and suggest that the signals from a terminating paroxysmal AF group are more organized (i.e. less complex) than those from the non-terminating paroxysmal AF group. However, the diagnostic accuracy was not as high as that obtained with sample entropy (SampEn), another non-linear metric, with the same database in a previous study (92% vs. 96%). Nevertheless, the LZ complexity analysis of AF organization with sampling frequencies higher than 2048 Hz, or even its combination with SampEn or other non-linear metrics, might improve the prediction of spontaneous AF termination.

Important Links:

Go Back