Recognition of emotions from physiological signals, and in particular from electroencephalography (EEG), is a field within affective computing gaining increasing relevance. Although researchers have used these signals to recognize emotions, most of them only identify a limited set of emotional states (e.g., happiness, sadness, anger, etc.) and have not attempted to predict exact values for valence and arousal, which would provide a wider range of emotional states. This paper describes our proposed model for predicting the exact values of valence and arousal in a subject-independent scenario. To create it, we studied the best features, brain waves, and machine learning models that are currently in use for emotion classification. This systematic analysis revealed that the best prediction model uses a KNN regressor (K = 1) with Manhattan distance, features from the alpha, beta and gamma bands, and the differential asymmetry from the alpha band. Results, using the DEAP, AMIGOS and DREAMER datasets, show that our model can predict valence and arousal values with a low error (MAE < 0.06, RMSE < 0.16) and a strong correlation between predicted and expected values (PCC > 0.80), and can identify four emotional classes with an accuracy of 84.4%. The findings of this work show that the features, brain waves and machine learning models, typically used in emotion classification tasks, can be used in more challenging situations, such as the prediction of exact values for valence and arousal.
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