Diabetic neuropathy (DN) is one of the prevalent forms of neuropathy that involves alterations in biomechanical changes in the human gait. Diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) is one of the pervasive types of complications that arise due to DN. In the literature, for the last 50 years, researchers have been trying to observe the biomechanical changes due to DN and DFU by studying muscle electromyography (EMG) and ground reaction forces (GRF). However, the literature is contradictory. In such a scenario, we propose using Machine learning techniques to identify DN and DFU patients by using EMG and GRF data. We collected a dataset from the literature which involves three patient groups: Control (n = 6), DN (n = 6), and previous history of DFU (n = 9) and collected three lower limb muscles EMG (tibialis anterior (TA), vastus lateralis (VL), gastrocnemius lateralis (GL)), and three GRF components (GRFx, GRFy, and GRFz). Raw EMG and GRF signals were preprocessed, and different feature extraction techniques were applied to extract the best features from the signals. The extracted feature list was ranked using four different feature ranking techniques, and highly correlated features were removed. In this study, we considered different combinations of muscles and GRF components to find the best performing feature list for the identification of DN and DFU. We trained eight different conventional ML models: Discriminant analysis classifier (DAC), Ensemble classification model (ECM), Kernel classification model (KCM), k-nearest neighbor model (KNN), Linear classification model (LCM), Naive Bayes classifier (NBC), Support vector machine classifier (SVM), and Binary decision classification tree (BDC), to find the best-performing algorithm and optimized that model. We trained the optimized the ML algorithm for different combinations of muscles and GRF component features, and the performance matrix was evaluated. Our study found the KNN algorithm performed well in identifying DN and DFU, and we optimized it before training. We found the best accuracy of 96.18% for EMG analysis using the top 22 features from the chi-square feature ranking technique for features from GL and VL muscles combined. In the GRF analysis, the model showed 98.68% accuracy using the top 7 features from the Feature selection using neighborhood component analysis for the feature combinations from the GRFx-GRFz signal. In conclusion, our study has shown a potential solution for ML application in DN and DFU patient identification using EMG and GRF parameters. With careful signal preprocessing with strategic feature extraction from the biomechanical parameters, optimization of the ML model can provide a potential solution in the diagnosis and stratification of DN and DFU patients from the EMG and GRF signals.
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