Context-based lossless and near-lossless compression of EEG signals

Nasir Memon, Xuan Kong, Judit Cinkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we study compression techniques for electroencephalograph (EEG) signals. A variety of lossless compression techniques, including compress, gzip, bzip, shorten, and several predictive coding methods, are investigated and compared. The methods range from simple dictionary-based approaches to more sophisticated context modeling techniques. It is seen that compression ratios obtained by lossless compression are limited even with sophisticated context-based bias cancellation and activity-based conditional coding. Though lossy compression can yield significantly higher compression ratios while potentially preserving diagnostic accuracy, it is not usually employed due to legal concerns. Hence, we investigate a near-lossless compression technique that gives quantitative bounds on the errors introduced during compression. It is observed that such a technique gives significantly higher compression ratios (up to 3-bit/sample saving with less than 1% error). Compression results are reported for EEG's recorded under various clinical conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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