Classifying Heart Sounds Workshop

la palma

April 24 2012, La Palma, Canary Islands.

Hotel H10 Taburiente Playa, co-located with AISTATS 2012.




Co-located with AISTATS 2012, the Classifying Heart Sounds Workshop is the first international workshop to focus on the use of statistical machine learning techniques to segment and classify real-world heart audio. This exciting one-day event will feature leading experts on auscultation, signal processing and machine learning, and will include presentations by researchers who have attempted the Classifying Heart Sounds Challenge.

According to the World Health Organisation, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. An estimated 17.1 million people died from CVDs in 2004, representing 29% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.2 million were due to coronary heart disease. Any method which can help to detect signs of heart disease could therefore have a significant impact on world health. This challenge is to produce methods to do exactly that. Specifically, we are interested in creating the first level of screening of cardiac pathologies both in a Hospital environment by a doctor (using a digital stethoscope) and at home by the patient (using a mobile device).

The problem is of particular interest to machine learning researchers as it involves classification of audio sample data, where distinguishing between classes of interest is non-trivial. Data is gathered in real-world situations and frequently contains background noise of every conceivable type. The differences between heart sounds corresponding to different heart symptoms can also be extremely subtle and challenging to separate. Success in classifying this form of data requires extremely robust classifiers. Despite its medical significance, to date this is a relatively unexplored application for machine learning.



Free Registration

Attendence at the workshop is free, however we only have a limited amount of space, so please register if you plan to attend so that we can gaurantee your place.

To register, just click here and send an email with your details. Please register now - it is free!



9:45am-10:00am Opening remarks

10:00am-11:00am Keynote speech by Glenn Nordehn.

11:00-12:00 Talks by competition entrants

12:00-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:30 Invited talk by Miguel Coimbra

2:30-3:15 Round-table discussion on state-of-the-art and current challenges

3:15pm-3:45pm coffee break

3:45pm Announcement of PASCAL Challenge results and winners. (Prize is an Apple iPad.)

4:15pm Closing remarks



The Challenge

One of the aims of the workshop is to disseminate the results of entries to the Classifying Heart Sounds PASCAL Challenge. You do not have to attempt the challenge to participate in the workshop, however please do consider having a go - the first prize for best classifcation results is an iPad! See the challenge page for more details and deadlines.


Organisers and Invited Speakers

Peter Bentley Honorary Reader at the Department of Computer Science, University College London and creator of the number one bestselling iStethoscope app

Glenn Nordehn DO, Associate Dean of Clinical Education, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine

Miguel Coimbra Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, specialist on biomedical signal processing

Shie Mannor Faculty member at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Technion, member of the Technion Machine Learning Center and the Grand Technion Energy Program. His research is in machine learning, control of large and stochastic systems, and game theory.

Sponsored by PASCAL


Important Dates:

6 April 2012 Deadline for Free Registration
6 April 2012 Deadline for Abstracts containing results
24 April 2012 Workshop after AISTATS 2012



Competition Results

The first PASCAL Classifying Heart Sounds Challenge attracted interest from over ten groups worldwide, with three finalists chosen to present their work at the workshop: ISEP/IPP Portugal, CS UCL, and SLAC Stanford.

A summary of the results from their approaches can be found here.

After some deliberation by the judges Glenn Nordehn, Spencer Strunic, and Miguel Coimbra, the winner of the challenge was declared to be Emmanuel and Elsa of ISEP/IPP Portugal. The prize of the Apple iPad was awarded to Emmanuel at the workshop. Congratulations!


Photographs from the Workshop: