Comparative study of SVM methods combined with voxel selection for object category classification on fMRI data

PloS One
Sutao SongLi Yao


Support vector machine (SVM) has been widely used as accurate and reliable method to decipher brain patterns from functional MRI (fMRI) data. Previous studies have not found a clear benefit for non-linear (polynomial kernel) SVM versus linear one. Here, a more effective non-linear SVM using radial basis function (RBF) kernel is compared with linear SVM. Different from traditional studies which focused either merely on the evaluation of different types of SVM or the voxel selection methods, we aimed to investigate the overall performance of linear and RBF SVM for fMRI classification together with voxel selection schemes on classification accuracy and time-consuming. Six different voxel selection methods were employed to decide which voxels of fMRI data would be included in SVM classifiers with linear and RBF kernels in classifying 4-category objects. Then the overall performances of voxel selection and classification methods were compared. Results showed that: (1) Voxel selection had an important impact on the classification accuracy of the classifiers: in a relative low dimensional feature space, RBF SVM outperformed linear SVM significantly; in a relative high dimensional space, linear SVM performed better than its counterpart...Continue Reading


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