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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 254629, 11 pages
Research Article

Supervised Expert System for Wearable MEMS Accelerometer-Based Fall Detector

Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, Italian National Research Council (CNR), Via Monteroni, c/o Campus Università del Salento, Palazzina A3, 73100 Lecce, Italy

Received 8 February 2013; Revised 10 June 2013; Accepted 11 June 2013

Academic Editor: Andrea Cusano

Copyright © 2013 Gabriele Rescio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Falling is one of the main causes of trauma, disability, and death among older people. Inertial sensors-based devices are able to detect falls in controlled environments. Often this kind of solution presents poor performances in real conditions. The aim of this work is the development of a computationally low-cost algorithm for feature extraction and the implementation of a machine-learning scheme for people fall detection, by using a triaxial MEMS wearable wireless accelerometer. The proposed approach allows to generalize the detection of fall events in several practical conditions. It appears invariant to the age, weight, height of people, and to the relative positioning area (even in the upper part of the waist), overcoming the drawbacks of well-known threshold-based approaches in which several parameters need to be manually estimated according to the specific features of the end user. In order to limit the workload, the specific study on posture analysis has been avoided, and a polynomial kernel function is used while maintaining high performances in terms of specificity and sensitivity. The supervised clustering step is achieved by implementing an one-class support vector machine classifier in a stand-alone PC.