Deep learning-based construction equipment operators’ mental fatigue classification using wearable EEG sensor data

Imran Mehmood*, Heng Li, Yazan Qarout, Waleed Umer, Shahnawaz Anwer, Haitao Wu, Mudasir Hussain, Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Operator attention failure due to mental fatigue during extended equipment operations is a common cause of equipment-related accidents that result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. As a result, tracking operators' mental fatigue is critical to reducing equipment-related accidents on construction sites. Previously, several strategies aimed at recognizing mental fatigue with adequate accuracy, such as machine learning utilizing EEG-based wearable sensing systems, have been proposed. However, the ability to track operators’ mental fatigue for its implementation on an actual construction site is still an issue. For instance, the mobility and systemic instability of EEG sensors necessitate their application in laboratory settings rather than on actual construction sites. Furthermore, while the machine learning classifiers achieved acceptable accuracy, their input is limited to manually developed EEG features, which may compromise the models’ performance on real construction sites. Accordingly, the current research proposes the viability of a construction site strategy that uses flexible headband-based sensors for acquiring raw EEG data and deep learning networks to recognize operators' mental fatigue. To serve this purpose, a one-hour excavator operation by fifteen operators was conducted on a construction site. The NASA-TLX score was used as the ground truth of mental fatigue, and brain activity patterns were recorded using a wearable EEG sensor. The raw EEG data was then used to develop deep learning-based classification models. Finally, the performance of deep learning models, i.e., long short-term memory, bidirectional LSTM, and one-dimensional convolutional networks, was investigated using accuracy, precision, recall, specificity, and an F1-score. The findings indicate that the Bi-LSTM model outperforms the other deep learning models with a high accuracy of 99.941% and F1-score between 99.917% and 99.993%. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of applying the Bi-LSTM model and contribute to wearable sensor-based mental fatigue recognition and classification, thus enhancing on-site health and safety operations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101978
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAdvanced Engineering Informatics
Early online date27 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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