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Keywords:

  • case-based reasoning;
  • fuzzy logic;
  • decision support system;
  • classification;
  • diagnosis

Stress diagnosis based on finger temperature (FT) signals is receiving increasing interest in the psycho-physiological domain. However, in practice, it is difficult and tedious for a clinician and particularly less experienced clinicians to understand, interpret, and analyze complex, lengthy sequential measurements to make a diagnosis and treatment plan. The paper presents a case-based decision support system to assist clinicians in performing such tasks. Case-based reasoning (CBR) is applied as the main methodology to facilitate experience reuse and decision explanation by retrieving previous similar temperature profiles. Further fuzzy techniques are also employed and incorporated into the CBR system to handle vagueness, uncertainty inherently existing in clinicians reasoning as well as imprecision of feature values. Thirty-nine time series from 24 patients have been used to evaluate the approach (matching algorithms) and an expert has ranked and estimated similarity. On average goodness-of-fit for the fuzzy matching algorithm is 90% in ranking and 81% in similarity estimation that shows a level of performance close to an experienced expert. Therefore, we have suggested that a fuzzy matching algorithm in combination with CBR is a valuable approach in domains, where the fuzzy matching model similarity and case preference is consistent with the views of domain expert. This combination is also valuable, where domain experts are aware that the crisp values they use have a possibility distribution that can be estimated by the expert and is used when experienced experts reason about similarity. This is the case in the psycho-physiological domain and experienced experts can estimate this distribution of feature values and use them in their reasoning and explanation process.