Sample entropy statistics and testing for order in complex physiological signals

Academic Article


  • Sample Entropy (SampEn) statistics have provided insight into the amount of order present in several types of complex physiological time series, particularly the heart rate dynamics of premature infants. Very little, however, is known of SampEn's statistical properties and this has hindered strategies for optimization and significance testing. This article shows that SampEn statistics are asymptotically Gaussian under general conditions. A straightforward point estimate of the statistic's variance is developed and compared to empirical results obtained from complex surrogate data. Statistical tests are developed to quantify the amount and scale of order detected in a signal. These tests are used to show that significant order is, in fact, being detected in the heart rate dynamics of neonates, and to suggest strategies for optimizing the analysis parameters.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Richman JS
  • Start Page

  • 1005
  • End Page

  • 1019
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 5