A Systematic Deep Learning Model Selection for P300-Based Brain-Computer Interfaces

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Predicting attention-modulated brain responses is a major area of investigation in brain-computer interface (BCI) research that aims to translate neural activities into useful control and communication commands. Such studies involve collecting electroencephalographic (EEG) data from subjects to train classifiers for decoding users' mental states. However, various sources of inter or intrasubject variabilities in brain signals render training classifiers in BCI systems challenging. From a machine learning perspective, this model training generally follows a common methodology: 1) apply some type of feature extraction, which can be time-consuming and may require domain knowledge and 2) train a classifier using extracted features. The advent of deep learning technologies has offered unprecedented opportunities to not only construct remarkably accurate classifiers but also to integrate the feature extraction stage into the classifier construction. Although integrating feature extraction, which is generally domain-dependent, into the classifier construction is a considerable advantage of deep learning models, the process of architecture selection for BCIs generally depends on domain knowledge. In this study, we examine the feasibility of conducting a systematic model selection combined with mainstream deep learning architectures to construct accurate classifiers for decoding P300 event-related potentials. In particular, we present the results of 232 convolutional neural networks (CNNs) (4 datasets x 58 structures), 36 long short-term memory cells (LSTMs) (4 datasets x 9 structures), and 320 hybrid CNN-LSTM models (4 datasets x 80 structures) of varying complexity. Our empirical results show that in the classification of P300 waveforms, the constructed predictive models can outperform the current state-of-the-art deep learning architectures, which are partially or entirely inspired by domain knowledge. The source codes and constructed models are available at https://github.com/berdakh/P3Net.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2744-2756
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Brain modeling
  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • convolutional neural network (CNN)
  • Decoding
  • Deep learning
  • deep learning
  • Electrodes
  • Electroencephalography
  • event-related potential (ERP)
  • Feature extraction
  • long short-term memory unit
  • model selection
  • P300 waves
  • Visualization
  • Machine Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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