Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Comparison of decision tree, support vector machines, and Bayesian network approaches for classification of falls in Parkinson’s disease

Sarini Sarini, James McGree, Nicole White, Kerrie Mengersen, Graham Kerr


Being able to accurately predict the risk of falling is crucial in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). This is due to the unfavorable effect of falls, which can lower the quality of life as well as directly impact on survival. Three methods considered for predicting falls are decision trees (DT), Bayesian networks (BN), and support vector machines (SVM). Data on a 1-year prospective study conducted at IHBI, Australia, for 51 people with PD are used. Data processing are conducted using rpart and e1071 packages in R for DT and SVM, consecutively; and Bayes Server 5.5 for the BN. The results show that BN and SVM produce consistently higher accuracy over the 12 months evaluation time points (average sensitivity and specificity 92%) than DT (average sensitivity 88%, average specificity 72%). DT is prone to imbalanced data so needs to adjust for the misclassification cost. However, DT provides a straightforward, interpretable result and thus is appealing for helping to identify important items related to falls and to generate fallers’ profiles.


Bayesian network, decision tree, falls classification, na¨ıve Bayes classifier, Parkinson’s disease, support vector machines.

Full Text:


Disclaimer/Regarding indexing issue:

We have provided the online access of all issues and papers to the indexing agencies (as given on journal web site). It’s depend on indexing agencies when, how and what manner they can index or not. Hence, we like to inform that on the basis of earlier indexing, we can’t predict the today or future indexing policy of third party (i.e. indexing agencies) as they have right to discontinue any journal at any time without prior information to the journal. So, please neither sends any question nor expects any answer from us on the behalf of third party i.e. indexing agencies.Hence, we will not issue any certificate or letter for indexing issue. Our role is just to provide the online access to them. So we do properly this and one can visit indexing agencies website to get the authentic information.