On the calculation of sample entropy using continuous and discrete human gait data

John D. McCamley, William Denton, Andrew Arnold, Peter C. Raffalt, Jennifer M. Yentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Sample entropy (SE) has relative consistency using biologically-derived, discrete data > 500 data points. For certain populations, collecting this quantity is not feasible and continuous data has been used. The effect of using continuous versus discrete data on SE is unknown, nor are the relative effects of sampling rate and input parameters m (comparison vector length) and r (tolerance). Eleven subjects walked for 10-minutes and continuous joint angles (480 Hz) were calculated for each lower-extremity joint. Data were downsampled (240, 120, 60 Hz) and discrete range-of-motion was calculated. SE was quantified for angles and range-of-motion at all sampling rates and multiple combinations of parameters. A differential relationship between joints was observed between range-of-motion and joint angles. Range-of-motion SE showed no difference; whereas, joint angle SE significantly decreased from ankle to knee to hip. To confirm findings from biological data, continuous signals with manipulations to frequency, amplitude, and both were generated and underwent similar analysis to the biological data. In general, changes to m, r, and sampling rate had a greater effect on continuous compared to discrete data. Discrete data was robust to sampling rate and m. It is recommended that different data types not be compared and discrete data be used for SE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number764
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Complexity
  • Gait
  • Joint angle
  • Range of motion
  • Regularity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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