An artificial neural network for movement pattern analysis to estimate blood alcohol content level

Pedram Gharani, Brian Suffoletto, Tammy Chung, Hassan A. Karimi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Impairments in gait occur after alcohol consumption, and, if detected in real-time, could guide the delivery of “just-in-time” injury prevention interventions. We aimed to identify the salient features of gait that could be used for estimating blood alcohol content (BAC) level in a typical drinking environment. We recruited 10 young adults with a history of heavy drinking to test our research app. During four consecutive Fridays and Saturdays, every hour from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., they were prompted to use the app to report alcohol consumption and complete a 5-step straight-line walking task, during which 3-axis acceleration and angular velocity data was sampled at a frequency of 100 Hz. BAC for each subject was calculated. From sensor signals, 24 features were calculated using a sliding window technique, including energy, mean, and standard deviation. Using an artificial neural network (ANN), we performed regression analysis to define a model determining association between gait features and BACs. Part (70%) of the data was then used as a training dataset, and the results tested and validated using the rest of the samples. We evaluated different training algorithms for the neural network and the result showed that a Bayesian regularization neural network (BRNN) was the most efficient and accurate. Analyses support the use of the tandem gait task paired with our approach to reliably estimate BAC based on gait features. Results from this work could be useful in designing effective prevention interventions to reduce risky behaviors during periods of alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2897
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 13 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Bayesian regularization neural network (BRNN)
  • Blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Feature extraction
  • Gait analysis
  • Neural network

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