Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Electrical and Computer Engineering


Pure sciences, Applied sciences, Matrix pencil method, Medical percussion, Parameterestimation, Singular value decomposition, Time frequency analysis


Maev, Roman Gr.




Used for centuries in the clinical practice, audible percussion is a method of eliciting sounds by areas of the human body either by finger tips or by a percussion hammer. Despite its advantages, pulmonary diagnostics by percussion is still highly subjective, depends on the physician's skills, and requires quiet surroundings. Automation of this well-established technique could help amplify its existing merits while removing the above drawbacks. In this study, an attempt is made to automatically decompose clinical percussion signals into a sum of Exponentially Damped Sinusoids (EDS) using Matrix Pencil Method, which in this case form a more natural basis than Fourier harmonics and thus allow for a more robust representation of the signal in the parametric space. It is found that some EDS represent transient oscillation modes of the thorax/abdomen excited by the percussion event, while others are associated with the noise. It is demonstrated that relatively few EDS are usually enough to accurately reconstruct the original signal. It is shown that combining the frequency and damping parameters of these most significant EDS allows for efficient classification of percussion signals into the two main types historically known as "resonant" and "tympanic". This classification ability can provide a basis for the automated objective diagnostics of various pulmonary pathologies including pneumothorax.