Machine learning approaches for boredom classification using EEG

  • Jungryul Seo
  • Teemu H. Laine
  • Kyung-Ah SohnEmail author
Original Research


Recently, commercial physiological sensors and computing devices have become cheaper and more accessible, while computer systems have become increasingly aware of their contexts, including but not limited to users’ emotions. Consequently, many studies on emotion recognition have been conducted. However, boredom has received relatively little attention as a target emotion due to its diverse nature. Moreover, only a few researchers have tried classifying boredom using electroencephalogram (EEG). In this study, to perform this classification, we first reviewed studies that tried classifying emotions using EEG. Further, we designed and executed an experiment, which used a video stimulus to evoke boredom and non-boredom, and collected EEG data from 28 Korean adult participants. After collecting the data, we extracted its absolute band power, normalized absolute band power, differential entropy, differential asymmetry, and rational asymmetry using EEG, and trained these on three machine learning algorithms: support vector machine, random forest, and k-nearest neighbors (k-NN). We validated the performance of each training model with 10-fold cross validation. As a result, we achieved the highest accuracy of 86.73% using k-NN. The findings of this study can be of interest to researchers working on emotion recognition, physiological signal processing, machine learning, and emotion-aware system development.


Boredom EEG Machine learning Classification Emotion Sensor 



This research was supported by the MSIT (Ministry of Science and ICT), Korea, under the ITRC (Information Technology Research Center) support program (IITP-2018-2018-0-01431) supervised by the IITP (Institute for Information & communications Technology Promotion). We would like to show our appreciation to the participants in our data collection. Special thanks to Ms. Wooryeon Go (Emily), Dr. Carolina Islas Sedano, Dr. Hana Vrzakova, Dr. Roman Bednarik, and Dr. Bednarik’s research group members at the University of Eastern Finland. Furthermore, we would like to thank Mr. Joochan Kim, at the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer EngineeringAjou UniversitySuwonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space EngineeringLuleå University of TechnologySkellefteåSweden

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