Describing Different Brain Computer Interface Systems Through a Unique Model: A UML Implementation

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Abstract

All the protocols currently implemented in brain computer interface (BCI) experiments are characterized by different structural and temporal entities. Moreover, due to the lack of a unique descriptive model for BCI systems, there is not a standard way to define the structure and the timing of a BCI experimental session among different research groups and there is also great discordance on the meaning of the most common terms dealing with BCI, such as trial, run and session. The aim of this paper is to provide a unified modeling language (UML) implementation of BCI systems through a unique dynamic model which is able to describe the main protocols defined in the literature (P300, μ-rhythms, SCP, SSVEP, fMRI) and demonstrates to be reasonable and adjustable according to different requirements. This model includes a set of definitions of the typical entities encountered in a BCI, diagrams which explain the structural correlations among them and a detailed description of the timing of a trial. This last represents an innovation with respect to the models already proposed in the literature. The UML documentation and the possibility of adapting this model to the different BCI systems built to date, make it a basis for the implementation of new systems and a mean for the unification and dissemination of resources. The model with all the diagrams and definitions reported in the paper are the core of the body language framework, a free set of routines and tools for the implementation, optimization and delivery of cross-platform BCI systems.

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