Label-Less Learning for Urban Railway Transit Driver Fatigue Detection with Heart Rate Variability

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - urban, planning - methods, planning - safety/accidents, ridership - behaviour, ridership - drivers


public transportation, transit safety and security, rail, fatigue (physiological condition)


Driver fatigue has a direct impact on urban railway transit (URT) drivers’ driving behavior and can cause driver error. The existing methods for fatigue detection mainly train the models with supervised learning, relying heavily on the annotation of recorded data. However, labeled data are unobtainable in some environments, especially for URT driver fatigue levels during actual driving. Therefore, this study proposes a fatigue detection method using unlabeled heart rate variability data to monitor URT driver fatigue in actual working conditions. By utilizing the existing conclusions with regard to factors contributing to fatigue and physiological changes, this study annotated a small number of samples and then used a novel positive and unlabeled learning algorithm based on nearest neighbors and random forest to divide samples into different fatigue levels. The proposed method was evaluated using the URT driver fatigue data sets collected in the lab. Binary classification achieved an accuracy of 79.0%. However, the accuracy of three-class classification was only 55.7%. In addition, the proposed method performed as well using the field data set as it did using the lab data set. The results show the high generalization performance of the proposed method, which could contribute to addressing the issue of lack of labeled training data for fatigue detection in actual working conditions.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.