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Incorporation of support vector machines in the LIBS toolbox for sensitive and robust classification amidst unexpected sample and system variability.


ABSTRACT: Despite the intrinsic elemental analysis capability and lack of sample preparation requirements, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has not been extensively used for real-world applications, e.g., quality assurance and process monitoring. Specifically, variability in sample, system, and experimental parameters in LIBS studies present a substantive hurdle for robust classification, even when standard multivariate chemometric techniques are used for analysis. Considering pharmaceutical sample investigation as an example, we propose the use of support vector machines (SVM) as a nonlinear classification method over conventional linear techniques such as soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA) and partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) for discrimination based on LIBS measurements. Using over-the-counter pharmaceutical samples, we demonstrate that the application of SVM enables statistically significant improvements in prospective classification accuracy (sensitivity), because of its ability to address variability in LIBS sample ablation and plasma self-absorption behavior. Furthermore, our results reveal that SVM provides nearly 10% improvement in correct allocation rate and a concomitant reduction in misclassification rates of 75% (cf. PLS-DA) and 80% (cf. SIMCA)-when measurements from samples not included in the training set are incorporated in the test data-highlighting its robustness. While further studies on a wider matrix of sample types performed using different LIBS systems is needed to fully characterize the capability of SVM to provide superior predictions, we anticipate that the improved sensitivity and robustness observed here will facilitate application of the proposed LIBS-SVM toolbox for screening drugs and detecting counterfeit samples, as well as in related areas of forensic and biological sample analysis.

SUBMITTER: Dingari NC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3310257 | BioStudies | 2012-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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