Finding Order in Chaos

A Novel Data Augmentation Method for Time Series in Contrastive Learning

Neural Information Processing Systems 2023
Berken Utku Demirel and Christian Holz
Quasi-periodic Data Augmentation


The success of contrastive learning is well known to be dependent on data augmentation. Although the degree of data augmentations has been well controlled by utilizing pre-defined techniques in some domains like vision, time-series data augmentation is less explored and remains a challenging problem due to the complexity of the data generation mechanism, such as the intricate mechanism involved in the cardiovascular system. Moreover, there is no widely recognized and general time-series augmentation method that can be applied across different tasks. In this paper, we propose a novel data augmentation method for quasi-periodic time-series tasks that aims to connect intra-class samples together, and thereby find order in the latent space. Our method builds upon the well-known mixup technique by incorporating a novel approach that accounts for the periodic nature of non-stationary time-series. Also, by controlling the degree of chaos created by data augmentation, our method leads to improved feature representations and performance on downstream tasks. We evaluate our proposed method on three time-series tasks, including heart rate estimation, human activity recognition, and cardiovascular disease detection. Extensive experiments against state-of-the-art methods show that the proposed approach outperforms prior works on optimal data generation and known data augmentation techniques in the three tasks, reflecting the effectiveness of the presented method. Source code: GitHub


Berken Utku Demirel and Christian Holz. Finding Order in Chaos: A Novel Data Augmentation Method for Time Series in Contrastive Learning. In Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2023.