CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Computing and Engineering


Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Michael J. Laszlo

Committee Member

Francisco J. Mitropoulos


Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) is a medical problem that is responsible for over 300,000 deaths per year in the United States and millions worldwide. SCD is defined as death occurring from within one hour of the onset of acute symptoms, an unwitnessed death in the absence of pre-existing progressive circulatory failures or other causes of deaths, or death during attempted resuscitation. Sudden death due to cardiac reasons is a leading cause of death among Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients. The use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems has made a wealth of medical data available for research and analysis. Supervised machine learning methods have been successfully used for medical diagnosis. Ensemble classifiers are known to achieve better prediction accuracy than its constituent base classifiers. In an effort to understand the factors contributing to SCD, data on 2,521 patients were collected for the Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial (SCD-HeFT). The data included 96 features that were gathered over a period of 5 years. The goal of this dissertation was to develop a model that could accurately predict SCD based on available features. The prediction model used the Cox proportional hazards model as a score and then used the ExtraTreesClassifier algorithm as a boosting mechanism to create the ensemble. We tested the system at prediction points of 180 days and 365 days. Our best results were at 180-days with accuracy of 0.9624, specificity of 0.9915, and F1 score of 0.9607.