BackgroundIn body surface potential mapping, increased spatial sampling is used to allow more accurate detection of a cardiac abnormality. Although diagnostically superior to more conventional electrocardiographic techniques, the perceived complexity of the Body Surface Potential Map (BSPM) acquisition process has prohibited its acceptance in clinical practice. For this reason there is an interest in striking a compromise between the minimum number of electrocardiographic recording sites required to sample the maximum electrocardiographic information.MethodsIn the current study, several techniques widely used in the domains of data mining and knowledge discovery have been employed to mine for diagnostic information in 192 lead BSPMs. In particular, the Single Variable Classifier (SVC) based filter and Sequential Forward Selection (SFS) based wrapper approaches to feature selection have been implemented and evaluated. Using a set of recordings from 116 subjects, the diagnostic ability of subsets of 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 and 32 electrocardiographic recording sites have been evaluated based on their ability to correctly asses the presence or absence of Myocardial Infarction (MI).ResultsIt was observed that the wrapper approach, using sequential forward selection and a 5 nearest neighbour classifier, was capable of choosing a set of 24 recording sites that could correctly classify 82.8% of BSPMs. Although the filter method performed slightly less favourably, the performance was comparable with a classification accuracy of 79.3%. In addition, experiments were conducted to show how (a) features chosen using the wrapper approach were specific to the classifier used in the selection model, and (b) lead subsets chosen were not necessarily unique.ConclusionIt was concluded that both the filter and wrapper approaches adopted were suitable for guiding the choice of recording sites useful for determining the presence of MI. It should be noted however that in this study recording sites have been suggested on their ability to detect disease and such sites may not be optimal for estimating body surface potential distributions.