School of Mathematics and Statistics

Postgraduate research

Research being undertaken by our current postgraduates:


Michelle Trevenen


Start date

May 2016

Submission date

Michelle Trevenen


Development of statistical methodology to analyse large, longitudinal datasets with an application to sleep pattern detection using actigraphy.


We aim to identify limitations in current statistical frameworks used to analyse large datasets of longitudinal sleep measurements and develop new methodologies that address these limitations. Using these new methodologies, we will create and validate algorithms for sleep pattern detection utilising raw, triaxial actigraphy data. Once this framework has been developed it will have applications not only to sleep research using actigraphy, but also to the use of raw acceleration data in the assessment of human activity and other epidemiological datasets of a similar longitudinal nature.

Why my research is important

Sleep disorders occur in around 20% of the population and are associated with a myriad of serious health implications and considerable economic burden. Therefore, it is essential that disruptions in sleep patterns are identified and evaluated to allow for appropriate treatment. Two methods for studying sleep patterns are polysomnography and actigraphy. Whilst the former is considered the `gold standard' measure for sleep/wake identification, it is intrusive and costly. Therefore, alternative identification methods such as actigraphy need to be considered. Actigraphy measures the acceleration of human movements and is increasingly being considered as a non-intrusive and cost effective method to objectively detect sleep patterns. Algorithms have been created using filtered uniaxial actigraphy data, however, the use of these are limited due to poor specificity (wakefulness detection) and the inability to detect specific sleep stages. Thus, novel statistical frameworks to accurately identify sleep patterns using actigraphy are required.

Statistics clinic

Assistance in statistics is available for Postgraduates students by research at the UWA Centre for Applied Statistics.


School of Mathematics and Statistics

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Last updated:
Monday, 16 June, 2014 2:41 PM