A study on human gait dynamics: modeling and simulations on OpenSim platform
An ongoing challenge in the application of gait analysis to clinical settings is the standardized detection of temporal events, with unobtrusive and cost-effective equipment, for a wide range of gait types. The purpose of the current study was to investigate a targeted machine learning approach for the prediction of timing for foot strike (or initial contact) and toe-off, using only kinematics for walking, forefoot running, and heel-toe running. Data were categorized by gait type and split into a training set (∼30%) and a validation set (∼70%). A principal component analysis was performed, and separate linear models were trained and validated for foot strike and toe-off, using ground reaction force data as a gold-standard for event timing. Results indicate the model predicted both foot strike and toe-off timing to within 20ms of the gold-standard for more than 95% of cases in walking and running gaits. The machine learning approach continues to provide robust timing predictions for clinical use, and may offer a flexible methodology to handle new events and gait types.