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Trieu Phat Luu, H.B. Lim, Xingda Qu, and K.H. Low

Abstract—Progression action by the body and the time The first strategy is using available data from literature.

taken to complete a walking cycle are the most basic Human kinematics were studied and lower limb joint angles

descriptions of walking. In human walking, these of healthy subjects walking normally were recorded and

parameters are defined as stride length and cadence, presented in some textbooks [1, 2]. Robotic devices such as

respectively. They are the fundamental gait parameters WalkTrainer [3], Driven Gait Orthosis (DGO) [4] select the

that determine the pattern of motion of a particular gait. averaged lower limb joint angle traces from textbook and

There are strong relationships between human anatomy use them as reference trajectories in the rehabilitation

features and their gait parameters. However, these training process. On the other hand, desired trajectories for

relationships are vaguely understood. In this paper, we assisted gait training robot such as ALEX [5] and Gait

propose a method using multilayer perceptron neuron Trainer GT-I [6] are obtained from their own database.

network (MLPNN) to obtain the value of gait Some templates of desired ankle trajectories were

parameters for natural walking using human anatomy constructed from healthy subjects. A template is chosen for

features as input. These gait parameters will supplement training process when healthy subject’s dimensions,

the objective gait planning for rehabilitation purpose. primarily thigh and shank length, closely match with the

GAITRite is used to collect data from 30 healthy patient’s. However, the two strategies have some

subjects. MLPNN is designed and trained. Learning disadvantages. Firstly, there are variations of the overall

algorithm of the MLPNN to process experiment data is patterns for the hip, knee and ankle [2]. Therefore, using an

also discussed in this paper. Walking index and a range averaged trajectory of normal walking people for patients

of suggested walking speed are the two outputs of with different anatomy is not appropriate. In the second

MLPNN. With these outputs, stride length and cadence strategy, the number of healthy subjects involved to

are computed. The result section of this paper shows two determine target trajectory is small. Moreover, gait pattern

main advantages of using MLPNN compared to existing and parameters not only depends on thigh and shank length

method. Firstly, normal walking velocity is suggested for but also depends on some other parameters such as age,

the patient. This is the first step in the rehabilitation gender, weight and height. Therefore, more data and details

training process. Secondly, stride length and cadence of mapping algorithm are required to generate a suitable gait

computed from index given by MLPNN is more accurate pattern for a specified patient.

than using constant value of index. The paper ends with The gait pattern from healthy people is desired for gait

a summary of result and future work. rehabilitation training but its proper definition is lacking.

Most of gait rehabilitation robots and devices used

I. INTRODUCTION simplified approaches to replicate lower limb kinematics [4,

7]. Little information on the gait pattern used for robotic

G AIT planning and customization is one of the key

concerns for robotic assisted gait rehabilitation. Before

using robotic assisted gait rehabilitation for patients

orthosis was revealed. It’s only known that the gait patterns

can be created according to the patient’s height and lower

limb joints’ range of motion [8].

suffered from Spinal Cord Injured (SCI) and stroke, gait Generating a gait pattern that resembles a healthy

pattern should be planed and tailored for the patient. There human gait pattern is critical for the gait rehabilitation

are two major strategies to generate the desired gait pattern. process [9, 10]. However, based on the above arguments,

this problem has not been satisfactorily addressed.

Manuscript submitted Feb 9th ,2010. In view of issues mentioned above, the concept of using

Trieu Phat Luu is PhD student of School of Mechanical and Aerospace gait pattern generator (GaitGen) was introduced [11].

Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. (Phone: +65-

GaitGen is expected to generate and implement natural gait

6790-5568; fax: +65-67935921; e-mail: luut0004@ntu.edu.sg).

H.B. Lim is PhD student of School of Mechanical and Aerospace patterns for robotic assisted gait rehabilitation. Gait pattern

Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. (e-mail: is significantly affected by gait parameters such as stride

limh0048@ntu.edu.sg). length and cadence. In this work, the method of generating

Xingda Qu is Assistant Professor of School of Mechanical and

the gait parameters in explored.

Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapores. (e-

mail: XDQU@ntu.edu.sg The outline of this paper is as follows: the method of

K.H. Low is Professor of School of Mechanical and Aerospace using MLPNN to obtain gait parameters for GaitGen is

Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is the introduced in section II. This section also discusses about

principal investigator of the project. (phone: 65-67905755; e-mail: MLPNN design and training algorithm. Section III describes

mkhlow@ntu.edu.sg).

the experiment set up using GAITRite. Section IV presents

the results of MLPNN output and gait parameter calculation. accordingly to patient’s anatomy. The gait parameters

Finally, section V is the conclusion, discussion and future formula is modified as follows:

work. stride _ length

index = (2)

Patient’s Anatomy cadence × body _ height

Parameters MLPNN is proposed to suggest a prefer walking speed

Height for patient and the index for the gait parameters formula.

Doctor/ From the suggested values, the stride length and cadence can

Physiotherapy

Patient Physical be calculated for gait pattern generation. The detail of

Constraint defining gait pattern from gait parameters (stride length,

Measured cadence) is discussed in [11].

Gait Parameters A set of experiment with 30 healthy subjects walking at

Specified their preferred walking speed on GAITRite is conducted.

Walking

Their parameters such as: age, gender, leg length, height and

Speed

weight are recorded and the value of stride length and

cadence are measured during the experiment. Each

parameter has effect on stride length and cadence because

Normalized Gait the p-value obtained by using Anova testing method [14] is

Parameters Formula

Discussed in less than 0.01. However, the relationship between these five

this paper parameters and gait parameters (stride length, cadence) is

Stride Length and Cadence

non-linear and vague. Since MLPNN is a good method for

non-linear function approximation, it is used in this paper

Lower Limb Kinematics with these five parameters as inputs.

Database

B. MLPNN architecture design

Gait Pattern Mapping The proposed MLPNN has 1 input layer, 1 hidden layer,

Algorithm and 1 output layer. The input layer has 5 nodes and each

node represents an input variable. Similarly, the output layer

Extreme

has 4 nodes represent four output variables. The hidden

Gait Pattern Generator layer contains 16 neurons. W1 is the input weight matrix and

W2 is the layer weight matrix. bij is the bias value of neuron

Gait Pattern j in layer i . The MLPNN’s architecture is depicted in

Figure 2.

Fig.1. Overall concept of the gait pattern generator.

A. Method of GaitGen

First of all, the patient’s anthropometric dimensions are

measured and a normal walking speed is specified by users

as inputs to GaitGen. The first step of gait pattern generation

is defining an appropriate walking speed for a specific

patient which is important in the whole rehabilitation

training process. In this paper, we applied a multi-layer

perceptron neural network to recommend a suitable walking

speed for a specific patient. After the users specify the

inputs, the normalized gait parameter module is able to

specify the suitable stride length and cadence.

GaitGen contains a module based on the normalized gait Fig.2. Architecture of MLPNN.

parameters formula which is first introduced by Inman et al. In forward computation process, each neuron in MPLNN

[12]. This formula describes the relationship between stride has an activation function to provide the output. In this

length, step frequency and body height as follows: paper, we use the hyperbolic tangent sigmoid transfer

stride _ length function which is derivative and give the output lies in the

= 0.008 (1) range of ( −1 ≤ y j (n) ≤ 1)

cadence × body _ height

bγ j ( n ) − bγ j ( n )

However, this formula is mainly derived for men and the e −e

constant value is not the same for subjects from Asian y j (n) = ϕ j ⎡⎣γ j (n) ⎤⎦ = a bγ j ( n ) − bγ j ( n )

(3)

e +e

population [13]. In this work, instead of using the constant

where:

value (0.008), we consider it as an index which is changing

ϕ j : activation function of neuron j D. Learning algorithm

γ j (n) : activation signal of neuron j During the training process of MLPNN, input vectors are

applied to the neural network and responses from the neural

a,b: constant value

network will be obtained. The output vectors from neural

Before training the MLPNN, input vectors and targets

network are different from priori target responses by vector

are scaled so that they fall in the range [-1, 1]. The output

error e(x). In order to approximate the non-linear

vectors of the network will be trained to produce value in

relationship between the input and output vectors, these

the range [-1, 1]. These outputs will be converted back into

error must be minimized. For this purpose, a supervised

the original units.

learning paradigm is applied to adjust the synaptic weights

C. Effect of the number of neurons in hidden layer of MLPNN so that its output vectors will match with desired

The number of neurons in hidden layer of MLPNN has a output vectors from data set.

significant effect on the output of the network. If the number Error back propagation (EBP), basically a gradient

of neurons in hidden layer is small, the MLPNN will not descent search algorithm, was a significant breakthrough

perform well on the training data and might be under- training algorithm [16]. However, this algorithm has two

trained. On the other hand, if the number of neurons in disadvantages: firstly, it is not robust and easy to be trapped

hidden layer is large, it might be over-trained and perform at local minimum value; secondly, the convergence rate is

well on the training data but very bad on the test set. Our very slow. Therefore, many attempts have been made to

purpose is to approximate the relationship between input and improve the EBP algorithm. Lavenberg-Marquardt (LM)

output vectors by using MLPNN to minimize the difference method was invented and it is now considered as the most

between output from MLPNN and desired output vectors. efficient algorithm when the network contains no more than

Therefore, we can consider the mean square error (MSE) as a few hundred weights [17, 18].

a fitness function and apply Genetic Algorithm (GA) to find When an input vector is applied to the network, the

the optimal value of the number of neurons in the hidden forward calculation is conducted and an output response

layer [15]. However, there are some disadvantages when from the network is given. The difference between network

using GA. Firstly, the initial values of weight matrices W1, output and target output is e(x), in which x is the input

W2 and bias vector bij , have effect on MSE, so we may vector. The function of neural networks is to minimize sum

of squares error function described by

obtain several MSE values with the same number of neurons N

in the hidden layer. Secondly, using GA, we will not be able E ( x ) = ∑ ei2 ( x) (4)

to display the effect of number of neurons in hidden layer on i =1

the output. For these reasons, we apply the trial and error Applied the Newton method, the input vector x can be

method to compare MLPNNs with different numbers of updated as follows:

neurons in the hidden layer. The number of neurons in the Δx = −[∇ 2 E ( x)]−1 ∇E ( x) (5)

hidden layer will be varied from 6 to 20 to create 15 where

networks and each network will be run 100 times. After ∇E ( x) = J T ( x)e( x) (6)

each run, the value of stride length, slMLPNN and cadence,

cadenceMLPNN will be obtained (detail in section IV).When ∇ 2 E ( x) is the Hessian matrix and it can be approximated

the value slMLPNN out of the range sl ± σ sl or cadenceMLPNN as:

out of the range cadence ± σ cadence , this run will be ∇ 2 E ( x) = J T ( x) J ( x) (7)

considered as fail. The effect of number of neurons in where J ( x) is the Jacobian matrix

hidden layer is illustrated in Figure 3. From this figure, we Then the update vector for the Gauss-Newton method is

choose 16 neurons in hidden layer for MLPNN which gives Δx = −[ J T ( x) J ( x)]−1 J T ( x)e( x) (8)

98 success in 100 runs (98%).

Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm is a modification of

Newton method as follows:

Δx = −[ J T ( x) J ( x) + μ I ]−1 J T ( x)e( x) (9)

When the scalar μ is zero, LM algorithm becomes

Newton’s method. When μ is large, this becomes gradient

descent method.

We conduct experiment with thirty healthy subjects.

They are instructed to walk on GAITRite [19] five times at

normal walking speed that they feel comfortable with. The

parameters of vector x are recorded. The experiment data

Fig.3. Effect of number of neurons in hidden layer. provides a set of samples {x(i, j), yd(i, j)} for training and

testing of MLPNN.

where Where mean value and standard deviation of index are

x : input vector which contains 5 parameters of subject’s given by:

anatomy 1 N

x=[age, gender, leg_length, height, weight] μindex = ∑ indexi (11)

N i =1

yd: desired output vector which contains 4 elements N

1

yd=[index, v, vmin, vmax]

v: walking velocity

σ index =

N

∑ (index − μ

i =1

i index )2 (12)

i: ith subject in the experiment, i=1 to 30 ( μindex ± σ index ) is the range of index obtained from

j: jth walking of one subject, j=1 to 5

experiment data (Table 1) and indexMLPNN is the value

When subjects walk on the GAITRite system, their stride

obtained from MLPNN for testing data. They are illustrated

length and cadence are recorded. The index value is derived

in Figure 4.

from the normalized gait equation [12] as follows:

stride _ length

index = (10)

cadence × body _ height

Among thirty healthy subjects involved in our

experiment, twenty-five subjects’ data were used for data

training and verification and the rest were used for testing

purpose. Desired output data for the five testing subjects are

recorded and computed in Table 1.

TABLE.1. EXPERIMENT DATA FOR THE TEST SET (5 SUBJECTS).

Index

Stride

Sub Walk Height Cadence Speed (Derived

Length

ject # (cm) (steps/min) (cm/s) from

(cm)

Eq.8)

1 #1 1.68 115.00 108.40 103.90 0.006315

1 #2 1.68 118.12 109.40 106.60 0.006427

1 #3 1.68 121.86 111.90 113.20 0.006482

1 #4 1.68 120.96 110.30 110.20 0.006528

1 #5 1.68 120.63 107.90 108.70 0.006654 Fig.4. Result of index for test set (5 subjects).

2 #1 1.65 121.53 113.20 112.40 0.006507

2 #2 1.65 134.03 109.10 122.30 0.007445 B. Comparison of velocity by MLPNN and experiment.

2 #3 1.65 141.33 109.10 128.20 0.007851

2 #4 1.65 134.98 109.10 123.10 0.007498 Similarly, the range of normal walking velocity

2 #5 1.65 137.63 108.60 124.00 0.007681

( μv ± σ v ), minimum and maximum value (vmin, vmax)in are

3 #1 1.75 134.20 115.80 130.40 0.006622

3 #2 1.75 129.00 111.90 121.10 0.006587 calculated from experiment data (Table 1). Output of

3 #3 1.75 127.54 114.50 122.30 0.006365

3 #4 1.75 122.16 110.70 113.60 0.006306

velocity vMLPNN and the range (vmin, vmax)MLPNN for 5 subjects

3 #5 1.75 121.99 110.30 112.90 0.006320 in test set are obtained after training MLPNN. The

4 #1 1.70 123.93 106.80 110.30 0.006826 comparison of vMLPNN and the range of desired value output

4 #2 1.70 125.65 105.60 110.70 0.006999

4 #3 1.70 126.45 106.80 113.40 0.006964 μv ± σ v is described in Figure 5. The comparison of (vmin,

4 #4 1.70 128.10 109.10 115.10 0.006907

4 #5 1.70 134.17 104.30 116.10 0.007567 vmax)MLPNN and (vmin, vmax)in is also displayed in Figure 5.

5 #1 1.74 140.95 121.20 142.30 0.006683

5 #2 1.74 136.20 113.70 129.40 0.006884

5 #3 1.74 137.31 115.40 132.00 0.006838

5 #4 1.74 136.01 117.10 133.80 0.006675

5 #5 1.74 137.16 119.00 135.50 0.006624

By using MLPNN, we can obtain an appropriate index

and velocity for each person with particular input anatomy.

The stride length and cadence will be derived from

indexMLPNN and walking velocity which are the outputs from

MLPNN.

Even when a subject is instructed to walk at the speed

that he feels comfortable with, the value of his stride length,

cadence and velocity still vary. These differences are shown Fig.5. Result of velocity for test set (5 subjects).

in Table 1 and they are defined by standard deviation σ . Our purpose is to ensure that the gait parameters which

are the input for GaitGen [11] are as natural as possible.

A. Comparison of index by MLPNN and experiment. Since the output value indexMLPNN is within the range

From the data of each subject, we calculated the range of index ± σ index and vMLPNN is within the range μv ± σ v , we can

index ( μindex ± σ index ) .

conclude that using indexMLPNN and vMLPNN can provide an D. Comparison of stride length and cadence with index

estimation that is very close to natural gait parameters. given by MLPNN, index=0.008 and index=0.0072.

C. Comparison of stride length and cadence by MLPNN The value of index and velocity for subject 1 (Table 1)

and experiment obtained from 100 runs with 16 neurons in the hidden layer

are illustrated in Figure 8. The value of index is stable in

From the range (vmin, vmax)MLPNN, clinical practitioner can

100 runs and the velocity in the normal range.

choose an appropriate walking speed v . The recommended

value vMLPNN can be used as well. The walking speed and

index indexMLPNN are applied to define stride length slMLPNN

and cadence cadenceMLPNN as follows:

⎧ slMLPNN

⎪⎪index = cadence

MLPNN × height

⎨ (13)

⎪v = slMLPNN × cadenceMLPNN

⎪⎩ 120

From the experiment data of the test set (Table 1), the

range of stride length, sl ± σ sl and the range of cadence,

cadence ± σ cadence are calculated. The result of stride length

for 5 subjects in test set slMLPNN are calculated from (13) and

the desired output for sl ± σ sl are shown in Figure 6.

From the value of index and velocity given by MLPNN,

the value of stride length and cadence can be calculated

from formula (13). The value of stride length and cadence

are illustrated in Figure 9. The results are stable and 98% in

the range of normal stride length and cadence.

The value of index in normalized gait equation [12] for

male is 0.008. Applying this equation for data obtained from

GAITRite experiment (detail in section III), the value of

index is 0.0072 for both male and female [11]. The value of

stride length and cadence with index=0.008 and

index=0.0072 are also computed and displayed in Figure 9.

With the same velocity, stride length and cadence calculated

Fig.6. Result for stride length of test set (5 subjects). from index given by MLPNN are closest to the ranges given

in the experiment.

Similarly, the result of cadence calculated from (13)

cadenceMLPNN for 5 subjects in test set and the desired value

output of cadence from experiment data

cadence ± σ cadence are shown in Figure 7. Fig.9. Stride length and cadence in 100 runs (subject 1).

V. CONCLUSION and Biological Engineering and Computing, vol. 25, pp. 341-

344, 1987.

The concept of using MLPNN to estimate the index [10] A. L. Behrman and S. J. Harkema, "Locomotor training after

value and normal walking velocity is presented. The human spinal cord injury: A series of case studies," Physical

estimated index value and normal walking velocity are then Therapy, vol. 80, pp. 688-700, 2000.

[11] H. B. Lim, K. H. Hoon, Y. C. Soh, A. Tow, and K. H. Low,

used to compute stride length and cadence. After the gait "Gait planning for effective rehabilitation - From gait study to

parameters are defined, gait patterns can be planned and application in clinical rehabilitation," in 2009 IEEE

applied in gait rehabilitation process. International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR

Instead of using a constant index value for normalization 2009, pp. 271-276, 2009.

[12] H. R. V. T. Inman, and F. Todd, Human Walking, 1st ed.,

gait equation (index=0.008), which was reported in [12], Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore/London, 1981.

MLPNN suggests different index value for different subject. [13] H. B. Lim, K. H. Hoon, Y. C. Soh, A. Tow, and K. H. Low,

The value of constant index (0.008) in [12] was obtained by "Effective gait planning for robotic rehabilitation - From normal

fitted a straight line from data of 20 subjects. Because only gait study to application in clinical rehabilitation," in

IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent

two out of the 20 subjects are women, this index is useful as Mechatronics, AIM, pp. 1885-1890, 2009.

a reference only for men. By using MLPNN, the index can [14] D. C. Montgomery, Design and Analyis of Experiments, 5th ed.,

be recommended both for men and women since gender is 2001.

one of the 5 parameters in the input vectors. [15] M. J. Er and F. Liu, "Genetic algorithms for MLP neural network

parameters optimization," in 2009 Chinese Control and Decision

The initial study presented in this paper provides a Conference, CCDC 2009, pp. 3653-3658, 2009.

method to define gait parameter for gait planner. The [16] S. Haykin, Neural Networks- A Comprehensive Foundation, 2nd

limitation of this study is that it only covers a small number ed., 1999.

of Asian people involved in the experiment. In the future, [17] M. T. Hagan and M. B. Menhaj, "Training feedforward networks

with the Marquardt algorithm," IEEE Transactions on Neural

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Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Neural

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VI. ACKNOWLEDGMENT [19] ""GAITRite System," ", [Online]. Available:

The authors would like to thank the technicians of http://www.gaitrite.com.

Robotics Research Center (RRC) of the Nanyang

Technological University (NTU) for their support to this

work. The financial supported by the NTU and the

equipment funded by the NMRC Research Grant 1051/2006

are also acknowledged.

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