Mathematical Modeling and Evaluation of Human Motions in Physical Therapy Using Mixture Density Neural Networks

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The objective of the proposed research is to develop a methodology for modeling and evaluation of human motions, which will potentially benefit patients undertaking a physical rehabilitation therapy (e.g., following a stroke or due to other medical conditions). The ultimate aim is to allow patients to perform home-based rehabilitation exercises using a sensory system for capturing the motions, where an algorithm will retrieve the trajectories of a patient’s exercises, will perform data analysis by comparing the performed motions to a reference model of prescribed motions, and will send the analysis results to the patient’s physician with recommendations for improvement.

Human Motions in Physical Therapy

The modeling approach employs an artificial neural network, consisting of layers of recurrent neuron units and layers of neuron units for estimating a mixture density function over the spatio-temporal dependencies within the human motion sequences. Input data are sequences of motions related to a prescribed exercise by a physiotherapist to a patient, and recorded with a motion capture system. An auto encoder subnet is employed for reducing the dimensionality of captured sequences of human motions, complemented with a mixture density subnet for probabilistic modeling of the motion data using a mixture of Gaussian distributions.

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