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Determination of subject-specific model parameters for visco-elastic elements

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journal contribution
posted on 12.05.2010, 15:15 by Cassie Wilson, Mark KingMark King, Fred Yeadon
The determination of subject-specific model parameter values is necessary in order for a computer simulation model of human motion to be evaluated quantitatively. This study used an optimisation procedure along with a kinematically-driven simulation model of the contact phase in running jumps to determine the elastic parameters of segmental wobbling masses and the foot-ground interface. Kinetic and kinematic data were obtained on a running jump for height and a running jump for distance performed by an elite male high jumper. Stiffness and damping coefficients of the visco-elastic elements in the model were varied until the difference between simulation and performance was minimised. Percentage differences of 6% and 9% between the simulated and recorded performances were obtained in the jumps for height and distance respectively. When the parameters obtained from the jump for height were used in a simulation of the jump for distance (and vice versa) there was poor agreement with the recorded jump. On the other hand a common set of visco-elastic parameters were obtained using the data from both recorded jumps resulting in a mean difference of only 8% (made up of 7% and 10%) between simulation and performance that was almost as good as the individual matches. Simulations were not overly sensitive to perturbations of the common set of visco-elastic parameters. It is concluded that subject-specific elastic parameters should be calculated from more than a single jump in order to provide a robust set of values that can be used in different simulations.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


WILSON, C., KING, M.A. and YEADON, M.R., 2006. Determination of subject-specific model parameters for visco-elastic elements. Journal of Biomechanics, 39 (10), pp. 1883-1890


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This article was accepted for publication in the Journal of Biomechanics [© Elsevier] and the definitive version is available at: