Continuous Classification of Locomotion in Response to Task Complexity and Anticipatory State

Mahdieh Kazemimoghadam, Nicholas P. Fey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Intent recognition in lower-extremity assistive devices (e.g., prostheses and exoskeletons) is typically limited to either recognition of steady-state locomotion or changes of terrain (e.g., level ground to stair) occurring in a straight-line path and under anticipated condition. Stability is highly affected during non-steady changes of direction such as cuts especially when they are unanticipated, posing high risk of fall-related injuries. Here, we studied the influence of changes of direction and user anticipation on task recognition, and accordingly introduced classification schemes accommodating such effects. Methods: A linear discriminant analysis (LDA) classifier continuously classified straight-line walking, sidestep/crossover cuts (single transitions), and cuts-to-stair locomotion (mixed transitions) performed under varied task anticipatory conditions. Training paradigms with varying levels of anticipated/unanticipated exposures and analysis windows of size 100–600 ms were examined. Results: More accurate classification of anticipated relative to unanticipated tasks was observed. Including bouts of target task in the training data was necessary to improve generalization to unanticipated locomotion. Only up to two bouts of target task were sufficient to reduce errors to <20% in unanticipated mixed transitions, whereas, in single transitions and straight walking, substantial unanticipated information (i.e., five bouts) was necessary to achieve similar outcomes. Window size modifications did not have a significant influence on classification performance. Conclusion: Adjusting the training paradigm helps to achieve classification schemes capable of adapting to changes of direction and task anticipatory state. Significance: The findings could provide insight into developing classification schemes that can adapt to changes of direction and user anticipation. They could inform intent recognition strategies for controlling lower-limb assistive to robustly handle “unknown” circumstances, and thus deliver increased level of reliability and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number628050
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - Apr 22 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • analysis window size
  • changes of direction
  • intent recognition
  • task anticipation
  • training paradigm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Histology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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