Selection of Body Segment Parameters by Optimization Methods

[+] Author and Article Information
C. L. Vaughan

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

J. G. Andrews

Division of Materials Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

J. G. Hay

Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Physical Education, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

J Biomech Eng 104(1), 38-44 (Feb 01, 1982) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138301 History: Received April 13, 1981; Online June 15, 2009


The selection of body segment parameters (BSPs) is a difficult yet essential task in many biomechanical studies. The methods used to date—cadaver, reaction board, mathematical modeling, gamma scanning, and kinematics—all have a number of drawbacks. The purpose of the present paper is to present an alternative method, based on kinematic data and optimization theory, for selecting BSPs. The design variables are the BSPs and the objective function to be minimized is based on the difference between calculated and measured distal extremity kinetics, while the equality constraints are based on Newtonian principles as well as bilateral symmetry of the BSPs. Three different activities are used to generate “optimal” sets of BSPs and these values are different, but not markedly so, from cadaver values. Further detailed investigation appears warranted.

Copyright © 1982 by ASME
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