This article proposes a comprehensive investigation of the automatic classification of functional gait disorders based solely on ground reaction force (GRF) measurements. The aim of the study is twofold: (1) to investigate the suitability of stateof-the-art GRF parameterization techniques (representations) for the discrimination of functional gait disorders; and (2) to provide a first performance baseline for the automated classification of functional gait disorders for a large-scale dataset. The utilized database comprises GRF measurements from 279 patients with gait disorders (GDs) and data from 161 healthy controls (N). Patients were manually classified into four classes with different functional impairments associated with the "hip", "knee", "ankle", and "calcaneus". Different parameterizations are investigated: GRF parameters, global principal component analysis (PCA)-based representations and a combined representation applying PCA on GRF parameters. The discriminative power of each parameterization for different classes is investigated by linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Based on this analysis, two classification experiments are pursued: (1) distinction between healthy and impaired gait (N vs. GD) and (2) multi-class classification between healthy gait and all four GD classes. Experiments show promising results and reveal among others that several factors, such as imbalanced class cardinalities and varying numbers of measurement sessions per patient have a strong impact on the classification accuracy and therefore need to be taken into account. The results represent a promising first step towards the automated classification of gait disorders and a first performance baseline for future developments in this direction.
D. Slijepcevic, M. Zeppelzauer, A. Gorgas, C. Schwab, M. Schüller, A. Baca, C. Breiteneder, B. Horsak: "Automatic Classification of Functional Gait Disorders"; IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, PP (2017), 99; 1 - 9.
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