Discrimination of walking patterns using wavelet-based fractal analysis

Masaki Sekine, Toshiyo Tamura, Metin Akay, Toshiro Fujimoto, Tatsuo Togawa, Yasuhiro Fukui
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 2002, 10 (3): 188-96
In this paper, we attempted to classify the acceleration signals for walking along a corridor and on stairs by using the wavelet-based fractal analysis method. In addition, the wavelet-based fractal analysis method was used to evaluate the gait of elderly subjects and patients with Parkinson's disease. The triaxial acceleration signals were measured close to the center of gravity of the body while the subject walked along a corridor and up and down stairs continuously. Signal measurements were recorded from 10 healthy young subjects and 11 elderly subjects. For comparison, two patients with Parkinson's disease participated in the level walking. The acceleration signal in each direction was decomposed to seven detailed signals at different wavelet scales by using the discrete wavelet transform. The variances of detailed signals at scales 7 to 1 were calculated. The fractal dimension of the acceleration signal was then estimated from the slope of the variance progression. The fractal dimensions were significantly different among the three types of walking for individual subjects (p < 0.01) and showed a high reproducibility. Our results suggest that the fractal dimensions are effective for classifying the walking types. Moreover, the fractal dimensions were significantly higher for the elderly subjects than for the young subjects (p < 0.01). For the patients with Parkinson's disease, the fractal dimensions tended to be higher than those of healthy subjects. These results suggest that the acceleration signals change into a more complex pattern with aging and with Parkinson's disease, and the fractal dimension can be used to evaluate the gait of elderly subjects and patients with Parkinson's disease.

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