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JOURNAL ARTICLE

A machine learning approach to detect changes in gait parameters following a fatiguing occupational task

Amir Baghdadi, Fadel M Megahed, Ehsan T Esfahani, Lora A Cavuoto
Ergonomics 2018, 61 (8): 1116-1129
29452575
The purpose of this study is to provide a method for classifying non-fatigued vs. fatigued states following manual material handling. A method of template matching pattern recognition for feature extraction ($1 Recognizer) along with the support vector machine model for classification were applied on the kinematics of gait cycles segmented by our stepwise search-based segmentation algorithm. A single inertial measurement unit on the ankle was used, providing a minimally intrusive and inexpensive tool for monitoring. The classifier distinguished between states using distance-based scores from the recogniser and the step duration. The results of fatigue detection showed an accuracy of 90% across data from 20 recruited subjects. This method utilises the minimum amount of data and features from only one low-cost sensor to reliably classify the state of fatigue induced by a realistic manufacturing task using a simple machine learning algorithm that can be extended to real-time fatigue monitoring as a future technology to be employed in the manufacturing facilities. Practitioner Summary: We examined the use of a wearable sensor for the detection of fatigue-related changes in gait based on a simulated manual material handling task. Classification based on foot acceleration and position trajectories resulted in 90% accuracy. This method provides a practical framework for predicting realistic levels of fatigue.

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