Predictive dynamics: An optimization-based novel approach for human motion simulation

Yujiang Xiang, Hyun Joon Chung, Joo H. Kim, Rajankumar Bhatt, Salam Rahmatalla, Jingzhou Yang, Timothy Marler, Jasbir S. Arora, Karim Abdel-Malek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Predictive dynamics is a novel approach for simulating human motion. It avoids direct integration of differential-algebraic equations in order to create the resulting simulations for redundant digital human models. Instead, it formulates an optimization problem by defining appropriate performance measures and constraints to recover the real motion of the dynamic system. In the formulation, both kinematics and kinetics parameters serve as unknowns, and equations of motion are treated as equality constraints. Procedures to choose physical performance measures and appropriate constraints based on the available information about the bio-system are presented. The proposed methodology is illustrated and studied by first predicting the swinging motion of a single pendulum with externally applied torque. The pendulum can represent the motion of upper and lower extremities. This simple problem has analytical solutions and is used to gain insights for the predictive dynamics approach. In addition, a complex human walking task is simulated by using the approach, and realistic results are obtained. Such motion prediction capabilities have a wide variety of applications for industries ranging from automotive to military to clinical analysis and design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-479
Number of pages15
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Forward dynamics
  • Human motion simulation
  • Inverse dynamics
  • Optimization
  • Predictive dynamics
  • Single pendulum
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Control and Optimization


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