Determining rigid body transformation parameters from ill-conditioned spatial marker co-ordinates
The three-dimensional location of a body-fixed axis system is described by position and orientation parameters that can be calculated knowing local and global coordinates of three or more body-fixed markers. However, marker distribution can become ill-conditioned when marker placement is symmetrical with respect to the mean of the markers. As symmetry and ill-conditioning increases, random errors in marker locations can affect the stability of orientation parameters as a result of the mathematical approach adopted. The present study investigates the methods of Veldpaus et al. [1988; Journal of Biomechanics 21, 45], Challis [1995; Biomechanics 28, 733] and Andriacchi et al. [1998; Journal of Biomedical Engineering 120, 743] for obtaining segment orientation parameters when segment markers ranged from well-defined to highly ill-conditioned depending on the symmetry of segment markers. A novel fourth approach is also presented that enabled comparisons of the root mean square error of reconstructed marker coordinates to verify that an optimal solution was obtained. No single method produced optimal results for all axis orientation parameters when reconstructing movement trials. The best performed was the method of Veldpaus et al. [1988; Journal of Biomechanics 21, 45] based on consistent results and ease of implementation. The fourth approach presented provided a reliable method in all but the highly ill-conditioned markers, however implementation was computationally difficult. The method of Challis [1995; Biomechanics 28, 733] was only suited to well-conditioned marker sets which avoided markers lying in a single plane with symmetries in marker distribution relative to the mean. The method of Andriacchi et al. [1998; Journal of Biomedical Engineering 120, 743] produced, at best, orientation parameters that approximated the results obtained by least squares methods.
Journal of Biomechanics