Generating dynamic simulations of movement using computed muscle control

J Biomech. 2003 Mar;36(3):321-8. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9290(02)00432-3.


Computation of muscle excitation patterns that produce coordinated movements of muscle-actuated dynamic models is an important and challenging problem. Using dynamic optimization to compute excitation patterns comes at a large computational cost, which has limited the use of muscle-actuated simulations. This paper introduces a new algorithm, which we call computed muscle control, that uses static optimization along with feedforward and feedback controls to drive the kinematic trajectory of a musculoskeletal model toward a set of desired kinematics. We illustrate the algorithm by computing a set of muscle excitations that drive a 30-muscle, 3-degree-of-freedom model of pedaling to track measured pedaling kinematics and forces. Only 10 min of computer time were required to compute muscle excitations that reproduced the measured pedaling dynamics, which is over two orders of magnitude faster than conventional dynamic optimization techniques. Simulated kinematics were within 1 degrees of experimental values, simulated pedal forces were within one standard deviation of measured pedal forces for nearly all of the crank cycle, and computed muscle excitations were similar in timing to measured electromyographic patterns. The speed and accuracy of this new algorithm improves the feasibility of using detailed musculoskeletal models to simulate and analyze movement.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms*
  • Bicycling / physiology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Torque