, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 267-276
Date: 08 Nov 2012

Enhanced spatio-temporal alignment of plantar pressure image sequences using B-splines

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This article presents an enhanced methodology to align plantar pressure image sequences simultaneously in time and space. The temporal alignment of the sequences is accomplished using B-splines in the time modeling, and the spatial alignment can be attained using several geometric transformation models. The methodology was tested on a dataset of 156 real plantar pressure image sequences (3 sequences for each foot of the 26 subjects) that was acquired using a common commercial plate during barefoot walking. In the alignment of image sequences that were synthetically deformed both in time and space, an outstanding accuracy was achieved with the cubic B-splines. This accuracy was significantly better (p < 0.001) than the one obtained using the best solution proposed in our previous work. When applied to align real image sequences with unknown transformation involved, the alignment based on cubic B-splines also achieved superior results than our previous methodology (p < 0.001). The consequences of the temporal alignment on the dynamic center of pressure (COP) displacement was also assessed by computing the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) before and after the temporal alignment of the three image sequence trials of each foot of the associated subject at six time instants. The results showed that, generally, the ICCs related to the medio-lateral COP displacement were greater when the sequences were temporally aligned than the ICCs of the original sequences. Based on the experimental findings, one can conclude that the cubic B-splines are a remarkable solution for the temporal alignment of plantar pressure image sequences. These findings also show that the temporal alignment can increase the consistency of the COP displacement on related acquired plantar pressure image sequences.