Classification of Human Walking Patterns through Singular Value Decomposition Projection

  • Ellis Kessler
  • Pablo A. Tarazaga
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Sensing of structural vibration provides a rich source of information that can be used in structural health monitoring and impact/fault localization among other applications. In this paper, acceleration measurements from vibration sensors (accelerometers), installed in an operational smart building (Virginia Tech’s Goodwin Hall), are used to classify footsteps of different kinds from building occupants. Goodwin Hall is a 160,000 square foot five story building instrumented with over 200 accelerometers mounted to the building’s structure. Singular value decomposition (SVD) projection is used to classify measured data into categories seeded with training data. Contrary to the black box machine learning approach, the SVD framework allows classification parameters to be easily modified and their effects visualized to be understood. Better understanding of the classification problem and its dominant parameters will allow the development of more accurate and robust algorithms for classification of a wide variety of signals.


Gait Singular value decomposition Classification Smart infrastructure User identification 



Dr. Tarazaga would like to acknowledge the financial support of the John R. Jones Faculty Fellowship.

The authors wish to acknowledge the support as well as the collaborative efforts provided by our sponsors, VTI Instruments, PCB Piezotronics, Inc.; Dytran Instruments, Inc.; and Oregano Systems. The authors are particularly appreciative for the support provided by the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech through Dean Richard Benson and Associate Dean Ed Nelson as well as VT Capital Project Manager, Todd Shelton, and VT University Building Official, William Hinson. The authors would also like to acknowledge Gilbane, Inc. and in particular, David Childress and Eric Hotek. We are especially thankful to the Student Engineering Council (SEC) at Virginia Tech and their financial commitment to this project. The work was conducted under the patronage of the Virginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Laboratory and its members.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringVirginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Lab (VTSIL)BlacksburgUSA

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