Low-Rank Representation of Head Impact Kinematics: A Data-Driven Emulator

Patricio Arrué, Nima Toosizadeh, Hessam Babaee, Kaveh Laksari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Head motion induced by impacts has been deemed as one of the most important measures in brain injury prediction, given that the vast majority of brain injury metrics use head kinematics as input. Recently, researchers have focused on using fast approaches, such as machine learning, to approximate brain deformation in real time for early brain injury diagnosis. However, training such models requires large number of kinematic measurements, and therefore data augmentation is required given the limited on-field measured data available. In this study we present a principal component analysis-based method that emulates an empirical low-rank substitution for head impact kinematics, while requiring low computational cost. In characterizing our existing data set of 537 head impacts, each consisting of 6 degrees of freedom measurements, we found that only a few modes, e.g., 15 in the case of angular velocity, is sufficient for accurate reconstruction of the entire data set. Furthermore, these modes are predominantly low frequency since over 70% of the angular velocity response can be captured by modes that have frequencies under 40 Hz. We compared our proposed method against existing impact parametrization methods and showed significantly better performance in injury prediction using a range of kinematic-based metrics—such as head injury criterion (HIC), rotational injury criterion (RIC), and brain injury metric (BrIC)—and brain tissue deformation-based metrics—such as brain angle metric (BAM), maximum principal strain (MPS), and axonal fiber strains (FS). In all cases, our approach reproduced injury metrics similar to the ground truth measurements with no significant difference, whereas the existing methods obtained significantly different (p < 0.01) values as well as substantial differences in injury classification sensitivity and specificity. This emulator will enable us to provide the necessary data augmentation to build a head impact kinematic data set of any size. The emulator and corresponding examples are available on our website1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number555493
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - Sep 25 2020


  • concussion
  • data-driven emulator
  • head impact kinematics
  • injury biomechanics
  • injury metrics
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Histology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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