Identifying the foot stance and foot swing phases, also known as foot-to-ground (FTG) detection, is a branch of Human Activity Recognition (HAR). Our study aims to detect two main phases of the gait (i.e., foot-off and foot-contact) corresponding to the moments when each
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Identifying the foot stance and foot swing phases, also known as foot-to-ground (FTG) detection, is a branch of Human Activity Recognition (HAR). Our study aims to detect two main phases of the gait (i.e., foot-off and foot-contact) corresponding to the moments when each foot is in contact with the ground or not. This will allow the medical professionals to characterize and identify the different phases of the human gait and their respective patterns. This detection process is paramount for extracting gait features (e.g., step width, stride width, gait speed, cadence, etc.) used by medical experts to highlight gait anomalies, stance issues, or any other walking irregularities. It will be used to assist health practitioners with patient monitoring, in addition to developing a full pipeline for FTG detection that would help compute gait indicators. In this paper, a comparison of different training configurations, including model architectures, data formatting, and pre-processing, was conducted to select the parameters leading to the highest detection accuracy. This binary classification provides a label for each timestamp informing whether the foot is in contact with the ground or not. Models such as CNN, LSTM, and ConvLSTM were the best fits for this study. Yet, we did not exclude DNNs and Machine Learning models, such as Random Forest and XGBoost from our work in order to have a wide range of possible comparisons. As a result of our experiments, which included 27 senior participants who had a stroke in the past wearing IMU sensors on their ankles, the ConvLSTM model achieved a high accuracy of 97.01% for raw windowed data with a size of 3 frames per window, and each window was formatted to have two superimposed channels (accelerometer and gyroscope channels). The model was trained to have the best detection without any knowledge of the participants’ personal information including age, gender, health condition, the type of activity, or the used foot. In other words, the model’s input data only originated from IMU sensors. Overall, in terms of FTG detection, the combination of the ConvLSTM model and the data representation had an important impact in outperforming other start-of-the-art configurations; in addition, the compromise between the model’s complexity and its accuracy is a major asset for deploying this model and developing real-time solutions.