Smart wearable robotic system, such as exoskeleton assist device and powered lower limb prostheses can rapidly and accurately realize man–machine interaction through locomotion mode recognition system. However, previous locomotion mode recognition studies usually adopted more sensors for higher accuracy and effective intelligent algorithms to recognize multiple locomotion modes simultaneously. To reduce the burden of sensors on users and recognize more locomotion modes, we design a novel decision tree structure (DTS) based on using an improved backpropagation neural network (IBPNN) as judgment nodes named IBPNN-DTS, after analyzing the experimental locomotion mode data using the original values with a 200-ms time window for a single inertial measurement unit to hierarchically identify nine common locomotion modes (level walking at three kinds of speeds, ramp ascent/descent, stair ascent/descent, Sit, and Stand). In addition, we reduce the number of parameters in the IBPNN for structure optimization and adopted the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm to perform global search for initial weight and threshold value to eliminate system uncertainty because randomly generated initial values tend to result in a failure to converge or falling into local optima. Experimental results demonstrate that recognition accuracy of the IBPNN-DTS with ABC optimization (ABC-IBPNN-DTS) was up to 96.71% (97.29% for the IBPNN-DTS). Compared to IBPNN-DTS without optimization, the number of parameters in ABC-IBPNN-DTS shrank by 66% with only a 0.58% reduction in accuracy while the classification model kept high robustness.
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