naming AB models


i have a very simple sounding question, but i fear, there is no answer which is complete and at the same time unique:

What are the / Is there an identifier for musculoskeletal models that are solved by the AnyBody modelling system?

This question often arises in research manuscripts when one wants to motivate why such kind of model was used or simply wants to name it.

When thinking about this, such names refer to:
(1) the items, the models consist of (rigid body model, kinematic model, musculoskeletal model)
(2) the underlying method (inverse dynamic model)
(3) the software used (AnyBody model)
(4) combinations of those

They all have there disadvantages:
(1) is not unique as also other models like e. g. FE models may consist of rigid bodies or kinematical drivers and contain muscles and skeletal parts
(2) Some problems are static and not dynamic
(3) Using AnyBody models is not primary a scientific reason (even though AB is a scientific software :wink: )
(4) are not short, like “inverse dynamic/static rigid body model”

Maybe someone has some further or the one and only ultimate idea for this.

Thanks and kind regards,


Hi Thomas,

I like your “philosophical” post here :wink: . I agree, it is not easy to find a short and precise name. Very often terms and expressions are used for something that is not clear by definition, quite often even wrong.

My feeling:
The biomechanics community uses the term Musculoskeletal Simulation for rigid body simulations of the skeleton with muscles. Models that use a finite element approach are always called FE models. Inverse or forward dynamics are called dynamics, but are not limited to dynamic motions. The community uses that also for static problems.

Conclusion: Best guess is “Musculoskeletal Simulation based on Inverse Dynamics”, but if you want to be correct, there is no short name.

Let’s see if somebody else wants to comment on this…

Hi !
As written by Amir:

I like your “philosophical” post here

In fact, I think it’s a really interesting question and I’m, more or less, thinking about it for few monthes: I’m writing papers and it’s quite difficult to give a short and concise name describing the whole aspect of such models.

I finally decided to use the “inverse dynamics musculoskeletal model” expression, that I abbreviate as MS model once I’ve explained that this abbreviation take into account the inverse dynamics ones only (i.e. not the forwards ones).

According to me there are not such problems with finite elements models, the reason being that they are older than the MS ones. I think that the most important is to define and explain the expression you use in such a manner that the reader understand your work / model.

What do you think about these points ?

I am a fan of Herbert Hatze’s work (all the way from his thesis onwards) and if you just read the first page of his 2002 paper on the fundamental problem of myoskeletal inverse dynamics, you will notice all sorts of terms being thrown at you.

I would throw another one in the pot: Human motion kinetics. Just goes to say, as others have alluded, this is an interesting question with no straightforward answer.