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Section: New Results

The effect of discretization on parameter identification. Application to patient-specific simulations

Participants : Nava Schulmann, Igor Peterlik, Stéphane Cotin.

Identifying the elastic parameters of a finite element model from a dynamically acquired set of observations is a fundamental challenge in many data-driven medical applications, from soft surgical robotics to image-guided per-operative simulations. While various strategies exist to tackle the parameter-identification inverse problem  [29], the effect of sub-optimal discretization, as often required in real-time applications, is largely overlooked. Indeed, the need to tune the parameter values in order to account for discretization-induced stiffening in specific models is reported in different works (e.g. [Chen et al., 2015, Anna et al., 2018]). However, to the best of our knowledge, no systematic study of this phenomenon exists to date, nor has any strategy to select optimal effective values been developed. Our work addresses the issue of parameter identification in coarsened meshes with special attention to the dynamical nature of the identification. We focus on the estimation of Young's moduli in simplified systems and show that the estimated stiffnesses are underestimated in a systematic manner when reducing the number of degrees of freedom. We also show that the effective stiffness of a given coarse mesh, when associated with an undersampled mesh discretization, is not constant but strongly depends on the prescribed deformations. These results show that the estimated parameters should not be considered as the true parameter value of the organ or tissue but instead are model-dependent values. We argue that Bayesian methods present a clear advantage w.r.t. classical minimization methods by their ability to efficiently adapt the local parameter values. The results were presented at CMBBE 2019 [26].