Modeling multibody systems subject to unilateral contacts and friction efficiently is challenging, and dynamic formulations based on the mixed linear complementarity problem (MLCP) are commonly used for this purpose. The accuracy of the MLCP solution method can be evaluated by determining the error introduced by it. In this paper, we find that commonly used MLCP error measures suffer from unit inconsistency leading to the error lacking any physical meaning. We propose a unit-consistent error measure which computes energy error components for each constraint dependent on the inverse effective mass and compliance. It is shown by means of a simple example that the unit consistency issue does not occur using this proposed error measure. Simulation results confirm that the error decreases with convergence toward the solution. If a pivoting algorithm does not find a solution of the MLCP due to an iteration limit, e.g. in real-time simulations, choosing the result with the least error can reduce the risk of simulation instabilities.

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