A method is developed which reduces the calculation of reaction forces for multi-degree-of-freedom, constrained, mechanical, dynamic systems to a process of accumulating a sum of terms representing inertial forces, applied forces, and Lagrange multiplier forces. This method results in an approach to reaction force calculations which is computationally more efficient than either virtual work or equilibrium when these methods are applied in conventional ways. The method is based on selecting a tree for the network being simulated in which the chords of the network correspond to revolute pairs (for two-dimensional systems). When such a tree is determined, Lagrange’s equation with constraint is used to represent the mechanical system. If the paths to the centers of mass and the paths associated with applied forces are developed from tree branches, the Lagrange multipliers are directly interpretable in terms of the total reaction forces at the chords of the network. These multipliers are obtained in the process of determining the system motion. The remaining reaction forces and torques are determined by a sequence of additions.

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