A performance-based eye-tracking analysis of user behavior in a dynamic monitoring task
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The purpose of this study was to explore how the ocular behavior was different over groups which possessed varying levels of performance in a monitoring and control task with complex, dynamic visual components. Twenty-two university students joined in this study to operate a Human-In-The-Loop (HITL) simulator which simulated a battleship military radar system. The participants were asked to identify the unknown air track(s) and took proper actions to defend themselves (the ownship). During the experiment, a headmounted eye-tracking technology was introduced to continuously record participants' pupil change and visual attention in terms of the normalized coordinates of the gaze points. In the current study, fixation duration, inter-fixation duration, fixation number, and pupil size were employed as the main eye-tracking metrics. The air track identification accuracy and NASA-Task Load Index (TLX) were also used to measure participants' task performance and overall subjective mental workload. The twenty-two participants were divided into three groups based on their performance: high-accuracy group, mediumaccuracy group, and low-accuracy group. Analysis of the data revealed some statistic changes in ocular behavior and mental workload among the three groups. It was found that eye fixation duration, inter-fixation duration, pupil size dilation and NASA-TLX score may have strong correlations with the participants' performance level. The findings suggested that eye tracking data may potentially be a reliable source to identify differences in problem-solving behaviors among performance-based groups in several aspects, and may provide insights into the cognitive process to further interpret participant's performance.
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