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Click to download PDF version Click to download BibTeX data Clik to view abstract R. J. Peters, L. Itti, Applying computational tools to predict gaze direction in interactive visual environments, ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, Vol. 5, No. 2, p. Article 8, 2008. (Cited by 103)

Abstract: Future interactive virtual environments will be ``attention-aware,'' capable of predicting, reacting to, and ultimately influencing the visual attention of their human operators. Before such environments can be realized, it is necessary to operationalize our understanding of the relevant aspects of visual perception, in the form of fully-automated computational heuristics that can efficiently identify locations that would attract human gaze in complex dynamic environments. One promising approach to designing such heuristics draws on ideas from computational neuroscience. We compared several neurobiologically-inspired heuristics with eye movement recordings from five observers playing video games, and found that heuristics which detect outliers from the global distribution of visual features were better predictors of human gaze than were purely local heuristics. Heuristics sensitive to dynamic events performed best overall. Further, heuristic prediction power differed more between games than between different human observers. While other factors clearly also influence eye position, our findings suggest that simple neurally-inspired algorithmic methods can account for a significant portion of human gaze behavior in a naturalistic, interactive setting. These algorithms may be useful in the implementation of interactive virtual environments, both to predict the cognitive state of human operators, as well as to effectively endow virtual agents in the system with human-like visual behavior.

Themes: Model of Bottom-Up Saliency-Based Visual Attention, Computer Vision, Model of Top-Down Attentional Modulation, Human Eye-Tracking Research, Computational Modeling


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