Friday, 30 March 2012

Literature Review - 4

Today, I reviewed some papers on pen input in details. I want to get some inspiration for my experiment design from those papers. I summarised their experiments in the table.

From my opinion, the second one which asks participants to compose sentences from the given words is too complicated, especially for the recognition part. As to the math problems, it also has too many variables in the experiment. What is more, the aim of this experiment is to help to improve the student learning process, so it is not very close to my purpose. Therefore, I prefer the map-task and target-finding.

My issue is that it is still unsure whether I could get access to the external dataset on time. Therefore, I am preparing to design some simple experiment.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Literature Review - 3

Today I read through parts of an online tutorial  named Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Human Factors Awareness Course, which covers some branches of Human-Computer Interaction. Specifically, I read Human Factors Model and Cognition sections in details. If I can get access to the research dataset to analyse the cognitive states of the team working, I will also go through the last section -- Team Performance.

In the sub-section introducing working memory, it used the Wicken's Model, which stresses a different aspect than Baddeley's Model. It focused on the human information processing, starting from outside stimuli to the perception and response mechanism. In this model, working memory plays a critical role in the selection of decision and response. I think this model can be used to explain some performance in the actual experiments.

Then, I also read a paper "Using Pen Input Features as Indices of Cognitive Load" from our research group, which is very close to my topic. It helped me to get a brief idea of how to collect pen input and use the Malahanobis distance (MDIST), a weighted Euclidean distance, to measure the degeneration of shapes, which could be an indicator of cognitive overload.

The supervisor reminded me to think about my experiment design within these two weeks, so I will find some papers on the experiment collecting pen input.


Ruiz, N., Taib, R., Shi, Y., Choi, E. & Fang, C., 2007, Using Pen Input Features as Indices of Cognitive Load, 9th international conference on Multimodal interfaces, USA

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Literature Review - 2

Today, I had a meeting with the supervisor discussing the direction of the literature searching.

The supervisor recommended some important conferences to me, like ICMI (International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces), CHI (ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), some workshops and a local forum OzCHI. Additionally, it would also be useful to browse some pages for the leading teams working in the same research areas.

We also talked about some concerns of the published time of the papers, because some papers are written about ten years ago. I was not sure whether I should read them. From the Research Method Lecture in the uni, it recommended the papers published within about three years. Of course, for the basic theories, the published time does not matter very much,  but if I do want to know the current condition of the research area, I have to find more up to date ones. Finally, I decided to pay more attention to the papers from conferences held in 2011.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Literature Review - 1

Spending three months on a summer research project, which is also about the measurement of human cognitive state, I've collected some famous, important and basic papers in this area. 

In order to lay a more concrete foundation, I decide to reread some very important papers in this week, and for those which are also relevant but I didn't have enough time to read in details before, I would spend more time on them this time.

The basic theories behind this research project is Baddeley's Working Memory Model and the Cognitive Load Theory (CLT). First of all, I reread Alan Baddeley's Working Memory (1992), which discussed the central executive and the two subsidiary systems -- phonological loop for auditory information and the visuospatial sketch pad for the visual information in the working memory. I also searched the later paper of Baddeley published about ten years after the previous one. It introduced another component in the working memory called episodic buffer, which holds the temporary multimodal code.

Then, I also reviewed another paper talking about the cognitive load measurement (Fred Paas, et al., 2003). This paper explained the definition of cognitive load theory and three main measurements. If I am going to design my own experiment, I think the task performance and subjective rating are the top choices.

Baddeley, A., 1992, Working Memory, Science, 1992 255: 556-559
Baddeley, A., 2000, The episodic buffer: a new component of working memory, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Vol. 4., No. 11
Paas, F., Tuovinen, J., Tabbers, H. & Van Gerven, P., 2003, Cognitive Load Measurement as a Means to Advance Cognitive Load Theory, Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 63-71

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Project Plan

Today I had a meeting with the supervisor about the project plan. Considering the due date of some assessments of the honours thesis course and the uncertainty of whether I can get the access to the dataset from the external collaborator, we made two versions of draft plans as below.

With the external dataset
    1. Literature Review and Feature Selection
      Mar 12th -- April 13 th (Topic Proposal due)
    2. Data Analysis (Statistics) and Progress Report 
      April 16th -- May 30th (Progress Report due)
    3. Data Analysis (Machine Learning) and Small-Scale Experiment 
      June 1st -- August 31st (Inc. the break)
    4. Final Analysis (Machine Learning)
      September 3rd -- September 26th
    5. Conclusion and Documentation
      September 27th -- October 22nd (Treatise due on October 24th)

Design and Implement my own Experiment
    1. Literature Review and Feature Selection
      Mar 12th -- April 13 th (Topic Proposal due)
    2. Experiment Design, Implementation and Progress Report 
      April 16th -- May 30th (Progress Report due)
    3. Pilot Study and Actual Experiment
      June 1st -- August 31st (Inc. the break)
    4. Data Analysis (Statistics)
      September 3rd -- September 26th
    5. Conclusion and Documentation
      September 27th -- October 22nd (Treatise due on October 24th)

This plan with all the milestones inside can help me to do the time management more efficiently. I also confirmed with the supervisor that I would work on the project in NICTA two days per week and have at least one meeting every week with him.

Friday, 9 March 2012

A New Start

This is the start of my honours project -- Multimodal Learning Analytics, under the supervisions from Ronnie Taib (NICTA) and Rafael Calvo (EIE).

My project is to research into ways to estimate human cognitive state and capability, unobtrusively and in real-time. The result can help to optimise the human decision support systems, and adaptive user interface as well. During my honours, I will work with one or more data sets offering a range of features such as speech, task performance or digital pen input. Among them, I want to focus on the digital pen input and task performance. I may also be required to design, implement and carry out a user experiment targeting specific aspects of pen interaction under varying levels of cognitive load.

There are also several research goals:

  • Identify changes in task performance and digital pen input patterns in individual and team behaviour to distinguish different cognitive load levels.
  • Explore most predictive behavioural patterns, within and across modalities, and within and between subjects for cognitive load assessment.
  • Improve the ability to plan and undertake a research project