Friday, 27 April 2012

Preview of the Dataset

Today, I did some preprocessing of the gesture data.
With the help from the supervisor, I removed all the blank line in the log, and I also checked the integrity of the data from three files by the userId and timestamp.
Currently, I have some questions to think about. Firstly, the priority of the research, which feature should I start from? Then, every gesture has about 50 points collected, how to consider those points as a whole, and looking for the trends of them.
I need to write data parsing scripts these days and before the end of the May, the analysis of some basic features should be finished.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Literature Review

Today, I continued the literature review. The focus is on the experiment design.
The paper Reducing Cognitive Load by Mixing Auditory and Visual Presentation Modes (Mousavi, Low & Sweller, 1995) introduced 6 experiments, which tested the hypotheses in levels.Experiments are designed according to the results from the previous experiments, to test some new hypotheses, so that at last, they could explain the whole thing more thoroughly and clearly. Although, for the honours project, the time may not allow me to do more than one experiment, it is a good idea to apply in the further study.
Another paper, Free-form Pen-Input as Evidence of Cognitive Load and Expertise (Ruiz, Taib & Chen, 2011), explored the use of the scratchpad and the cognitive load. I think the reason for why pen input needs to be researched is quite important for me. It provides background information for my project.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Preparation of data analysis

Today, I installed SPSS, the software for data analysis on my machine. I think I should follow the steps I went through in the summer project.

To begin with, I will have an overview study of the dataset. Understand what is stored in each column and then write some Python scripts to do preprocessing, e.g. revise data formatting, compute some intermediatory results. I think this first phase of data analysis could be finished before the end of next week. Then, I need to select what tests to do, and import data to SPSS to do them..

Monday, 16 April 2012


This morning, my supervisor and I had a meeting with the owner of the external dataset, which I am going to use. She introduced the background of their user experiment and the basic information about the dataset. She also explained some questions about the design of the experiment, especially the different tasks they used.

I will start the analysis of pen gesture data from this dataset this week, and this task will be paralleled with my experiment design. 

I also had a meeting with the supervisor, discussing the idea about the experiment design. Last week, I read several papers about n-back recall task. Today, we briefly analysed the advantages and disadvantages about it.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Proposal 3

I revised the proposal according to the suggestion from the supervisor and finalised it today. 
In the proposal, I clarified the scope and made a detailed plan. I think it could guide me to finish the whole process.

This is my Gantt chart, which has more tasks than my previous plan.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Proposal 2

Today, I wrote the proposal and finished most of the parts, except part of the procedures, the schedule and reference list. Tomorrow, I will continue to work on the proposal and I plan to finish drawing the gantt chart, which can clearly show my weekly tasks.

However, for what I have written today, I still have some questions which need to be discussed with the supervisor:
  1. Are all the assumptions I have made reasonable? Are there any more assumptions I should make to define the project scope more clearly?
  2. The description of the procedure.
  3. Expand current plan to show weekly tasks.
Despite the proposal, I will also read more about the extraction of pen gesture features.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Today I had a meeting with the supervisor about writing the proposal.

Before the meeting, I went through the evaluation criteria from the School and internal supervisor Rafael's requirements. I had some questions about the criteria from the uni -- how to write sampling and data gathering methods... at this stage?

In the meeting, we followed my proposal outline and he clarified what is expected for each section. We also exchanged some basic thoughts about the experiment design, and the scope of my research project. About my questions mentioned above, the suggestion from the supervisor was to make it clear what issues I would consider in the sampling and data gathering, so that it can prove I understand them.

After the meeting, I got a clearer idea and direction for the next two weeks. I planned to finish the draft proposal by next Tuesday.