An empirical human controller model for preview tracking tasks

K El, DM Pool, HJ Damveld, MM van Paassen, M Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Real-life tracking tasks often show preview information to the human controller about the future track to follow. The effect of preview on manual control behavior is still relatively unknown. This paper proposes a generic operator model for preview tracking, empirically derived from experimental measurements. Conditions included pursuit tracking, i.e., without preview information, and tracking with 1 s of preview. Controlled element dynamics varied between gain, single integrator, and double integrator. The model is derived in the frequency domain, after application of a black-box system identification method based on Fourier coefficients. Parameter estimates are obtained to assess the validity of the model in both the time domain and frequency domain. Measured behavior in all evaluated conditions can be captured with the commonly used quasi-linear operator model for compensatory tracking, extended with two viewpoints of the previewed target. The derived model provides new insights into how human operators use preview information in tracking tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2609-2621
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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  • Peer-lijst tijdschrift


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