Effects of Preview on Human Control Behavior in Tracking Tasks With Various Controlled Elements

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This paper investigates how humans use a previewed target trajectory for control in tracking tasks with various controlled element dynamics. The human's hypothesized "near" and "far" control mechanisms are first analyzed offline in simulations with a quasi-linear model. Second, human control behavior is quantified by fitting the same model to measurements from a human-in-the-loop experiment, where subjects tracked identical target trajectories with a pursuit and a preview display, each with gain, single-, and double-integrator controlled element dynamics. Results show that target-tracking performance improves with preview, primarily due to the far-viewpoint response, which allows humans to cancel their own and the controlled element's lags, without additional control activity. The near-viewpoint response yields better target tracking at higher frequencies, but requires substantially more control activity. The control-theoretic approach adopted in this paper provides unique quantitative insights into human use of preview, which can help to explain human behavior observed in other preview control tasks, like driving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242 - 1252
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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