Effects of Target Trajectory Bandwidth on Manual Control Behavior in Pursuit and Preview Tracking

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The 1960s crossover model is widely applied to quantitatively predict a human controller's (HC's) manual control behavior. Unfortunately, the theory captures only compensatory tracking behavior and, as such, a limited range of real-world manual control tasks. This article finalizes recent advances in manual control theory toward more general pursuit and preview tracking tasks. It is quantified how HCs adapt their control behavior to a final crucial task variable: the target trajectory bandwidth. Beneficial adaptation strategies are first explored offline with computer simulations, using an extended crossover model theory for pursuit and preview tracking. The predictions are then verified with data from a human-in-the-loop experiment, in which participants tracked a target trajectory with bandwidths of 1.5, 2.5, and 4 rad/s, using compensatory, as well as pursuit and preview displays. In stark contrast to the crossover regression found in compensatory tasks, humans attenuate only their feedforward response when tracking higher-bandwidth trajectories in pursuit tasks, while their behavior is generally invariant in preview tasks. A full quantitative theory is now available to predict HC manual control behavior in tracking tasks, which includes HC adaptation to all key task variables.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8897675
Pages (from-to)68-78
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Manual control
  • modeling
  • preview
  • pursuit
  • target trajectory bandwidth


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