CPSC 412/612 Eye Tracking Methodology

Description: Introduction to the Human Visual System; visual perception; eye movements; eye tracking systems and applications in psychology, industrial engineering, marketing, and computer science; hands-on experience with real-time, corneal-reflection eye trackers, experimental issues. Final project requires the execution and analysis of an eye tracking experiment using Clemson's Virtual Reality laboratory equipment.
Prerequisites: CP SC 360 or PSYCH 310 or MKT 431 or IE 488.
Required texts: Duchowski, Andrew T., Eye Tracking Methodology: Theory & Practice, 2nd ed., Springer-Verlag, London, UK, 2007.
Outside reading: Current literature.
Professor: Dr. Andrew Duchowski
Office: McAdams 309, 656-7677, andrewd@cs.clemson.edu
Office hours: Tue,Thu 2:00-3:00 and by appointment.
Objectives: To gain an understanding of the dynamic aspects of the Human Visual System, with emphasis on eye movements, and to obtain experience in the design, operation, and application of eye tracking technology in various research domains. Eye tracking applications will be explored in psychology, industrial engineering, marketing, and computer science.
Laboratory content: Using the eye tracking system, located in the Clemson Virtual Reality Project laboratory, design and run a simple experiment. Choice of experimental application (e.g., visual perception, subject performance, etc.) will depend on the students' interest. Suggested experiments:
  • perception of digital imagery (e.g., peripheral degradation)
  • subject performance in various situations (e.g., stress in Virtual Reality, competence in training simulation)
  • retention of informational content (e.g., reading, advertising)
  • non-command human-computer interface (e.g., ``gaze pointer'' instead of mouse)
Experimental results will be subjectively evaluated by the course instructor on the quality of (1) accuracy of data, (2) generalizability of results, and (3) informative content of experiment.

Enrollment permitting, students should organize themselves into teams drawing on their inter-disciplinary strengths, e.g., four-member teams where each team must have a member from Computer Science.

Class Participation10%
Final Project30%
Final Project Presentation10%
Final Exam15%

600-level students will be required to analyze and report on technical papers in the area and lead their teams in experimental design and/or technical program development. Failure to coordinate technical development with experimental design will result in the loss of a letter grade.
Attendance: Roll will be taken for the first one or two weeks while the class roll fluctuates. However, attendance is not required. Absence, excused or not, does not change the responsibility for assigned work. Tests missed due to excused absences will normally result in the test not being counted in the average grade (i.e., there will normally be no makeup tests). An unexcused absence from a test will normally result in a grade of zero for that test. Students are expected to give at least one week advance notice for excused absences.
Academic dishonesty: The University policies on academic dishonesty apply. Publicly-available code or other material may be freely used if appropriately attributed. Each student is responsible for protecting his or her files from access by others. Work that is essentially the same and submitted without proper attribution is considered to be a violation of academic dishonesty policy by all those submitting the work, regardless of who actually did the work.
Class cancelation: Students are expected to wait for 15 minutes after the class beginning time before leaving if the instructor is late.
Topical outline: The course is designed in four parts: (I) Introduction to the Human Visual System, (II) Eye Tracking Systems, (III) Technical Considerations, and (IV) Experimental Issues:
  • Part I (10 hrs): Eye Tracking Applications & Systems
    • eye tracking applications
      • psychophysics
      • human factors
      • advertising
      • digital displays
    • the eye tracker
      • early developments (scleral coils, contact lenses, etc.)
      • video-based eye trackers
      • system use
  • Part II (10 hrs): Experimental Issues
    • experimental design
      • what to test?
      • how many subjects?
      • how many sessions?
      • how many trials?
    • data analysis and interpretation
    • drawing conclusions
    • stimulus creation/selection (digital imagery, e.g., graphics, VR, images, video)
  • Part III (10 hrs): Technical Considerations
    • system design, hardware, software
    • system calibration
    • data collection
  • Midterm (1 hr)
    • covers Parts I and II, including
      • practical test on the eye tracker (in lab)
      • written test in form of project proposal
  • Part IV (10 hrs): Introduction to the Human Visual System (HVS)
    • eye movements
      • saccades
      • smooth pursuits
      • fixations
      • nystagmus
    • visual perception
      • spatial vision
      • temporal vision
      • color vision
    • neurological substrate of the HVS
      • physiological description
        • the eye and extra-ocular muscles
        • the retina
        • the optic tract
        • magno- and parvo-cellular visual channels
        • the occipital cortex and beyond
      • functional description
        • visual attention
        • eye movements
        • foveo-peripheral vision
  • Final project presentations (2 hrs):
    • student teams will present their results, generally composed of:
      • summary
      • objectives
      • background
      • experimental design
        • apparatus
        • subjects
        • stimulus
        • procedures
      • experimental analysis
      • conclusions
  • Final Exam (3 hr)
    • covers Parts III and IV, including
      • theoretical foundations
        (human vision and visual perception)
      • eye movements
      • principles of eye tracker operation
      • eye tracking applications
        (based on current literature and case studies)