Perception and performance: an evaluation of multimodal feedback for the assessment of curve shape differences

Hollowood, Jacqueline (2011) Perception and performance: an evaluation of multimodal feedback for the assessment of curve shape differences. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The EU-funded SATIN project sought to provide a multimodal interface to aid product designers in judging the quality of curved shapes. This thesis outlines a research programme designed to assist in the exploration of fundamental issues related to this project, and provide a means to evaluate the success of such interfaces more generally. Therefore, three studies were undertaken with the aim of exploring the value of haptic and sound feedback in the perception of curve shape differences, and through the knowledge gained provide an evaluative framework for the assessment of such interfaces.

The first study found that visual, haptic, and visual-haptic perception was insufficient to judge discontinuities in curvature without some further augmentation. This led to a second study which explored the use of sound for conveying curve shape information. It was found that sine waves or harmonic sounds were most suited to for this task. The third study combined visual-haptic and auditory information. It was found that sound improved the perception of curve shape differences, although this was dependent upon the type of sonification method used. Further to this, data from studies one and three were used to identify gradient as the active mechanism of curve shape differentiation and provided a model for the prediction of these differences. Similarly performance data (response time, accuracy, and confidence) were analysed to produce a model for the prediction of user performance at varying degrees of task difficulty.

The research undertaken across these studies was used to develop a framework to evaluate multimodal interfaces for curve shape exploration. In particular a ‘discount’ psychophysical method was proposed, along with predictive tools for the creation of perceptual and performance metrics, plus guidelines to aid development. This research has added to fundamental knowledge and provided a useful framework through which future multimodal interfaces may be evaluated.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cobb, S.
Sharples, S.C.
Keywords: Haptic, Haptics, Multimodal, Psychophysics, Thresholds, Sonification, Class-A Surfaces, SATIN Project, Discontinuity, Absolute Threshold, Difference Threshold, Curvature, Human Factors, Performance Measures, Perception
Subjects: T Technology > TS Manufactures
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Item ID: 12282
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2012 10:39
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 08:26

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