Noise-robust fixation detection in eye movement data: Identification by two-means clustering I2MCReport as inadecuate

Noise-robust fixation detection in eye movement data: Identification by two-means clustering I2MC - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Behavior Research Methods

pp 1–22

First Online: 31 October 2016


Eye-tracking research in infants and older children has gained a lot of momentum over the last decades. Although eye-tracking research in these participant groups has become easier with the advance of the remote eye-tracker, this often comes at the cost of poorer data quality than in research with well-trained adults Hessels, Andersson, Hooge, Nyström, and Kemner Infancy, 20, 601–633, 2015; Wass, Forssman, and Leppänen Infancy, 19, 427–460, 2014. Current fixation detection algorithms are not built for data from infants and young children. As a result, some researchers have even turned to hand correction of fixation detections Saez de Urabain, Johnson, and Smith Behavior Research Methods, 47, 53–72, 2015. Here we introduce a fixation detection algorithm—identification by two-means clustering I2MC—built specifically for data across a wide range of noise levels and when periods of data loss may occur. We evaluated the I2MC algorithm against seven state-of-the-art event detection algorithms, and report that the I2MC algorithm’s output is the most robust to high noise and data loss levels. The algorithm is automatic, works offline, and is suitable for eye-tracking data recorded with remote or tower-mounted eye-trackers using static stimuli. In addition to application of the I2MC algorithm in eye-tracking research with infants, school children, and certain patient groups, the I2MC algorithm also may be useful when the noise and data loss levels are markedly different between trials, participants, or time points e.g., longitudinal research.

KeywordsEye-tracking Fixation detection Noise Data quality Data loss Roy S. Hessels and Diederick C. Niehorster contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Roy S. Hessels - Diederick C. Niehorster - Chantal Kemner - Ignace T. C. Hooge


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