J. Gregory Trafton's research while affiliated with United States Naval Research Laboratory and other places

Publications (197)

Article
We describe a new approach for developing and validating cognitive process models. In our methodology, graphical models (specifically, hidden Markov models) are developed both from human empirical data on a task and synthetic data traces generated by a cognitive process model of human behavior on the task. Differences between the two graphical mode...
Article
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How do we gauge understanding? Tests of understanding, such as Turing's imitation game, are numerous; yet, attempts to achieve a state of understanding are not satisfactory assessments. Intelligent agents designed to pass one test of understanding often fall short of others. Rather than approaching understanding as a system state, in this paper, we...
Chapter
If a human and a robot team need to approach a specific group to make an announcement or delivery, how will the human describe which group to approach, and how will the robot approach the group? The robots will need to take a relatively arbitrary description of a group, identify that group from onboard sensors, and accurately approach the correct g...
Chapter
How should a robot approach a group of people? To answer this, we examine a large real-world data set of approximately 1500 individuals and find that, contrary to previous models, people do not simply approach an individual within the group. They use features of the group to determine aspects of their approach. To explain and test these features, w...
Article
This study examines the impact of prior experience on the adoption of automation in a supervisory control task. Automation is typically implemented as a means of reducing a person’s effort or involvement in a task. When automation is first introduced in a new product, the experience on the yet-to-be automated task is variable. Some users have exper...
Article
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The vigilance decrement in sustained attention tasks is a prevalent example of cognitive fatigue in the literature. A critical challenge for current theories is to account for differences in the magnitude of the vigilance decrement across tasks that involve memory (successive tasks) and those that do not (simultaneous tasks). The empirical results...
Conference Paper
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We developed and evaluated a novel humanoid head, SCIPRR (Sensing, Computing, Interacting Platform for Robotics Research). SCIPRR is a head shell that was iteratively created with additive manufactur- ing. SCIPRR contains internal sca olding that allows sensors, small form computers, and a back-projection system to display an ani- mated face on a f...
Article
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Teamwork is best achieved when members of the team understand one another. Human–robot collaboration poses a particular challenge to this goal due to the differences between individual team members, both mentally/computationally and physically. One way in which this challenge can be addressed is by developing explicit models of human teammates. Her...
Article
We investigated effects of task interruption on procedural performance, focusing on the effect of interruption length on the rates of different categories of error at the point of task resumption. Interruption length affected errors involving loss of place in the procedure (sequence errors) but not errors involving incorrect execution of a correct...
Article
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Associative learning is an essential feature of human cognition, accounting for the influence of priming and interference effects on memory recall. Here, we extend our account of associative learning that learns asymmetric item-to-item associations over time via experience (Thomson, Pyke, Trafton, & Hiatt, 2015) by including link maturation to bala...
Article
Objective: A computational process model could explain how the dynamic interaction of human cognitive mechanisms produces each of multiple error types. Background: With increasing capability and complexity of technological systems, the potential severity of consequences of human error is magnified. Interruption greatly increases people's error r...
Article
We present a novel way of accounting for similarity judgments. Our approach posits that similarity stems from three main sources—familiarity, priming, and inherent perceptual likeness. Here, we explore each of these constructs and demonstrate their individual and combined effectiveness in explaining similarity judgments. Using these three measures,...
Article
When people are highly confident in their memory of a particular event, it is likely that the accuracy of that memory is also high. However, research has shown that the relationship between confidence and memory accuracy changes under certain circumstances. Interruptions, for instance, have been shown to change this relationship (Zish, Hassanzadeh,...
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This volume is the proceedings of the 2nd workshop on Cognitive Architectures for Social Human-Robot Interaction, held at the ACM/IEEE HRI 2016 conference, which took place on Monday 7th March 2016, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Organised by Paul Baxter (Plymouth University, U.K.), J. Gregory Trafton (Naval Research Laboratory, USA), and Severin Le...
Article
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We describe a novel computational theory of how individuals segment perceptual information into representations of events. The theory is inspired by recent findings in the cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience of event segmentation. In line with recent theories, it holds that online event segmentation is automatic, and that event segmentatio...
Article
Interruptions are disruptive in that they can decrease accuracy and the time taken to complete a task. In fields such as aviation and medicine, interruptions can not only reduce performance but lead to egregious outcomes. In such situations, confidence in whether a procedure has been completed may become a crucial aspect of judging where to resume...
Article
We discuss a computational process model of action selection in routine procedures. The model explains several types of human error—omissions, perseverations, and postcompletion error (PCE)— as natural consequences of its action selection mechanisms. Those mechanisms include associative spreading activation for prospective memory and explicit rehea...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a vigilance experiment of a successive task and a simultaneous task. Successive tasks require comparing the current stimulus on the screen to a representation in memory (i.e. making a declarative memory retrieval), whereas simultaneous tasks require making a comparative judgment based on information that is available on the screen. When...
Conference Paper
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Associative learning is an important part of human cognition, and is thought to play key role in list learning. We present here an account of associative learning that learns asymmetric item-to-item associations, strengthening or weakening associations over time with repeated exposures. This account, combined with an existing account of activation...
Conference Paper
Theory of mind is a key factor in the effectiveness of robots and humans working together as a team. Here, we further our understanding of theory of mind by extending a theory of mind model to account for a more complicated, second-order theory of mind task. Ultimately, this will provide robots with a deeper understanding of their human teammates,...
Article
Abstract We propose a theory of immediate inferences from assertions containing a single quantifier, such as: All of the artists are bakers; therefore, some of the bakers are artists. The theory is based on mental models and implemented in a computer program, mReasoner. It predicts three main levels of increasing difficulty: 1. immediate inferences...
Article
We examined effects of adding brief (1 second) lags between trials in a task designed to study errors in interrupted sequential performance. These randomly occurring lags could act as short breaks and improve performance or as short interruptions and impair performance. The lags improved placekeeping accuracy, and to interpret this effect we develo...
Article
Full-text available
Performance on tasks that require sustained attention can be impacted by various factors that include: signal duration, the use of declarative memory in the task, the frequency of critical stimuli that require a response, and the event-rate of the stimuli. A viable model of the ability to maintain vigilance ought to account for these phenomena. In...
Article
This paper discusses the first experiment in a series designed to systematically understand the different characteristics of an automated system that lead to trust in automation. We also discuss a simple process model, which helps us understand the results. Our experimental paradigm suggests that participants are agnostic to the automation’s behavi...
Article
Mitigating the effects of interruptions is important for tackling the increasing number of possible disruptions at home, at work, and online. Previous work has shown that the benefits of practice can decrease the amount of time it takes to resume a task after an interruption. This paper demonstrates that the same benefit can be extended to error ra...
Conference Paper
Contextual information can greatly improve both the speed and accuracy of object recognition. Context is most often viewed as a static concept, learned from large image databases. We build upon this concept by exploring cognitive context, demonstrating how rich dynamic context provided by computational cognitive models can improve object recognitio...
Article
Objective: This work investigated the impact of uncertainty representation on performance in a complex authentic visualization task, submarine localization. Background: Because passive sonar does not provide unique course, speed, and range information on a contact, the submarine operates under significant uncertainty. There are many algorithms des...
Article
Many interfaces have been designed to prevent or reduce errors. These interfaces may, in fact, reduce the error rate of specific error classes, but may also have unintended consequences. In this paper, we show a series of studies where a better interface did not reduce the number of errors but instead shifted errors from one error class (omissions)...
Conference Paper
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In this paper, we describe a large-scale (over 4000 participants) observational field study at a public venue, designed to explore how social a robot needs to be for people to engage with it. In this study we examined a prediction of Computers Are Social Actors (CASA) framework: the more machines present human-like characteristics in a consistent m...
Conference Paper
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Developments in autonomous agents for Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), particularly social, are gathering pace. The typical approach to such efforts is to start with an application to a specific interaction context (problem, task, or aspect of interaction) and then try to generalise to different contexts. Alternatively however, the application of Cog...
Article
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Crandall and Cummings & Mitchell introduced fan-out as a measure of the maximum number of robots a single human operator can supervise in a given single-human-multiple-robot system. Fan-out is based on the time constraints imposed by limitations of the robots and of the supervisor, e.g., limitations in attention. Adapting their work, we introduced...
Conference Paper
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Complexion plays a remarkably important role in recog-nition. Experiments with human subjects have shown that complexion provides as much distinctiveness as other well-known features such as the shape of the face. From the perspective an autonomous robot, changes in lighting (e.g., intensity, orientation) and camera parameters (e.g., white balance)...
Conference Paper
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Adaptive automation (AA) can improve performance while addressing the problems associated with a fully automated system. The best way to invoke AA is unclear, but two ways include critical events and the operator's state. A hybrid model of AA invocation, the dynamic model of operator overload (DMOO), that takes into account critical events and the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Person identification is a fundamental robotic capability for long-term interactions with people. It is important to know with whom the robot is interacting for social reasons, as well as to remember user preferences and interaction histories. There exist, however, a number of different features by which people can be identified. This work describe...
Conference Paper
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Object recognition is a practical problem with a wide variety of potential applications. Recognition becomes substantially more difficult when objects have not been presented in some logical, "posed" manner selected by a human observer. We propose to solve this problem using active object recognition, where the same object is viewed from multiple v...
Article
We investigated the effect of short interruptions on performance of a task that required participants to maintain their place in a sequence of steps each with their own performance requirements. Interruptions averaging 4.4 s long tripled the rate of sequence errors on post-interruption trials relative to baseline trials. Interruptions averaging 2.8...
Article
Spatial arrangement of information can have large effects on problem solving. Although such effects have been observed in various domains (e.g., instruction and interface designs), little is known about the cognitive processing mechanisms underlying these effects, nor its applicability to complex visual problem solving. In three experiments, we sho...
Article
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There are a variety of strategies that operators can utilize when performing a dynamic task, yet operator strategies are typically studied in a well-controlled environment that prevents the possibility of these strategies from interacting or competing with one another. In this study we investigated operator strategy use in a dynamic supervisory con...
Article
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Our interest is in developing embodied cognitive systems. In the majority of work on cognitive modeling, the focus is on generating models that can perform specific tasks in order to understand specific reasoning processes. This approach has traditionally been exceptionally successful at accomplishing its goal. The approach encounters limitations,...
Article
We built and evaluated a predictive model for resuming after an interruption. Two different experiments were run. The first experiment showed that people used a transactive memory process, relying on another person to keep track of where they were after being interrupted while retelling a story. A memory for goals model was built using the ACT-R/E...
Article
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Individuals can make inferences from a single quantified premise. For instance, if you know that all of the Virginians are students, you might infer that some of the students are Virginians. We describe a computational system, mReasoner, of the cognitive processes that underlie these so-called 'immediate' inferences. The account is based on the ass...
Article
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The mReactr system is a computational implementation of the mental model theory of reasoning (Johnson-Laird, 1983) that is embedded within the ACT-R cognitive architecture (Anderson, 1990). We show how the memory-handling mechanisms of the architecture can be leveraged to store and handle discrete representations of possibilities, i.e., mental mode...
Article
We present a spatial system called Specialized Egocentrically Coordinated Spaces embedded in an embodied cognitive architecture (ACT-R Embodied). We show how the spatial system works by modeling two different developmental findings: gaze-following and Level 1 perspective taking. The gaze-following model is based on an experiment by Corkum and Moore...
Article
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We have investigated actual and perceived human performance associated with a simple task involving walking and applied the developed knowledge to a human-robot interaction. Based on experiments involving walking at a “purposeful and comfortable” pace, parameters were determined for a trapezoidal model of walking: starting from standing still, acce...
Article
Procedural errors occur despite the user having the correct knowledge of how to perform a particular task. Previous research has mostly focused on preventing these errors by redesigning tasks to eliminate error prone steps. A different method of preventing errors, specifically postcompletion errors (e.g., forgetting to retrieve the original documen...
Article
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The effective use of humanoid robots in space will depend upon the efficacy of interaction between humans and robots. The key to achieving this interaction is to provide the robot with sufficient skills for natural communication with humans so that humans can interact with the robot almost as though it were another human. This requires that a numbe...
Article
Reports an error in "Measuring search efficiency in complex visual search tasks: Global and local clutter" by Melissa R. Beck, Maura C. Lohrenz and J. Gregory Trafton ( Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied , 2010[Sep], Vol 16[3], 238-250). The copyright for the article was incorrectly listed. The correct copyright information is provided in...
Article
As technology develops, social robots and synthetic avatars might begin to play more of a role in our lives. An influential theory of the perception of synthetic agents states that as they begin to look and move in a more human-like way, they elicit profound discomfort in the observer--an effect known as the Uncanny Valley. Previous attempts to exa...
Article
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It is generally accepted that, with practice, people improve on most tasks. However, when tasks have multiple parts, it is not always clear what aspects of the tasks practice or training should focus on. This research explores the features that allow training to improve the ability to resume a task after an interruption, specifically focusing on ta...
Article
A model of routine sequence actions is developed based on the Memory for Goals framework. The model assumes that sequential action is guided by episodic control codes generated for each step, and that these codes decay with time and can be primed by contextual retrieval cues. These control codes serve a place-keeping function that allows the system...
Article
Interaction between two entities is a mixture of social, cognitive, and embodied qualities. We know a great deal about interaction between people, but only recently have begun exploring whether people interact with robots and avatars the same way that people interact with each other. In general, people do seem to interact with computers (and robots...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The variability of human behavior during plan execution poses a difficult challenge for human-robot teams. In this paper, we use the concepts of theory of mind to enable robots to account for two sources of human variability during team operation. When faced with an unexpected action by a human teammate, a robot uses a simulation analysis of differ...
Article
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When a robot interacts with an individual, it is important to know with whom it is interacting, either to avoid social faux pas or remember user preferences. Continuous person identification during normal interactions, however, is extremely challenging. A person is periodically speaking to the robot, while at the same time changing pose, looking in...
Article
Set size and crowding affect search efficiency by limiting attention for recognition and attention against competition; however, these factors can be difficult to quantify in complex search tasks. The current experiments use a quantitative measure of the amount and variability of visual information (i.e., clutter) in highly complex stimuli (i.e., d...
Article
A postcompletion error occurs when the final step of a task is omitted because the main goal of the task is thought to be completed (Byrne & Bovair, 1997). Postcompletion errors are more likely to occur after interruptions (Ratwani, McCurry & Trafton, 2008). Global placekeeping cues (Gray, 2000) allow a user to track their progress in a task and ma...
Article
We examined the effect of interruption modality (visual or auditory) on primary task (visual) resumption to determine which modality was the least disruptive. Theories examining interruption modality have focused on specific periods of the interruption timeline. Preemption theory has focused on the switch from the primary task to the interrupting t...
Article
Serial visual search is efficient in that participants rarely revisit previously examined items. This efficiency is partially due to the ability to remember the spatial locations of previously examined items. The current experiment examined the extent to which the consistency of local spatial layout contributes to search efficiency. Participants co...
Article
We conducted an experiment to investigate whether spatial processing is used in graph comprehension tasks. Using an interference paradigm, we demonstrate that a graph task interfered more with performance on a spatial memory task than on a visual (non-spatial) memory task. Reaction times showed there was no speed-accuracy tradeoff. We conclude that...
Article
In visual search, preattentive processes locate potential target regions. Selective attention is then deployed to these regions to determine if the target is present. Generally, as the number of distractors in a display increases, this process becomes less efficient. The current studies examined the role of global visual clutter in the ability to d...
Conference Paper
It is expected that in the near-future people will have daily natural language interactions with robots. However, we know very little about how users feel they should talk to robots, especially users who have never before interacted with a robot. The present study evaluated first-time users' expectations about a robot's cognitive and communicative...
Conference Paper
For a single operator to effectively control multiple robots, operator situation awareness is a critical component of the human-robot system. There are three levels of situation awareness: perception, comprehension, and projection into the future. We focus on the perception level to develop a theoretic model of the perceptual-cognitive processes un...
Article
Previous research has shown multihue scales to be well-suited to code categorical features and shown lightness scales to be well-suited to code ordinal quantities. We introduce an algorithm, Motley, that produces color scales varying in both hue and lightness, intended to be effective for both categorical and ordinal coding, allowing users to deter...
Article
It is generally well acknowledged that humans are capable of having a theory of mind (ToM) of others. We present here a model which borrows mechanisms from three dissenting explanations of how ToM develops and functions, and show that our model behaves in accordance with various ToM experiments (Wellman, Cross, & Watson, 2001; Leslie, German, & Pol...
Conference Paper
It is expected that in the near-future people will have daily natural language interactions with robots. However, we know very little about how users feel they should talk to robots, especially users who have never before interacted with a robot. The present study evaluated first-time users' expectations about a robot's cognitive and communicative...
Article
We model the gestures accompanying spoken descriptions of spatial information and propose a conception of spatial gestures that differs from previous proposals by making a distinction between gestures used for thinking (cognitive gestures) and gestures used to help express predetermined ideas (linguistic gestures), and positing a tighter integratio...
Conference Paper
Robots are becoming part of people's everyday social lives - and will increasingly become so. In future years, robots may become caretaking assistants for the elderly, or academic tutors for our children, or medical assistants, day care assistants, or psychological counselors. Robots may become our co-workers in factories and offices, or maids in o...
Article
A postcompletion error is a type of procedural error that occurs after the main goal of a task has been accomplished. There is a strong theoretical foundation accounting for postcompletion errors (Altmann & Trafton, 2002; Byrne & Bovair, 1997). This theoretical foundation has been leveraged to develop a logistic regression model of postcompletion e...
Conference Paper
For a single operator to effectively control multiple robots, operator situation awareness is a critical component of the human-robot system. There are three levels of situation awareness: perception, comprehension, and projection into the future [1]. We focus on the perception level to develop a theoretic model of the perceptual-cognitive processe...
Conference Paper
Tracking people and objects is an enabling technology for many robotic applications. From human-robot-interaction to SLAM, robots must know what a scene contains and how it has changed, and is changing, before they can interact with their environment. In this paper, we focus on the tracking necessary to record the 3D position and pose of objects as...
Article
We conducted two in vivo studies to explore how scientists respond to anomalies. Based on prior research, we identify three candidate strategies: mental simulation, mental manipulation of an image, and comparison between images. In Study 1, we compared experts in basic and applied domains (physics and meteorology). We found that the basic scientist...