Methodology for Knowledge Elicitation in Visual Abductive Reasoning Tasks

  • Michael J. HaassEmail author
  • Laura E. Matzen
  • Susan M. Stevens-Adams
  • Allen R. Roach
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9183)


The potential for bias to affect the results of knowledge elicitation studies is well recognized. Researchers and knowledge engineers attempt to control for bias through careful selection of elicitation and analysis methods. Recently, the development of a wide range of physiological sensors, coupled with fast, portable and inexpensive computing platforms, has added an additional dimension of objective measurement that can reduce bias effects. In the case of an abductive reasoning task, bias can be introduced through design of the stimuli, cues from researchers, or omissions by the experts. We describe a knowledge elicitation methodology robust to various sources of bias, incorporating objective and cross-referenced measurements. The methodology was applied in a study of engineers who use multivariate time series data to diagnose the performance of devices throughout the production lifecycle. For visual reasoning tasks, eye tracking is particularly effective at controlling for biases of omission by providing a record of the subject’s attention allocation.


Knowledge elicitation Eye tracking Abductive reasoning 



We wish to acknowledge James D. Morrow of Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque New Mexico for creating the software used in our study to display the time series stimuli and record subject response times. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Haass
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura E. Matzen
    • 1
  • Susan M. Stevens-Adams
    • 1
  • Allen R. Roach
    • 1
  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

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