A Comparison of an Attention Acknowledgement Measure and Eye Tracking: Application of the as Low as Reasonable Assessment (ALARA) Discount Usability Principle for Control System Studies

  • Thomas A. UlrichEmail author
  • Ronald L. Boring
  • Steffen Werner
  • Roger Lew
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10284)


The measurement of attention allocation is a valuable diagnostic tool for research. As Low As Reasonable Assessment (ALARA) is a research approach concerned with leveraging the simplest and most straightforward methods to capture usability data needed for the design process. Often complicated environments, such as nuclear process control, create an impetus to use accompanying complicated experimental designs and technical data collection methods; however, simple methods can in many circumstances capture equivalent data that can be used to answer the same theoretical and applied research questions. The attention acknowledgment method is an example of a simple measure capable of capturing attention allocation. The attention acknowledgment method assesses attention allocation via attention markers dispersed through the visual scene. As participants complete a scenario and interact with an associated interface, they perform a secondary acknowledgment task in which they respond to any attention markers they detect in their designated target state. The patterns of acknowledgment serve as a means to assess both location and temporal dimensions of attention allocation. The attention acknowledgment method was compared against a standard accepted measure of attention allocation consisting of infrared pupil and corneal reflection gaze tracking. The attention acknowledgment method is not able to measure attention at the same temporal and spatial resolution as the eye tracking method; however, the resolutions it is capable of achieving are sufficient to answer usability evaluation questions. Furthermore, the ease of administration and analysis of the attention acknowledgment measure are advantageous for rapid usability evaluation.


Microworld Simulation Process control Interface design 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Ulrich
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald L. Boring
    • 2
  • Steffen Werner
    • 1
  • Roger Lew
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IdahoMoscowUSA
  2. 2.Idaho National LaboratoryIdaho FallsUSA

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