A computational cognitive model of information search in textual materials


  • Chanceaux Myriam
  • Guérin-Dugué Anne
  • Lemaire Benoit
  • Baccino Thierry

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Document foraging for information is a crucial and increasingly prevalent activity nowadays. We designed a computational cognitive model to simulate the oculomotor scanpath of an average web user searching for specific information from textual materials. In particular, the developed model dynamically combines visual, semantic, and memory processes to predict the user’s focus of attention during information seeking from paragraphs of text. A series of psychological experiments was conducted using eye-tracking techniques in order to validate and refine the proposed model. Comparisons between model simulations and human data are reported and discussed taking into account the strengths and shortcomings of the model. The proposed model provides a unique contribution to the investigation of the cognitive processes involved during information search and bears significant implications for web page design and evaluation.

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