Simulating Interaction Movements via Model Predictive Control

by   Markus Klar, et al.

We present a method to simulate movement in interaction with computers, using Model Predictive Control (MPC). The method starts from understanding interaction from an Optimal Feedback Control (OFC) perspective. We assume that users aim to minimize an internalized cost function, subject to the constraints imposed by the human body and the interactive system. In contrast to previous linear approaches used in HCI, MPC can compute optimal controls for nonlinear systems. This allows us to use state-of-the-art biomechanical models and handle nonlinearities that occur in almost any interactive system. Instead of torque actuation, our model employs second-order muscles acting directly at the joints. We compare three different cost functions and evaluate the simulated trajectories against user movements in a Fitts' Law type pointing study with four different interaction techniques. Our results show that the combination of distance, control, and joint acceleration cost matches individual users' movements best, and predicts movements with an accuracy that is within the between-user variance. To aid HCI researchers and designers, we introduce CFAT, a novel method to identify maximum voluntary torques in joint-actuated models based on experimental data, and give practical advice on how to simulate human movement for different users, interaction techniques, and tasks.


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