Touchscreen typing as optimal supervisory control

Jussi P.P. Jokinen, Aditya Acharya, Mohammad Uzair, Xinhui Jiang, Antti Oulasvirta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Traditionally, touchscreen typing has been studied in terms of motor performance. However, recent research has exposed a decisive role of visual attention being shared between the keyboard and the text area. Strategies for this are known to adapt to the task, design, and user. In this paper, we propose a unifying account of touchscreen typing, regarding it as optimal supervisory control. Under this theory, rules for controlling visuo-motor resources are learned via exploration in pursuit of maximal typing performance. The paper outlines the control problem and explains how visual and motor limitations afect it. We then present a model, implemented via reinforcement learning, that simulates co-ordination of eye and fnger movements. Comparison with human data affrms that the model creates realistic fnger-and eye-movement patterns and shows human-like adaptation. We demonstrate the model's utility for interface development in evaluating touchscreen keyboard designs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '21: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Virtual, Online
Duration: 8 May 202113 May 2021


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleACM CHI
CityVirtual, Online
Internet address


  • Computational modelling
  • Rational adaptation
  • Touchscreen typing


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