The role of simulation in developing and designing applications for 2-class motor imagery brain-computer interfaces

Quek, Melissa (2013) The role of simulation in developing and designing applications for 2-class motor imagery brain-computer interfaces. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) can be used by people with severe physical disabilities such as Locked-in Syndrome (LiS) as a channel of input to a computer. The time-consuming nature of setting up and using a BCI, together with individual variation in performance and limited access to end users makes it difficult to employ techniques such as rapid prototyping and user centred design (UCD) in the design and development of applications. This thesis proposes a design process which incorporates the use of simulation tools and techniques to improve the speed and quality of designing BCI applications for the target user group.
Two different forms of simulation can be distinguished: offline simulation aims to make predictions about a user’s performance in a given application interface given measures of their baseline control characteristics, while online simulation abstracts properties of inter- action with a BCI system which can be shown to, or used by, a stakeholder in real time. Simulators that abstract properties of BCI control at different levels are useful for different purposes. Demonstrating the use of offline simulation, Chapter 3 investigates the use of finite state machines (FSMs) to predict the time to complete tasks given a particular menu hierarchy, and compares offline predictions of task performance with real data in a spelling task. Chapter 5 aims to explore the possibility of abstracting a user’s control characteristics from a typical calibration task to predict performance in a novel control paradigm. Online simulation encompasses a range of techniques from low-fidelity prototypes built using paper and cardboard, to computer simulation models that aim to emulate the feel of control of using a BCI without actually needing to put on the BCI cap. Chapter 4 details the develop- ment and evaluation of a high fidelity BCI simulator that models the control characteristics of a BCI based on the motor-imagery (MI) paradigm.
The simulation tools and techniques can be used at different stages of the application design process to reduce the level of involvement of end users while at the same time striving to employ UCD principles. It is argued that prioritising the level of involvement of end users at different stages in the design process is an important strategy for design: end user input is paramount particularly at the initial user requirements stage where the goals that are important for the end user of the application can be ascertained. The interface and specific interaction techniques can then be iteratively developed through both real and simulated BCI with people who have no or less severe physical disabilities than the target end user group, and evaluations can be carried out with end users at the final stages of the process. Chapter 6 provides a case study of using the simulation tools and techniques in the development of a music player application. Although the tools discussed in the thesis specifically concern a 2-class Motor Imagery BCI which uses the electroencephalogram (EEG) to extract brain signals, the simulation principles can be expected to apply to a range of BCI systems.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BCI, brain-computer interface, HCI, simulation, usability, disability, motor imagery, SMR, simulation, user centred design, UCD, locked-in syndrome, LiS
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Supervisor's Name: Murray-Smith, Prof. Roderick and Williamson, Dr. John
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Miss Melissa Quek
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4503
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2013 14:45
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2013 14:59

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