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The mean point of vergence is biased under projection

Wang, Xi; Holmqvist, Kenneth; Alexa, Marc

The point of interest in three-dimensional space in eye tracking is often computed based on intersecting the lines of sight with geometry, or finding the point closest to the two lines of sight. We first start by theoretical analysis with synthetic simulations. We show that the mean point of vergence is generally biased for centrally symmetric errors and that the bias depends on the horizontal vs. vertical error distribution of the tracked eye positions. Our analysis continues with an evaluation on real experimental data. The error distributions seem to be different among individuals but they generally leads to the same bias towards the observer. And it tends to be larger with an increased viewing distance. We also provided a recipe to minimize the bias, which applies to general computations of eye ray intersection. These findings not only have implications for choosing the calibration method in eye tracking experiments and interpreting the observed eye movements data; but also suggest to us that we shall consider the mathematical models of calibration as part of the experiment.
Published in: Journal of Eye Movement Research, 10.16910/jemr.12.4.2, Bern Open Publishing