A probabilistic approach for eye-tracking based process tracing in catalog browsing
Eye movements are an important cue to understand consumer decision processes. Findings from existing studies suggest that the consumer decision process consists of a few different browsing states such as screening and evaluation. This study proposes a hidden Markov-based gaze model to reveal the characteristics and temporal changes of browsing states in catalog browsing situations. Unlike previous models that employ a heuristic rule-based approach, our model learns the browsing states in a bottom-up manner. Our model employs information about how often a decision maker looks at a selected item (the item finally selected by a decision maker) to identify the browsing states. We evaluated our model using eye tracking data in digital catalog browsing and confirmed our model can split decision process into meaningful browsing states. Finally, we propose an estimation method of browsing states that does not require the information of the selected item for applications such as an interactive decision support.