Using Eye Movement Data Visualization to Enhance Training of Air Traffic Controllers: A Dynamic Network Approach

  • Saptarshi Mandal University of Oklahoma
  • Ziho Kang University of Oklahoma
Keywords: eye tracking, eye movement, scanpath, air traffic control, dynamic network, visualization


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forecasted substantial increase in the US air traffic volume creating a high demand in Air Traffic Control Specialists (ATCSs). Training times and passing rates for ATCSs might be improved if expert ATCSs’ eye movement (EM) characteristics can be utilized to support effective training. However, effective EM visualization is difficult for a dynamic task (e.g. aircraft conflict detection and mitigation) that includes interrogating multi-element targets that are dynamically moving, appearing, disappearing, and overlapping within a display. To address the issues, a dynamic network-based approach is introduced that integrates adapted visualizations (i.e. time-frame networks and normalized dot/bar plots) with measures used in network science (i.e. indegree, closeness, and betweenness) to provide in-depth EM analysis. The proposed approach was applied in an aircraft conflict task using a high-fidelity simulator; employing the use of veteran ATCSs and pseudo pilots. Results show that, ATCSs’ visual attention to multi-element dynamic targets can be effectively interpreted and supported through multiple evidences obtained from the various visualization and associated measures. In addition, we discovered that fewer eye fixation numbers or shorter eye fixation durations on a target may not necessarily indicate the target is less important when analyzing the flow of visual attention within a network. The results show promise in cohesively analyzing and visualizing various eye movement characteristics to better support training.


Author Biographies

Saptarshi Mandal, University of Oklahoma
PhD Student, Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Ziho Kang, University of Oklahoma
Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering.
How to Cite
Mandal, S., & Kang, Z. (2018). Using Eye Movement Data Visualization to Enhance Training of Air Traffic Controllers: A Dynamic Network Approach. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 11(4).