I have eye-tracking data on two subjects -- a teacher, and a student. It's in the form (x, y, time), so there is a series of these for each subject. What the teacher looks at influences what the student looks at. What method would I use to predict what the student is looking at, using only teacher data? Lets say I can train some learning algorithm using a gold standard set of student and teacher data.

I was thinking hidden markov model would be appropriate, given the definition in Wikipedia, but I am not sure how to put this into practice over my dataset.

More detail: I have data about how a teacher and student each look at a map and some readings. I have 40 of these datasets, which look like [(366,234,0), (386,234,5), ...] which means the teacher looked at point (366,234) at time 0 and then 5 seconds later moved up to look at coordinate (386, 234). I can to learn a model to understand the relationship between how a teacher looks at content, to predict how a student will look at the same content. So maybe the student looks at the content in the same order as the teacher but slower. Or perhaps the student doesn't look around as much but the teacher scans more of the content. I have both sets of data and want to see how accurate of a model I can get -- would I be able to predict the student's looking behavior within 50px of the teacher's looking behavior?

  • $\begingroup$ I think you may have more luck getting an answer if you included some more detail on your problem. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Feb 16, 2013 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a 3d model of the room they're in/what they're looking at & where they're each sitting? $\endgroup$
    – Matt Lewis
    Feb 17, 2013 at 1:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Matt, I don't have this. Just the coordinates and timestamps. So I think it's a purely statistical problem, and doesn't actually require knowing anything about the teacher/student. $\endgroup$ Feb 17, 2013 at 2:50
  • $\begingroup$ is the student facing the teacher? $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Aug 27, 2013 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


If I understand your question right, you want to model two stochastic processes, where the 'student' process is driven by the 'teacher' process.

A hidden Markov model can represent such a relationship, but is restricted to a discrete state space. This means that you can only model a finite set of points on your map rather than continuous (x/y) coordinates. A Linear Dynamical System might suit better to your problem.

You could also use recurrent neural networks to model your system.


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