View Full Version : Immediate PhD opportunity at Telecom Paris Tech

10-09-2008, 05:16 PM
Dear Colleague,
here is an offer for a three year PhD job at TELECOM ParisTech starting
on November or December 1st, 2008.

Fitts' Law and Scale: Understanding Pointing Performance in Miniaturized
Input Space

Yves Guiard (TELECOM ParisTech)
Eric Lecolinet (TELECOM ParisTech)
Michel Beaudouin-Lafon (LRI & INRIA Saclay Ile-de-France)

46 rue Barrault
75013 Paris

More details on the subject and the expected profile of applicants are
to be found below.

Anyone interested in the offer is invited to get in touch with me ASAP.
Please feel free to circulate this message to whoever you feel might
find it of interest.

Best wishes

Yves Guiard
Directeur de recherche CNRS
46 rue Barrault
75013 Paris
+33 1 45 81 78 35
+33 1 43 20 79 33
PhD Project Title*
Fitts' Law and Scale: Understanding Pointing Performance in Miniaturized
Input Space
*Funding Agency*
Institut TELECOM, Paris, France
Futur and Ruptures 2008 funding program
Department Informatique et Réseaux
46 rue Barrault
75013 Paris, France
*Funding Duration*
Three years, starting on Nov or Dec 1st, 2008
Yves Guiard, INFRES – LTCI, TELECOM ParisTech
Eric Lecolinet, INFRES – LTCI, TELECOM ParisTech
Michel Beaudouin-Lafon, LRI & INRIA Saclay Ile-de-France
*Research Project Outline*
Fitts' law states that the time needed by a human to reach a target like a
graphical object, using some pointer, is lawfully determined by the ratio of
target distance and target width, the relationship being usually best
described with a logarithmic equation [2,8]. Over the past 25 years this
remarkably reliable and robust empirical regularity has proved particularly
useful in human-computer interaction (HCI) where it has served to predict
pointing performance and helped to evaluate input devices and interaction
techniques [6].
Our recent reappraisal of the literature has revealed a poor understanding
of the role of the scale factor in conventional Fitts' law experimentation
[3,4,5]. As far as interface evaluation is concerned, we have strong
arguments to claim that, using the established methodology, Fitts' law
experiments yield biased estimates of Fitts' law parameters whenever the
pointing task takes place at non-optimal levels of pointing scale, in the
context of either substantially enlarged [1] or substantially miniaturized
[9] displays.
This PhD project will come to grips with the effect of scale reduction on
target acquisition performance, keeping in mind that miniaturization of
interaction space (e.g., with smart phones, hand-held computers, down to
wrist-watch computers) represents indeed one of the most serious challenges
HCI research has to handle currently. The research will aim to characterize
quantitatively and explain the biases entailed by the current way of
assessing target acquisition performance, and to develop an alternative,
more appropriate methodology. The results should lead in practice to
specific recommendations for a revision of the current ISO standard that has
been ruling the evaluation of non-keyboard input devices since 2000 [7]. But
this is not all: also at stake is an improved understanding of simple aimed
movement, from a basic research point of view.
Expected Applicant Profile
The subject of this research taking place at the overlap of human movement
science, a specialization of experimental psychology, and human-computer
interaction, a specialization
of computer science, applications from either community will be judged
worthy of consideration.
Applications should be sent by email to as soon as possible to
W. Buxton, G. Fitzmaurice, R. Balakrishnan, & G. Kurtenbach. Large displays
in automotive design. In IEEE CG&A, 20(4):68–75, 2000.
Fitts, P. M., 1954. The information capacity of the human motor system in
controlling the amplitude of movement. Journal of Experimental Psychology
47, 381-391 (reprinted in J. Exp. Psychol.: General, September 1992, 121(3),
Guiard, Y. (2001). Disentangling relative from absolute movement amplitude
in Fitts' law experiments. CHI'2001, ACM Conference on Human Factors in
Computing Systems (pp. 315-316). New York: ACM Press.
Guiard, Y. (2007). De l'ambiguïté des écritures fractionnaires:
interprétations polaire et cartésienne de l'expression D/W dans les lois de
Fitts et d'Accot et Zhai. Actes de IHM 2007, conférence francophone
d'interaction homme-machine (Pp. 19-22). New York: ACM Press.
Guiard Y. (2008, submitted). Interface Evaluation in HCI : Improving the
Standard Methodology of Fitts' Law Experimentation.
Guiard, Y. & M. Beaudouin-Lafon (Eds., 2004). Fitts' law fifty years later:
Application and contributions from human-computer interaction. A special
issue of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 61 (6).
ISO. ISO/DIS 9241-9 Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual
display terminals (VDTs) - Part 9: Requirements for non-keyboard input
devices. International Standard, International Organization for
Standardization (2000).
MacKenzie, I. S., 1992. Fitts' law as a research and design tool in
human-computer interaction. Human-Computer Interaction 7, 91-139.
M. T. Raghunath, Chandra Narayanaswami (2002). User Interfaces for
Applications on a Wrist Watch. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 16 (1).

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