Identifying Optimum Performance Trade-Offs Using a Cognitively Bounded Rational Analysis Model of Discretionary Task Interleaving
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2011
Copyright © 2011 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 123–139, January 2011
How to Cite
Janssen, C. P., Brumby, D. P., Dowell, J., Chater, N. and Howes, A. (2011), Identifying Optimum Performance Trade-Offs Using a Cognitively Bounded Rational Analysis Model of Discretionary Task Interleaving. Topics in Cognitive Science, 3: 123–139. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2010.01125.x
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 10 JAN 2011
- Received 17 September 2010; received in revised form 15 October 2010; accepted 17 October 2010
- Performance Operating Characteristic;
- Cognitively Bounded Rational Analysis;
- Cognitive modeling;
- Performance trade-offs
We report the results of a dual-task study in which participants performed a tracking and typing task under various experimental conditions. An objective payoff function was used to provide explicit feedback on how participants should trade off performance between the tasks. Results show that participants’ dual-task interleaving strategy was sensitive to changes in the difficulty of the tracking task and resulted in differences in overall task performance. To test the hypothesis that people select strategies that maximize payoff, a Cognitively Bounded Rational Analysis model was developed. This analysis evaluated a variety of dual-task interleaving strategies to identify the optimal strategy for maximizing payoff in each condition. The model predicts that the region of optimum performance is different between experimental conditions. The correspondence between human data and the prediction of the optimal strategy is found to be remarkably high across a number of performance measures. This suggests that participants were honing their behavior to maximize payoff. Limitations are discussed.