Modeling human guidance behavior based on patterns in agent-environment interactions

Zhaodan Kong, Berenice Mettler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper presents the foundations for the analysis and modeling of human guidance behavior that is based on the emergent patterns in the closed-loop agent-environment dynamics. The central hypothesis is that these patterns, which can be explained in terms of invariants inherent to the closed-loop dynamics, provide the building blocks for the organization of human guidance behavior. The concept of interaction patterns is first introduced using a toy example and then detailed formally using dynamical system and control principles. This paper then demonstrates the existence and significance of interaction patterns in human guidance behavior that is based on data collected using guidance experiments with a miniature helicopter. The results confirm that human guidance behavior indeed exhibits invariances as defined by interaction patterns. The trajectories that are associated with each interaction pattern are then further decomposed by applying piecewise linear identification. The resulting elements are then combined under a hierarchical model that provides a natural and formal description of human guidance behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6548027
Pages (from-to)371-384
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological control system
  • Control system
  • Dynamics
  • Formal language
  • Human factors


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