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Our elemental sense of collective flow

Project description

Gaining insight into flow

As automation proceeds, people are incorporating increasingly complex systems and information streams into their daily lives. All these involve flow, which is created by bodies of individual entities that show both collective and individual behaviours following a coordinated set of rules. By studying the human visual system and the mechanisms it relies on while performing complex tasks on flow, experts can determine large streams of information that can be used under varying conditions. The EU-funded FLOW project aims to study this process by gathering perceptual data of human observers and developing models that align with these human observations.

Objective

We are incorporating increasingly complex systems and information streams into our daily lives that involve flow (e.g. autonomous cars, social feeds, disaster information systems). This type of flow is created by a body of individual entities that show both collective and individual behaviours following a coordinated set of rules (e.g. flocks of birds, schools of fish, cars on highways). Designs implicitly assume that the human visual system processes collective flow in an effortless and veridical manner. But which properties of collective flow can we perceive and how sensitive are we to its parameters? Can we perceive 3D (e.g. smoke) as well as 2D flow (e.g. traffic) structures? By studying the human visual system and the mechanisms it relies on while performing complex tasks on flow we will learn how to efficiently deal with large streams of information under highly varying conditions. We will study this by gathering perceptual data of human observers and developing models that align with these human observations. Combining empirical studies involving psychophysical testing and theoretical inferences using neural networks we will arrive at an understanding of collective flow perception. Understanding human perception and the information basis of complex dynamics is of major importance for the design of human-centered complex dynamic systems. This fellowship will be carried out in Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), in the Netherlands, under the supervision of Prof. Sylvia Pont, in the Perceptual Intelligence lab. This multidisciplinary task force is renowned for its multidisciplinary work on real-world perception problems and offers unique training in application-oriented quantitative psychophysical work and cognitive ergonomics. It will offer me the opportunity to return to the Netherlands as a postdoc while broadening my expertise towards the applied realm and information communication design.

Keywords

Coordinator

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT
Net EU contribution
€ 175 572,48
Address
STEVINWEG 1
2628 CN Delft
Netherlands

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Region
West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Delft en Westland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 175 572,48