Novel Virtual User Models of Mild Cognitive Impairment for Simulating Dementia
Virtual user modeling research has attempted to address critical issues of human-computer interaction (HCI) such as usability and utility through a large number of analytic, usability-oriented approaches as cognitive models in order to provide users with experiences fitting to their specific needs. However, there is demand for more specific modules embodied in cognitive architecture that will detect abnormal cognitive decline across new synthetic task environments. Also, accessibility evaluation of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) requires considerable effort for enhancing ICT products accessibility for older adults. The main aim of this study is to develop and test virtual user models (VUM) simulating mild cognitive impairment (MCI) through novel specific modules, embodied at cognitive models and defined by estimations of cognitive parameters. Well-established MCI detection tests assessed users' cognition, elaborated their ability to perform multitasks, and monitored the performance of infotainment related tasks to provide more accurate simulation results on existing conceptual frameworks and enhanced predictive validity in interfaces' design supported by increased tasks' complexity to capture a more detailed profile of users' capabilities and limitations. The final outcome is a more robust cognitive prediction model, accurately fitted to human data to be used for more reliable interfaces' evaluation through simulation on the basis of virtual models of MCI users.