Center for Human Modeling and Simulation

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version

May 1999


Postprint version. Published in Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, Volume 4, Issue 1-2, March 2001, pages 16-23.
Publisher URL:


This research proposes a computational framework for generating visual attending behavior in an embodied simulated human agent. Such behaviors directly control eye and head motions, and guide other actions such as locomotion and reach. The implementation of these concepts, referred to as the AVA, draws on empirical and qualitative observations known from psychology, human factors and computer vision. Deliberate behaviors, the analogs of scanpaths in visual psychology, compete with involuntary attention capture and lapses into idling or free viewing. Insights provided by implementing this framework are: a defined set of parameters that impact the observable effects of attention, a defined vocabulary of looking behaviors for certain motor and cognitive activity, a defined hierarchy of three levels of eye behavior (endogenous, exogenous and idling) and a proposed method of how these types interact.



Date Posted: 09 July 2007