Objective Model Selection for Identifying the Human Feedforward Response in Manual Control
van Paassen, M.
Realistic manual control tasks typically involve predictable target signals and random disturbances. The human controller (HC) is hypothesized to use a feedforward control strategy for target-following, in addition to feedback control for disturbance-rejection. Little is known about human feedforward control, partly because common system identification methods have difficulty in identifying whether, and (if so) how, the HC applies a feedforward strategy. In this paper, an identification procedure is presented that aims at an objective model selection for identifying the human feedforward response, using linear time-invariant autoregressive with exogenous input models. A new model selection criterion is proposed to decide on the model order (number of parameters) and the presence of feedforward in addition to feedback. For a range of typical control tasks, it is shown by means of Monte Carlo computer simulations that the classical Bayesian information criterion (BIC) leads to selecting models that contain a feedforward path from data generated by a pure feedback model: “false-positive” feedforward detection. To eliminate these false-positives, the modified BIC includes an additional penalty on model complexity. The appropriate weighting is found through computer simulations with a hypothesized HC model prior to performing a tracking experiment. Experimental human-in-the-loop data will be considered in future work. With appropriate weighting, the method correctly identifies the HC dynamics in a wide range of control tasks, without false-positive results.