Fuzzy decision-making fuser (FDMF) for integrating human-machine autonomous (HMA) systems with adaptive evidence sources

Frontiers Media
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2017, 11 (June)
Issue Date:
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© 2017 Liu, Pal, Marathe, Wang and Lin. A brain-computer interface (BCI) creates a direct communication pathway between the human brain and an external device or system. In contrast to patient-oriented BCIs, which are intended to restore inoperative or malfunctioning aspects of the nervous system, a growing number of BCI studies focus on designing auxiliary systems that are intended for everyday use. The goal of building these BCIs is to provide capabilities that augment existing intact physical and mental capabilities. However, a key challenge to BCI research is human variability; factors such as fatigue, inattention, and stress vary both across different individuals and for the same individual over time. If these issues are addressed, autonomous systems may provide additional benefits that enhance system performance and prevent problems introduced by individual human variability. This study proposes a human-machine autonomous (HMA) system that simultaneously aggregates human and machine knowledge to recognize targets in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task. The HMA focuses on integrating an RSVP BCI with computer vision techniques in an image-labeling domain. A fuzzy decision-making fuser (FDMF) is then applied in the HMA system to provide a natural adaptive framework for evidence-based inference by incorporating an integrated summary of the available evidence (i.e., human and machine decisions) and associated uncertainty. Consequently, the HMA system dynamically aggregates decisions involving uncertainties from both human and autonomous agents. The collaborative decisions made by an HMA system can achieve and maintain superior performance more efficiently than either the human or autonomous agents can achieve independently. The experimental results shown in this study suggest that the proposed HMA system with the FDMF can effectively fuse decisions from human brain activities and the computer vision techniques to improve overall performance on the RSVP recognition task. This conclusion demonstrates the potential benefits of integrating autonomous systems with BCI systems.
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