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Distributed and Self-organizing Systems
Distributed and Self-organizing Systems


A Reasonable Effectiveness of Features in Modeling Visual Perception of User Interfaces


Journal Article







Research Area

Web Engineering


Big Data Cogn. Comput. 2023, 7(1)

Published in

Big Data and Cognitive Computing




Training data for user behavior models that predict subjective dimensions of visual perception are often too scarce for deep learning methods to be applicable. With the typical datasets in HCI limited to thousands or even hundreds of records, feature-based approaches are still widely used in visual analysis of graphical user interfaces (UIs). In our paper, we benchmarked the predictive accuracy of the two types of neural network (NN) models, and explored the effects of the number of features, and the dataset volume. To this end, we used two datasets that comprised over 4000 webpage screenshots, assessed by 233 subjects per the subjective dimensions of Complexity, Aesthetics and Orderliness. With the experimental data, we constructed and trained 1908 models. The feature-based NNs demonstrated 16.2%-better mean squared error (MSE) than the convolutional NNs (a modified GoogLeNet architecture); however, the CNNs’ accuracy improved with the larger dataset volume, whereas the ANNs’ did not: therefore, provided that the effect of more data on the models’ error improvement is linear, the CNNs should become superior at dataset sizes over 3000 UIs. Unexpectedly, adding more features to the NN models caused the MSE to somehow increase by 1.23%: although the difference was not significant, this confirmed the importance of careful feature engineering.


Bakaev, Maxim; Heil, Sebastian; Gaedke, Martin: A Reasonable Effectiveness of Features in Modeling Visual Perception of User Interfaces. Big Data and Cognitive Computing, 2023.

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