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BackTracer Paper Accepted by International Journal of Human Computer Studies

Great news! The International Journal of Human Computer Studies has recently accepted the paper “BackTracer: Improving Ray-casting 3D Target Acquisition by Backtracking the Interaction History” for publication.


Kaiqi Chen, Huagen Wan, Shengdong Zhao, Xutao Liu


Ray-casting is a fundamental 3D target acquisition technique in virtual environments. With ray-casting, users emit a ray to highlight a desired target before pressing a button to select it; however, due to hand tremor, tracker jitter, and the Heisenberg effect, the ray direction can be shifted during the
button pressing process, causing wrong selections. To improve selection accuracy, instead of selecting an object at a button press, we backtrack the
interaction history to the time when the desired target is highlighted and select that instead. Inspired by Kopper et al.’s predictive model of distal
pointing, we hypothesized that the optimal backtrack time depends on the object’s angular size. We validated our hypothesis through an experiment
and implemented BackTracer based on the results. Moreover, BackTracer was evaluated against basic ray-casting, state-of-the-art history-based raycasting, and state-of-the-art progressive refinement ray-casting, and results indicated that BackTracer significantly improved the accuracy and selection efficiency, making it a promising technique for 3D target acquisition.

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