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Department of Computational Linguistics Digital Linguistics

New paper on detecting drowsiness and impending microsleep accepted to Gaze Meets ML (NeurIPS)

In this paper we show that we can detect drowsiness and impending microsleep from eye movements.

Detection of Drowsiness and Impending Microsleep from Eye Movements, accepted to Gaze Meets ML 2023 (NeurIPS Workshop)
Silvia Makowski, Paul Prasse, Lena A. Jäger, Tobias Scheffer
[ Abstract|bib]


Drowsiness is a contributing factor in an estimated 12% of all road traffic fatalities. It is known that drowsiness directly affects oculomotor control.We therefore investigate whether drowsiness can be detected based on eye movements. To this end, we develop deep neural sequence models that exploit a person's raw eye-gaze and eye-closure signals to detect drowsiness. We explore three measures of drowsiness ground truth: a widely-used sleepiness self-assessment, reaction time, and impending microsleep in the near future. We find that our sequence models are able to detect drowsiness and outperform a baseline processing established engineered features. We also find that the risk of a microsleep event in the near future can be predicted more accurately than the sleepiness self-assessment or the reaction time. Moreover, a model that has been trained on predicting microsleep also excels at predicting self-assessed sleepiness in a cross-task evaluation, which indicates that upcoming microsleep is a less noisy proxy of the drowsiness ground truth. We investigate the relative contribution of eye-closure and gaze information to the model's performance. In order to make the topic of drowsiness detection more accessible to the research community, we collect and share eye-gaze data with participants in baseline and sleep-deprived states.