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Past Studies using Colored Trails

Colored Trails is a highly configurable system that allow  for specication of dierent reward structures,
enabling examination of such trade-os as the importance of the performance  of others or the group as a whole to the outcome of an individual and the cost-benets of collaboration-supporting actions. The following are examples of past and ongoing studies that use CT. The configuration classes for each of thes studies are freely available. For further details, please contact the individual investigators.

Team Formation Between Computers and Humans

Investigators: Arlette van Wissen (The Free University, Amsterdam), Bart Kamphorst (Utrecht University), Kobi Gal (Ben Gurion University)

Source available through svn: https://coloredtrails.eecs.harvard.edu/repos/ct3/branches/ctpdd

The purpose of this study was to investigate the ways people create, maintain and dissolve groups in strategic settings comprising both human and computer agents. The reward function in this setting depends on the extent to which participants completed both individual tasks and group tasks. A snapshot of the game is presented below. The Colored Trails game for this setting allowed for the following features:

  • Simultaneous play of 6 players.
  • Communication protocol that supports team formation and team defection.
  • Message history window listing members of past teams and team performance.
  • Distinguishing between individual tasks and group tasks.

Click on the picture below for a high resolution snapshot


Micro-Scale Social Network Analysis for Ultra-Long Space Flights

Investigators:  Daniel Hennes, Karl Tuys (University of Maastricht)

The isolated space environment during ultra-long space flights affects a number of physiological, psychosocial and mental processes critically involved in human performance.  Colored Trails was one of a set of activities used to measure individual mental capacity as well as interpersonal dynamics during long space flights. Data was collected during a six-month exercise which simulated flight conditions for a group of European astronauts. The Colored Trails configuration used in the study was based on work by Sevan Ficici and Avi Pfeffer and included:

  • An ultimatum-type game with two proposers and one responder participants.
  • Two proposers made offers simultaneously to responder.
  • The responder could choose which offer to accept.
  • The game is played several times with the same people. The object is for each proposer to model the strategy the other is using to make proposals in order to make offers that are more likely to be accpeted by the responder.

In the example below, P2 and P1 represen the location on the board of both proposers, while R represents the location of the responder.