Octopus: Evaluating Touchscreen Keyboard Correction and Recognition Algorithms via “Remulation”


The time and labor demanded by a typical laboratory-based keyboard evaluation are limiting resources for algorithmic adjustment and optimization. We propose Remulation, a complementary method for evaluating touchscreen keyboard correction and recognition algorithms. It replicates prior user study data through real-time, on-device simulation. To demonstrate remulation, we have developed Octopus, an evaluation tool that enables keyboard developers to efficiently measure and inspect the impact of algorithmic changes without conducting resource-intensive user studies. It can also be used to evaluate third-party keyboards in a “black box” fashion, without access to their algorithms or source code. Octopus can evaluate both touch keyboards and word-gesture keyboards. Two empirical examples show that Remulation can efficiently and effectively measure many aspects of touch screen keyboards at both macro and micro levels. Additionally, we contribute two new metrics to measure keyboard accuracy at the word level: the Ratio of Error Reduction (RER) and the Word Score.