Bayesian optimization explains human active search

Borji, Ali, Itti, Laurent

Neural Information Processing Systems 

Many real-world problems have complicated objective functions. To optimize such functions, humans utilize sophisticated sequential decision-making strategies. Many optimization algorithms have also been developed for this same purpose, but how do they compare to humans in terms of both performance and behavior? We try to unravel the general underlying algorithm people may be using while searching for the maximum of an invisible 1D function. Subjects click on a blank screen and are shown the ordinate of the function at each clicked abscissa location.