Eye-tracking has been an active research area with applications in personal and behav- ioral studies, medical diagnosis, virtual reality, and mixed reality applications. Improving the robustness, generalizability, accuracy, and precision of eye-trackers while maintaining privacy is crucial. Unfortunately, many existing low-cost portable commercial eye trackers suffer from signal artifacts and a low signal-to-noise ratio. These trackers are highly depen- dent on low-level features such as pupil edges or diffused bright spots in order to precisely localize the pupil and corneal reflection. As a result, they are not reliable for studying eye movements that require high precision, such as microsaccades, smooth pursuit, and ver- gence. Additionally, these methods suffer from reflective artifacts, occlusion of the pupil boundary by the eyelid and often require a manual update of person-dependent parame- ters to identify the pupil region. In this dissertation, I demonstrate (I) a new method to improve precision while maintaining the accuracy of head-fixed eye trackers by combin- ing velocity information from iris textures across frames with position information, (II) a generalized semantic segmentation framework for identifying eye regions with a further extension to identify ellipse fits on the pupil and iris, (III) a data-driven rendering pipeline to generate a temporally contiguous synthetic dataset for use in many eye-tracking ap- plications, and (IV) a novel strategy to preserve privacy in eye videos captured as part of the eye-tracking process. My work also provides the foundation for future research by addressing critical questions like the suitability of using synthetic datasets to improve eye-tracking performance in real-world applications, and ways to improve the precision of future commercial eye trackers with improved camera specifications.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Eye tracking--Data processing; Machine learning; Image segmentation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Imaging Science (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


Jeff B. Pelz

Advisor/Committee Member

Reynold J. Bailey

Advisor/Committee Member

Gabriel J. Diaz


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes