Cognitive Processing

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 415–428 | Cite as

Modelling human problem solving with data from an online game

  • Tim Rach
  • Alexandra Kirsch
Research Report


Since the beginning of cognitive science, researchers have tried to understand human strategies in order to develop efficient and adequate computational methods. In the domain of problem solving, the travelling salesperson problem has been used for the investigation and modelling of human solutions. We propose to extend this effort with an online game, in which instances of the travelling salesperson problem have to be solved in the context of a game experience. We report on our effort to design and run such a game, present the data contained in the resulting openly available data set and provide an outlook on the use of games in general for cognitive science research. In addition, we present three geometrical models mapping the starting point preferences in the problems presented in the game as the result of an evaluation of the data set.


Travelling salesperson problem Modelling human problem solving Casual games 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eberhard Karls Universität TübingenTübingenGermany

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