Extending Tcl/Tk to Provide a Functional Eye and Hand for the Soar Cognitive Modelling Architecture

Frank E. Ritter
School of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State University

Peter Lonsdale
The School of Computer Science, U. of Nottingham

1 June 2002


Providing cognitive models with a way to easily interact with a wide range of interfaces (tasks) would further encourage their development and increasse their application. We present a generic eye and hand written in Tcl/Tk (a programming language and interface building tool) that implements a virtual eye and hand for the Soar cognitive modelling architecture. This Sim-eye and Sim-hand make Soar a more complete architecture, giving Soar the means to interact with most Tcl/Tk systems with a graphic display. It has been used by a Soar model (based loosely on a GOMS analysis) to interact with five phone interfaces. The combined system makes concrete predictions about the order of eye and hand movements while dialing and their relative times.


The code currently is offered "as-is". No maintenance is guaranteed, but we may have useful comments still.

The original version of the code was written by Barney Harris as a BSc thesis.

Further Resources

Ritter, F. E., & Lonsdale, P. (2000). Extending Tcl/Tk to provide a functional eye and hand for the Soar cognitive modelling architecture. Talk presented at the Fifth Biennial Australasian Cognitive Science Conference.

Lonsdale, P. R., & Ritter, F. E. (2000). Soar/Tcl-PM: Extending the Soar architecture to include a widely applicable virtual eye and hand. In N. Taatgen & J. Aasman (Eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Cognitive Modelling. 202-209. Veenendaal (NL): Universal Press.

Lonsdale, P. R. (1999). Extending PracTCL to provide a more functional eye and hand for the Soar cognitive modelling architecture. MSc thesis, Psychology, U. of Nottingham.

The old code (September 1999)

Slightly improved code (October 1999)

Trace (June 2002)