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.

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