Anticipation, Rallying, Part 3

Follow-up to Anticipation, Rallying, Part 2

5. Is there slack time for updating the internal model and the response selection?

Usually, there is plenty of time between the announcement of a curve and its arrival. Thus, the driver has enough time to update his internal model of the following curve and choose an appropriate response before the curve appears.

The second scenario without pace notes is completely different. The internal model is updated when the necessary information appears. The missing advance information, at least most of the time, leaves no other choice than to slow down. This consumes time, and response selection is the next time-consuming step. Thus, slack time increases reaction time significantly. It is not possible to reduce this time due to the late availability of sensory information.

Model of anticipation with slack time

Link to the model


Appearance of the information “curve, left” for the two scenarios

Early availability, slack time is not important


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Late availability, slack time has high influence

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6. Is an exit point for the circular process available?

This question is very hard to answer, at least for the second scenario. Basically, the question is: When do you have enough information to choose a response? How much information is sufficient? The pace notes from the first scenario deliver enough information to construct the internal model. Therefore, an appropriate response can be chosen. In summary, the first scenario is not a big deal. In contrast, missing pace notes place the driver in a dilemma. An example provides a clue. Imagine a long drawn-out curve that is moderately difficult. The beginning is clearly visible but the end is not visible. Trees are blocking your view. You can run the risk, going to the response selection stage and choosing a response that matches the curve and its´ projected characteristics. But, you know that there are other alternatives. The curve might turn out to have different characteristics and turn into a nightmare at your current choice of speed. Thus, you can wait a little longer. Maybe the curve will reveal its secrets in a few milliseconds? But waiting takes time and you are losing your possibility to go full speed. But again, waiting is safer, and is an accident caused by high speed really desirable? What is the perfect choice? Where is the balance between speed and safety? Your head is spinning and spinning, trying to take the different possibilities into account based on the currently available information. As you can see, such a problem blocks your ability to act significantly. Occurring errors are hard to counter. You cannot go back in time nor does the high speed allow movement modifications. Slowing down allows for small modifications, but this leads to a conflict with your goals (going fast).

This question is really not trivial, and the solutions for reducing this time are not so easy.

Progress of alternatives


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7. Is there a stop criterion for the response selection?

At this point, we have to assume that a certain suitable amount of information has been gathered. This information provides the basis for a choice. This question is only relevant with several possible responses. This is not the case for both scenarios. The racing line is fixed and determines the necessary steering movements. A deviation from the racing line is possible, but not desired. The driver is forced to reduce the possibilities to one option. Both scenarios differ in their way of reducing the alternatives. The driver either uses pace notes or slows down.

The following overview outlines the general possibilities. The second column is not an option in racing. Steering movements are mutually exclusive.

Overview response selection


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In general, movements in martial arts are different. They can be executed and pursue more than one objective. Thus, they offer solutions, even though the number of alternatives cannot be reduced.

To be continued — Anticipation, Rallying, Part 4

The post was published 13. November 2014 related to the category Miscellaneous and tagged with .