Novel Keyboard Layout Optimization.pdf (674.18 kB)
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Novel Keyboard Layout Optimization.pdf

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journal contribution
posted on 16.04.2020, 05:44 by Michael MortensonMichael Mortenson, Cassandra S. Sweeten
Since the advent of the typewriter in 1897 by Shoes, Glidden, and Soule, keyboard layouts have been the subject of extensive research. Amidst many competing keyboard layouts, the 1972 QWERTY keyboard has gained traction and standard acceptance with the rise of personal computers. However, the various drawbacks of the QWERTY layout, which have been extensively researched and documented, have spurred research into alternate keyboard layouts. Herein, a method for optimizing a alternate 30-key keyboard is presented using a custom gradient-free genetic algorithm. The optimization relies on an effective distance objective function which incorporates digraph frequency analysis, effectively bypassing uncertainty in the literature regarding the commonly used Fitts-Digraph objective function. Finally, a resulting optimal keyboard is presented and suggestions for further inquiry are elaborated.