Setting up eye-tracking experiment

PennController for IBEX Forums Support Setting up eye-tracking experiment

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    Hi Jeremy,

    Elsi Kaiser and I at the USC Language Processing Lab are looking into setting up an eye-tracking experiment using PCIbex. We’ve been looking at the documentation (thank you for making that available!) and we have a few questions about setting up the necessary server.

    Firstly, I’ve been trying to work through the sample experiment (, and I can’t run it through my PCIbex account; I assume this is because I can’t write data to the server that has the provided PHP script. We are a bit stuck on the next steps then of setting up our own server.

    I see one of the services you recommend is DreamHost. Can you provide any guidance about which of their hosting options are appropriate and how much space we’d need? Additionally, we have some experience using BlueHost for personal websites, but we’re unsure if this would be appropriate for our eye-tracking server. If you know of any resources for beginners in this kind of thing, we’d greatly appreciate it! For instance, do you know of any other labs that have recently set up this sort of server, so that we could emulate their practices?

    Thanks very much!
    Jesse Storbeck


    Hi Jesse,

    PennController downloads the eyetracking library directly from webgazer’s website, and unfortunately they don’t seem to make newer releases retro-compatible, which is why some scripts that used to work can break with webgazer updates. Anyway, just follow the first note of the documentation page (ie. upload this file to your project) and you should be able to run the experiment through your PCIbex account (the PHP script only matters for sending the data to the server, but the actual task should still go through)

    As far as I can tell BlueHost offers the same kind of services as DreamHost, so I don’t see any reason to switch your hosting platform. As long as you know how to upload files (eg. PHP script files) to your webspace and set permissions, which you can do with FTP clients like FileZilla for example, the documentation should get you there. I think you may also need to have a secure domain (ie. https) but other than that the setup should be pretty minimal.

    I know of at least one other lab that’s looked into the eyetracker feature, but they haven’t collected actual data with it yet. There’s a Slack channel where people can chat about this, let me know if you’re interested in joining it by sending an email at



    Thanks, Jeremy! I can run the example now. I will email you about adding Elsi and me to the Slack channel.

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