Application of a genetic algorithm to the keyboard layout problem

Autoři: Amir Hosein Habibi Onsorodi aff001;  Orhan Korhan aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Industrial Engineering, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus, Turkey aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article


The number of people who use computers for business and personal purposes increases as technology grows. The application of ergonomic practices on computer workstations reduces the musculoskeletal discomfort experienced and increases the overall satisfaction of the users. Keyboards are available in various systems, from computers to mobile devices, and have difference shapes and sizes. The keyboard size and shape is known to influence the user’s upper extremities. Alternative keyboard designs help diminish the pain in the arms that occurs due to awkward arm postures. Most previous studies tried to optimize the keyboard layout based on ergonomic typing and the frequency of letters’ co-occurrence. This research considers the frequency of the appearance of the most used 3,000 words in the English language. First, the frequency of each letter pair is calculated by the Text Analyzer. Then, a genetic algorithm is applied to design an ergonomically optimized keyboard to minimize the total distance of finger travel among the selected alphanumeric characters. The results showed that the distance travelled obtained by the proposed keyboard layout is less than that for the QWERTY keyboard in all different types of texts, in which an average of 6.04% improvement was achieved. Therefore, the proposed design can be used for keyboards to reduce time and fatigue.

Klíčová slova:

Algorithms – Computer hardware – Computers – Ergonomics – Fatigue – Genetic algorithms – Language – Optimization


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2020 Číslo 1
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