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Spatial model personalization in Gboard

Gary Sivek
Google Scholar


We introduce a framework for adapting a virtual keyboard to individual user behavior by modifying a Gaussian spatial model to use personalized key center offset means and, optionally, learned covariances. Through numerous real-world studies, we determine the importance of training data quantity and weights, as well as the number of clusters into which to group keys to avoid overfitting. While past research has shown potential of this technique using artificially-simple virtual keyboards and games or fixed typing prompts, we demonstrate effectiveness using the highly-tuned Gboard app with a representative set of users and their real typing behaviors. Across a variety of top languages,we achieve small-but-significant improvements in both typing speed and decoder accuracy.