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IJHCS Tables of Contents: 40414243444546474849505152535455

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 45

Editors:B. R. Gaines
Dates:1996
Volume:45
Publisher:Academic Press
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Papers:38
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 1
  2. IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 2
  3. IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 3
  4. IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 4
  5. IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 5
  6. IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 6

IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 1

Knowledge Acquisition in Poetry Criticism: The Expert's Eye Movements as an Information Tool BIBA 1-18
  Johan Lauwereyns; Gery d'Ydewalle
Implicit knowledge, that is, task performance knowledge which cannot be articulated by the expert, presents one of the most difficult problems for knowledge acquisition. The present paper examines the information value of the expert's eye movements as a complementary method to elicit implicit knowledge. In a first step, a focused interview and a repertory grid analysis were carried out with a single poetry expert, leading to a first draft of the conceptual domain of poetry criticism. In a second step, the expert was requested to assess 10 poems; his thinking aloud and eye movements while reading the poems were registered. A group of 42 subjects (knowledge engineers) received 10 poems, together with the expert's assertions and information about his eye movements while reading the poems. For half the assertions, the eye information was genuine; for the other assertions, the eye information was misleading. The subjects were asked (a) to decide whether or not genuine eye movements were presented with the assertion, (b) to formulate a paraphrase of the assertion, (c) to formulate a production rule from the assertion, and (d) to decide to what degree the eye information was useful to the elicitation of the knowledge structure. A direct comparison of the findings from the protocol analysis with and without genuine eye information revealed both quantitative and qualitative differences, pertaining to the structure of the information that the expert is attending to during classification. With this information, the reconstruction of the expert's implicit problem analysis was considerably enhanced.
A Critical Assessment of Potential Measurement Biases in the Technology Acceptance Model: Three Experiments BIBA 19-45
  Fred D. Davis; Viswanath Venkatesh
The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is widely used by researchers and practitioners to predict and explain user acceptance of information technologies. TAM models system usage intentions and behavior as a function of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. The original scales for measuring the TAM constructs have been confirmed to be reliable and valid in several replications and applications spanning a range of technologies and user populations. However, a measurement bias may be present because the TAM instrument physically groups together the multiple items measuring each individual construct. Many scholars of instrument design would object to such item grouping, instead advocating that items from different constructs be intermixed in order to reduce "carryover" effects among the responses to multiple items targeting a specific construct, which might artificially inflate the observed reliability and validity. Three experiments involving two systems and a total of 708 subjects are reported which address whether such carryover biases are present in the TAM measures. All three studies found that item grouping vs. item intermixing had no significant effect (positive or negative) either on the high levels of reliability and validity of the TAM scales, or on the path coefficients linking them together. Ironically, open-ended verbal evaluations indicated that subjects were more confused and annoyed when items were intermixed, suggesting a tendency toward "output interference" effects, which themselves could have a biasing effect. Our findings suggest that those who employ the TAM measures should continue using the original (grouped) format in order to best predict and explain user acceptance of information technology.
User Verification through Pointing Characteristics: An Exploration Examination BIBA 47-57
  Kate Barrelle; William Laverty; Ron Henderson; Jon Gough; Michael Wagner; Michael Hiron
Previous research has highlighted that all data security systems rest on the assumption of accurate user verification. Although much research has focused on speech and keystroke characteristics, no study has examined the potential of indirect cursor control devices, such as mouse or pen, as a means of personal user verification. This paper presents the result of an exploratory examination of the measurement of individual users' behaviour elicited while using two indirect input devices (puck and pen). Ten subjects undertook two series of 500 trials using the puck and pen in a counterbalanced design. Each trial involved guiding the cursor to one of ten possible targets, projected upon one of five angles of projection and one of two distances. Data recorded comprised a series of (x, y) coordinates and associated time stamps of each component of the movement. Five parameters for each full movement were extracted -- total time to reach the target, maximum velocity of the movement, maximum acceleration for the movement, time to maximum velocity of movement, time to maximum acceleration of the movement. Results of a series of Multivariate Analyses of Variance indicated that for both the puck and the pen data, there were statistically significant differences between subjects for each of the five parameters. This set of discriminating parameters was then embedded in a verification paradigm. Results indicated that the average error rates varied between 39% (S.D.=2%) and 14% (S.D.=2%) for the puck and 38% (S.D.=2%) and 12% (S.D.=2%) for the pen. Error rates were dependent upon the number of samples used when making the verification decision. This research suggests that pointing device measurements using the current parameters are not a viable method of user verification by themselves. However, with average error rates as low as 12%, it may be reasonable to integrate them into a multi-modal security system. Practical implications and future research directions are discussed.
A Representational Analysis of Relational Information Displays BIBA 59-74
  Jiajie Zhang
Graphic and tabular displays are analysed under a common, unified form -- relational information displays (RIDs), which are displays that represent relations between dimensions. First, the mapping between the represented and the representing dimensions of RIDs is analysed from the perspective of distributed representations (Zhang & Norman, 1994). Second, the structures of RIDs are analysed at three levels: dimensionality, scale types, and dimensional representations. From this analysis, a representational taxonomy is developed that not only can classify all RIDs but also can serve as a framework for systematic studies of RIDs. Third, a task taxonomy of RIDs is developed, which can classify the majority of dimension-based display tasks. Finally, the relation between representations of displays and structures of tasks is analysed in terms of a mapping principle: the information perceivable from a RID should exactly match the information required for the task. Thus, although there are no best displays that are efficient for all types of tasks, there is a correct or incorrect mapping between the representation of a display and the structure of a task.
Stress and Operator Decision Making in Coping with Emergencies BIBA 75-104
  Tom Kontogiannis
Although considerable effort has been put into the design of hardware-oriented strategies for mitigating high risk emergencies, the role of decision aids and training strategies to support human performance under stress has not been explored systematically. This has important implications for the management of emergencies since inadequacies in decision-making skills may jeopardise the success of any hardware-oriented mitigations. This paper proposes a quasi-analytical framework of decision making under stress to integrate findings of the stress literature and identify cognitive activities and skills involved in decision making. Practical implications of the proposed framework include; designing simulations of system emergencies, monitoring and analysing operator performance under stress, and providing guidelines for making training hypotheses about instructional strategies which could potentially lead to improved performance. A case study from the nuclear industry is also presented to illustrate the theoretical framework and the proposed tools.
Which Way Now? Analysing and Easing Inadequacies in WWW Navigation BIBA 105-129
  Andy Cockburn; Steve Jones
This paper examines the usability of the hypertext navigation facilities provided by World Wide Web client applications. A notation is defined to represent the user's navigational acts and the resultant system states. The notation is used to report potential, or "theoretical" problems in the models of navigation supported by three web client applications. A usability study confirms that these problems emerge in actual use, and demonstrates that incorrect user models of the clients' facilities are common. A usability analysis identifies inadequacies in the clients' interfaces.
   Motivated by the analysis of usability problems, we propose extensions to the design of WWW client applications. These proposals are demonstrated by our system WEBNET which uses dynamic graphical overview diagrams to extend the navigational facilities of conventional World Wide Web client applications. Related work on graphical overview diagrams for web navigation is reviewed.
Announcements BIB 131-133
 

IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 2

User Interface Issues Raised by Knowledge Refinement BIBA 135-155
  Andrew Basden; Peter R. Hibberd
The concept of ease of use has evolved over the last 30 years, keeping pace with developments in user interface technology, in the manner of Carroll's task-artifact cycle. This paper argues that recent developments in knowledge engineering require yet further changes in the concept and discusses what implications they might have for user interface design.
   The development in question is that construction of knowledge bases is, in many cases, no longer a matter of assembling pieces of knowledge that have been made available by knowledge acquisition, but takes on the nature of creative design which results in the generation of new knowledge at the user interface. A key difference is that while knowledge base assembly can be seen as a series of discrete events, creative design is more of a continuous process in which the user's flow of thinking must not be interrupted. This means that traditional WIMP and GUI interfaces are no longer appropriate and a more "proximal" form must be found.
Design of a User Interface for a Knowledge Refinement Tool BIBA 157-183
  Andrew Basden; Alex J. Brown; Stephen D. A. Tetlow; Peter R. Hibberd
As argued in a companion paper, Basden and Hibberd (1996), there is a need for a more "proximal" form of user interface than is currently offered by traditional WIMP styles of interface. This is necessary for knowledge representation tools used in ill structured domains, in the use of which new knowledge is generated by the very act of representation. The tool should ideally then become so "proximal" that the user's flow of creative thinking is not interrupted.
   In this paper we examine traditional principles that guide the design of user interfaces and find them suited to user activity that is a series of separable, goal-directed events but not to activity that is a continuous, holistic process. While some of the principles are applicable, others must be replaced or augmented and most must be made more specific. We describe a set of principles that we found important to guide the design of a knowledge representation tool, some of which do not seem to have been brought together before in the way described here, and discuss what forms their implementation might take.
External Cognition: How Do Graphical Representations Work? BIBA 185-213
  Mike Scaife; Yvonne Rogers
Advances in graphical technology have now made it possible for us to interact with information in innovative ways, most notably by exploring multimedia environments and by manipulating three-dimensional virtual worlds. Many benefits have been claimed for this new kind of interactivity, a general assumption being that learning and cognitive processing are facilitated. We point out, however, that little is known about the cognitive value of any graphical representations, be they good old-fashioned (e.g. diagrams) or more advanced (e.g. animations, multimedia, virtual reality). In our paper, we critique the disparate literature on graphical representations, focusing on four representative studies. Our analysis reveals a fragmented and poorly understood account of how graphical representations work, exposing a number of assumptions and fallacies. As an alternative we propose a new agenda for graphical representation research. This builds on the nascent theoretical approach within cognitive science that analyses the role played by external representations in relation to internal mental ones. We outline some of the central properties of this relationship that are necessary for the processing of graphical representations. Finally, we consider how this analysis can inform the selection and design of both traditional and advanced forms of graphical technology.
Training Experiences and Usage Intentions: A Field Study of a Graphical User Interface BIBA 215-241
  Ritu Agarwal; Jayesh Prasad; Michael C. Zanino
User perceptions about the attributes of an information system have been found to be good predictors of system utilization intentions. This paper explores the effects of an important intervention, user training, on the development of user perceptions about a target system. The theoretical model underlying the study postulates that two other classes of variables -- situational and individual -- moderate the relationship between training and user perceptions. Predicted usage behavior, measured through intended use of the system in the future, is, in turn, predicated upon perceptions of the system. We present the results of a field study of 230 users conducted to examine the impacts of training on the development of user perceptions about a graphical user interface, Microsoft Windows, and the relationship between user perceptions and system use. Two different types of training experiences, formal training and self training, were investigated. Results show that user perceptions are reasonable predictors of usage intentions, and that training experiences moderated by several individual variables play an important role in the development of user perceptions. Recommendations for the design of user training programs as well as for future research are offered.
The Importance of Usability in the Establishment of Organizational Software Standards for End User Computing BIBA 243-258
  Michael G. Morris; Andrew P. Dillon
The rapid introduction of microcomputers into organizations throughout the last decade gave new importance to the analysis of how technology impacts organizations. In particular, research on usability has sought to become central to the design and selection of technology for large organizations. However, definitions and methods are not yet standardized. Data gathered from semi-structured interviews of three MIS managers and a survey of 125 end-users in three organzations suggest that differences in emphasis on, and definition of usability can exist between these two groups. Usability was not a central concern to managers when evaluating end-user software packages considered for adoption as the organizational standard, though it appeared to be so for end-users. Moreover, managers tended to consider and evaluate usability based only on features contained in the user interface, whereas end-users often cited contextual factors such as task and environmental considerations. Implications for technology assessment and future research into organizational impact of IT are presented.
Announcements BIB 259-262
 

IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 3

Dialogue Design in Speech-Mediated Data-Entry: The Role of Syntactic Constraints and Feedback BIBA 263-286
  A. C. Murray; D. M. Jones; C. R. Frankish
Human-computer interfaces which use speech as the medium for interaction present unique problems for human factors research, due to the fact that automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology is still error prone. The experiments described here address the design of ASR interfaces for data-entry tasks. Particular emphasis was placed on human factors, and users' data-entry performance was compared using not only quantitative measures of speed and accuracy but also more qualitative analyses of user-errors. Experiment 1 investigated the merits of using closed word-sets (syntax) to enhance recognition accuracy. Participants used a purely auditory interface (i.e. one with no visual component to it) programmed to exercise Full Syntactic constraints (FS), Partial Syntactic constraints (PS) or No Syntactic constraints (NS) on the set of words available for recognition at any given time in the data-entry dialogue. Comparisons of data-entry performance showed an advantage of syntax in terms of ASR performance, and when errors and their consequences were taken into account PS was shown to accommodate users' attempts at error-correction more readily than FS. Experiment 2 compared design options for visual prompts and feedback: a limited area of the visual display was dedicated to the provision of prompts and feedback supporting the spoken data-entry dialogue. Two styles of visual prompt were contrasted: Options Prompts (OP) which displayed the full set of current options for input, and Fieldname Prompts (FP) which displayed only the current Fieldname but could be expanded on command to include the relevant options. The results showed that overall OP led to more efficient performance than FP. The errors made by users in the absence of visual feedback were compared with those occurring when the visual component was included in the interface. Recommendations for design of ASR systems for data-entry tasks are made based on the experimental results.
The Impacts on User Performance and Satisfaction of a Voice-Based Front-End Interface for a Standard Software Tool BIBA 287-303
  Kathleen K. Molnar; Marilyn G. Kletke
The objective of this study was to compare empirically the effect on performance and satisfaction of a menu and a front-end voice interface to a commonly used spreadsheet software package. In this study, the type of human-computer interface used (standard keyboard/mouse use of menus or keyboard/mouse with a voice front-end) is expected to influence user performance (task completion time and error rates) and satisfaction. The user's novice/expert classification is expected to interact with these two types of interfaces to influence the efficiency of the user's performance. The results suggest that there are significant relationships between task performance and level of expertise/type of interface and between user attitudes and type of interface. In general, the front-end voice interface users performed worse and had less favorable attitudes towards the software tool than the menu interface users.
Applications of Abduction: Knowledge-Level Modelling BIBA 305-335
  Tim Menzies
A single inference procedure (abduction) can operationalise a wide variety of knowledge-level modelling problem solving methods; i.e. prediction, classification, explanation, tutoring, qualitative reasoning, planning, monitoring, set-covering diagnosis, consistency-based diagnosis, validation, and verification. This abductive approach offers a uniform view of different problem solving methods in the style proposed by Clancey and Breuker. Also, this adbuctive approach is easily extensible to validation; i.e. using this technique we can implement both inference tools and testing tools. Further, abduction can execute in vague and conflicting domains (which we believe occur very frequently). We therefore propose abduction as a framework for knowledge-level modelling.
Speech versus Keying in Command and Control: Effect of Concurrent Tasking BIBA 337-348
  R. I. Damper; M. A. Tranchant; S. M. Lewis
As a result of Poock's influential work in the early 1980s, command and control is generally believed to be one specific application where speech input holds great advantages over keyed data entry. However, a recent paper (Damper & Wood, 1995 "Speech versus keying in command and control applications ", International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 42, 289-305) has questioned this interpretation of Poock's data because the experimental conditions seemed to bias the results against keyed entry. While Damper and Wood modelled their experiments on Poock's, however, there were important differences which mean that their conclusions are uncertain. The objective of the work reported here was to determine if the major difference -- the omission of concurrent, secondary tasking from their study -- could explain Damper and Wood's observed superiority of keying over speech.
   Simulated command and control experiments are described in which speech input, abbreviated command keying and full command keying are compared under dual-task conditions. We find that speech input is no faster (a nonsignificant 1.23% difference) and enormously more error-prone (1038%, highly significant) than abbreviated keying for the primary data entry task, but allows somewhat more (11.32%, not significant) of a secondary information-transcription task to be completed. Full keying has no advantages whatsoever: we believe that this confirms the methodological flaw in Poock's work. If recognizer errors (as opposed to speaker errors) are discounted, however, speech shows a clear superiority over keying. This indicates that speech input has potential for the future -- especially for high workload situations involving concurrent tasks -- if the technology can be developed to the point where most errors are attributable to the speaker rather than to the recognizer.
Designing Intelligent Help for Information Processing Systems BIBA 349-377
  Conroy Mallen
As information processing systems become more prevalent in the workplace there is an every expanding community of users that need to be instructed in their use. This requirement may be met by trainers and, to a lesser extent, by manuals (possibly presented on-line). However, the first solution is expensive, and the second limited in its objectives. So the goal of the work described in this paper is to provide a methodology for the construction of integrated help systems that are capable of providing the quality of support of trainers but are as cheap and accessible as manuals.
   This goal places extra constraints on the design and construction of the information processing system which must now be capable of taking account of the user's goals and previous experience if it is to be able to tune help adaptively to the context-of-use. Previous help systems have encountered problems integrating these requirements within a working application. The work described in this paper addresses these by noting that the designer's description of an application contains much information that is useful in explaining its workings. It will show how extending the designer's description of the information processing system (with a language that details how changes within the application occur) can allow for the construction of applications that are self explicating. To this end an effects language is defined which connects the designer's description with the implemented functionality of the application. Hence the two processes of design and construction are linked, and the act of building the application produces a system which a computer based instructor can immediately use. In this paper the extended design methodology will be described and its use by such an instructor outlined. To demonstrate the methodology an email application was built and illustrates how the approach leads to a system capable of supplying intelligent help.
Erratum BIB 379
 

IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 4

Human-Centered Knowledge Acquisition: A Structural Learning Theory Approach BIBA 381-396
  David P. Hale; Shane Sharpe; Dwight A. Haworth
This paper develops the application of structural learning theory (SLT) to support the knowledge engineer (KE) in the knowledge acquisition process and the development of expert systems. The underlying research focuses on the knowledge to elicit from skilled domain problem solvers, and the structure (i.e. form and type) of this knowledge using SLT to guide elicitation and interpretation. SLT explicitly models both declarative and procedural knowledge, while presuming an innate backward-chaining mechanism.
   Guidelines based on SLT allow knowledge engineers to concentrate on the human-centered knowledge of domain specific problem solvers. In fact, the SLT model presumes that skilled problem solvers do not automatically divulge all rules. This human-centered, needs-based approach provides a point of departure from previous knowledge acquisition methods and serves as a distinguishing feature of this knowledge acquisition method. Specifically grounded in SLT, distinct rule types are developed to be extracted from skilled domain problem solvers. Based on these rule types, guidelines are developed to aid the KEs in the acquisition process.
Computer Aided Instruction Systems for Plant Operators BIBA 397-412
  Hiroshi Ujita; Takeshi Yokota; Naoshi Tanikawa; Keiko Mutoh
Two types of CAI systems have been developed which make it possible to provide consistent education in plant operation for personnel from novice to expert levels and on to professionals like shift supervisors. The main features are summarized as follows. (1) Realization of an attractive feature, representing the fusion of education and amusement. A two layer structure was adopted, so operators can get systematic knowledge spontaneously, while enjoying the task. In the lower layer which is hidden from the operators, an education scenario was created to provide overall knowledge for the plant operators, such as system configurations and functions, and normal and emergency operation procedures. In the upper layer which is shown to operators, an attractive story with a game feeling was constructed corresponding to the education scenario. (2) Satisfaction of intrinsic motivation, representing instruction according to the learners' level. The student model is derived from a hierarchical function model which is a goal-oriented mental model of a plant operator. It is common to both the teaching course for presenting text knowledge of emergency procedures and the indicating course for actual plant behaviour and procedures using the plant simulator. The understanding level of each node (element of a function) in the model is evaluated by personal history conditions calculated from both the tutoring record of the node and the understanding level of the connecting nodes.
Virtual Spaces and Real World Places: Transfer of Route Knowledge BIBA 413-428
  Bob G. Witmer; John H. Bailey; Bruce W. Knerr; Kimberly C. Parsons
It has been widely suggested, but rarely demonstrated, that virtual environments (VEs) are effective training media. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate how well a VE model of a complex office building trained individuals to navigate in the actual building. Sixty participants studied route directions and landmark photographs, then rehearsed the route using either the VE model, the actual building, or verbal directions and photographs. The VE model was presented in real time via a head-tracked display. Half of the participants in each rehearsal group also studied route maps. Everyone's route knowledge was then measured in the actual building. Building configuration knowledge was also measured. VE rehearsal produced more route knowledge than verbal rehearsal, but less than with rehearsal in the actual building. Type of rehearsal had no effect on configuration knowledge. Map study influenced neither route nor configuration knowledge. These results suggest that VEs that adequately represent real world complexity can be effective training media for learning complex routes in buildings, and should be considered whenever the real world site is unavailable for training.
Tools for Spreadsheet Auditing BIBA 429-442
  J. Steve Davis
Few tools are available for understanding and debugging spreadsheets, but they are needed because spreadsheets are being used for large, important business applications. The key to understanding spreadsheets is to clarify the data dependencies among cells. We developed and evaluated two interactive tools which aid in investigating data dependencies, an on-line flowchart-like diagram and a tool which represents dependencies by drawing arrows among cells on the display of the spreadsheet. Users found both tools helpful, but preferred the arrow tool.
Intelligent Multimedia Repositories (IMRs) for Project Estimation and Management: An Empirical Study BIBA 443-482
  Barry G. Silverman; Nabil Bedewi
This research explores whether the use of multimedia and intelligent agents foster the reuse of artifacts from a repository. That is, can a repository enhance reuse effectivity if it can (1) offer diverse media for conveying an artifact's information, and (2) utilize agents that support human reuse processes? A study was conducted with 33 professional respondents in a software project estimation repository. Performance and reaction data were collected on the purpose, role, usefulness, impact, and importance of 14 media/artifact categories. Results show the repository improves performance significantly, and the multimedia and agents play an important role. Specific lessons learned are offered for the design of reuse repositories, the use of multimedia, and the role for intelligent agents.
Movement Characteristics using a Mouse with Tactile and Force Feedback BIBA 483-493
  Motoyuki Akamatsu; I. Scott MacKenzie
A multi-modal mouse incorporating tactile and force feedback was tested in a target selection task with 12 subjects. Four feedback conditions (normal, tactile, force, tactile+force) were combined with three target distances and three target sizes. We found significant reductions in the overall movement times and in the time to stop the cursor after entering the target. This effect was particularly pronounced for the tactile condition and for small targets. However, compared to normal feedback, error rates were higher with the tactile and tactile+force conditions. The motor-sensory bandwidth calculated using Fitts' law, normalized for spatial variability, was highest in the presence of tactile feedback (6.4 bits/s). This was followed by tactile+force (6.2 bits/s), normal (5.9 bits /s), and force feedback (5.8 bits/s). These results indicate that modifying a mouse to include tactile feedback, and to a lesser extent, force feedback, offers performance advantages in target selection tasks.
Bulletin BIB 495-497
 

IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 5

Interactive Improvement of Decision Trees through Flaw Analysis and Interpretation BIBA 499-526
  Katsuhiko Tsujino; Vlad G. Dabija; Shogo Nishida
This paper describes a framework for knowledge acquisition based on analysing and interpreting flaws in decision trees. The decision trees inductively learned are analysed using domain and task specific knowledge to detect improper states called flaws. These are further used to formulate questions to eliminate the flaws by stimulating the acquisition of new examples and domain knowledge for a new induction cycle. To facilitate this process we frame a unified theory in the classification trees' paradigm arguing: (1) what means to have a good/bad tree; (2) why it is good/bad; and (3) how to obtain a better one. We also describe some experimental results of applying this framework to a domain knowledge acquisition system named KAISER and its meta-learner for the decision trees domain theory which build this theory by keeping track of the experts' response of domain level interaction.
Generating Explanations in a Simulation-Based Learning Environment BIBA 527-551
  Rachel Pilkington; Alec Grierson
In formative pilot studies medical students interacting with a simulation-based learning environment were found to require additional support. In particular, students wanted both the interactive qualities of the human tutor's feedback and, access to more expository reference material. To improve the support provided, an explanation-generating component was added to the simulation. This employed rhetorical schemata capable of dynamic specialization to meet multiple communicative goals within a single response. Moreover, responses contained Hyper-media links to pre-stored reference material, allowing the student to follow-up generated explanations with self-directed browsing. The mechanisms for producing help explanation, through rhetorical predicates, are described. An underlying knowledge-base formalism was adopted which permitted the expression of domain concepts in cohered text form, and enabled the generation of textual descriptions of animated-graph simulation output. Using this prototype as a platform, current work is aimed at supporting knowledge negotiation between computer-based system and student, in order to further the development of students' diagnostic reasoning skills.
Information Retrieval through Hybrid Navigation of Lattice Representations BIBA 553-578
  Claudio Carpineto; Giovanni Romano
In this paper we present a comprehensive approach to automatic organization and hybrid navigation of text databases. An organizing stage first builds a particular lattice representation of the data, through text indexing followed by lattice clustering of the indexed texts. The lattice representation, then, supports the navigation stage of the system, a visual retrieval interface that combines three main retrieval strategies: browsing, querying, and bounding. Browsing and querying are used to search the retrieval space, bounding is used to restrict it based on the information that users have, or get during their interaction with the system. We show that such a hybrid paradigm permits high flexibility in trading off information exploration and retrieval and, in addition, has good retrieval performance. We compared information retrieval using lattice-based hybrid navigation with conventional Boolean querying. The results of an experiment conducted on two medium-sized bibliographic databases showed that the performance of lattice retrieval was comparable to or better than Boolean retrieval.
Differences in Expert and Novice Situation Awareness in Naturalistic Decision Making BIBA 579-597
  Josephine M. Randel; H. Lauren Pugh; Stephen K. Reed
We studied situation awareness as the first part of a decision in a naturalistic setting involving a complex cognitive task. Three measures of situation awareness were used. Further we examined differences in decision making by expert and novice performers, including their use of rules and possible conflicts in using rules. Twenty-eight electronic warfare technicians from U.S. Navy ships were classified as novices, intermediates, or experts according to their performance on a scenario exercise. Results indicated that expertise included proficiency in the following skills: visually and verbally recalling radar emitters that appear on the screen, the ability to make correct decisions based on better situation awareness, and the ability to understand the conditions for applying rules in a consistent manner.
Patterns in Information Search for Decision Making: The Effects of Information Abstraction BIBA 599-616
  N. P. Archer; M. M. Head; Y. Yuan
This paper reports on a study of abstraction in an information retrieval interface, where users had access to both detailed data and to two higher levels of abstraction of the data, in a multiple attribute alternative ranking situation. Through an experiment with a total of 76 subjects we found that, when they were not constrained by any built-in structure in their choice of information, there was a spectrum of use which combined various proportions of top-down search with opportunistic episodes (non-top-down branches to view various information attributes). We developed a measure of the degree of top-down search used, and found that this measure correlated positively with an increased propensity to use a compensatory decision strategy. Users also tended to reduce their use of top-down search in favour of more opportunistic search as they moved through the stages of the decision process. The degree of top-down search correlated significantly with a tendency to search within alternatives, but did not correlate with user domain experience. An implication of our findings is that, in order for a data retrieval interface to be implemented successfully, users should not be constrained by the system to follow a built-in search strategy, but should be allowed to develop their own search strategies through the use of a flexible interface.
Bulletin BIB 617-618
 

IJHCS 1996 Volume 45 Issue 6

User Analysis in HCI -- The Historical Lessons from Individual Differences Research BIBA 619-637
  Andrew Dillon; Charles Watson
User analysis is a crucial aspect of user-centered systems design, yet Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has yet to formulate reliable and valid characterizations of users beyond gross distinctions based on task and experience. Individual differences research from mainstream psychology has identified a stable set of characteristics that would appear to offer potential application in the HCI arena. Furthermore, in its evolution over the last 100 years, research on individual differences has faced many of the problems of theoretical status and applicability that are common to HCI. In the present paper, the relationship between work in cognitive and differential psychology and current analyses of users in HCI is examined. It is concluded that HCI could gain significant predictive power if individual differences research was related to the analysis of users in contemporary systems design.
The Role of Prior Experience and Task Characteristics in Object-Oriented Modeling: An Empirical Study BIBA 639-667
  Ritu Agarwal; Atish P. Sinha; Mohan Tanniru
The object-oriented methodology for systems analysis and design has generated considerable interest recently. Object-orientation represents a fundamental shift in focus from the traditional process-oriented approaches that have dominated software development for over two decades. Although there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that systems analysts experienced in process-oriented modeling approaches will find it difficult to apply objective-oriented methodologies, there is no empirical work investigating the relationship between a procedural mindset and an ability to learn and apply object-oriented concepts. Prior research in human problem solving, however, suggests that the efficacy of a systems analysis and design methodology should be judged in the context of the task to which it is applied. To explore the effects of prior experience and task characteristics on performance in systems analysis and design, we conducted an experiment in which two groups of subjects applied the object-oriented methodology to two types of tasks, one process-oriented and the other object-oriented. One group had significant prior experience in process-oriented methodologies, while the other group had no formal experience. Both groups were provided identical training in object-oriented analysis and design prior to the experiment. The results of the study suggest that both prior experience and task characteristics play a role in determining performance. The implications that follow for research and practice are discussed.
Can Computers be Teammates? BIBA 669-678
  Clifford Nass; B. J. Fogg; Youngme Moon
This study investigated the claim that humans will readily form team relationships with computers. Drawing from the group dynamic literature in human-human interactions, a laboratory experiment (n=56) manipulated identity and interdependence to create team affiliation in a human-computer interaction. The data show that subjects who are told they are interdependent with the computer affiliate with the computer as a team. The data also show that the effects of being in a team with a computer are the same as the effects of being in a team with another human: subjects in the interdependence conditions perceived the computer to be more similar to themselves, saw themselves as more cooperative, were more open to influence from the computer, thought the information from the computer was of higher quality, found the information from the computer friendlier, and conformed more to the computer's information. Subjects in the identity conditions showed neither team affiliation nor the effects of team affiliation.
Information Requirements of Aircraft Inspection: Framework and Analysis BIBA 679-695
  Colin G. Drury; Prasad Prabhu
The information environment is seen to be one of the predominant factors for effective maintenance and inspection systems in the operation of commercial aircraft. The design issues can be stated simply as decisions on what information to present, when to present this information, and how to present this information. It is desirable that in answering these questions, the designer accounts for the cognitive abilities of humans and the demands that the task requirements generate. This paper provides a framework for information design by combining the concepts from the human factors knowledge base with the specific needs of aircraft inspection. This framework captures the interaction between the inspection task and its information requirements, leading to an analysis of the information needs of aircraft inspectors, using this framework and the cognitive control categories of Skill-Rule-Knowledge based behaviors. Based on this analysis, guidelines for information systems design have been suggested.
Advances in Local Student Modeling using Informal Fuzzy Reasoning BIBA 697-722
  Lois Wright Hawkes; Sharon J. Derry
This paper presents an approach to local student modeling in mathematics intelligent tutors. A knowledge representation is developed that stores separately the semantic and structural information needed to represent math word problems. Based on this representation, and the assignment of weights to semantic labels for problem sets, the student is allowed considerable flexibility in the development of solutions. The technique used in matching student solutions to acceptable solutions is based on imprecision or fuzziness, i.e. exact matches to stored solutions are not required. Moreover, this imprecise approach, together with a "collapsing" of the tree of all possible solutions, substantially reduces storage and search requirements, addressing some combinatorial explosion and speed problems of modeling. This method can support a variety of instructional strategies.
Self-Monitoring During Exploration of an Interactive Device BIBA 723-747
  Carol-Ina Trudel; Stephen J. Payne
We report four experiments in which we manipulated the conditions under which subjects explored an unfamiliar interactive device without the benefit of assistance or instruction. Our aim was to increase the amount of knowledge subjects acquired about the device and to influence how efficient they were at later applying the operational procedures they discovered. The interventions were to interrupt subjects' exploration at regular intervals and ask them to verbally report on what they had learned so far (Experiment I) or to state their future intention (Experiment II). Both manipulations yielded significant benefits, when compared to subjects who explored the same device without such interruptions. In Experiment III there were four conditions in which interrupted subjects reported on topics of different levels of relevance to the task. This experiment showed that it is the relevance of the verbalised content as opposed to an "incubation" period which affects performance in a beneficial manner. Finally we investigated whether it was necessary to employ external prompts to obtain these effects (Experiment IV). It was found that subjects were in fact able to effectively interrupt their work in order to review their progress.