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IJHCS Tables of Contents: 4041424344454647484950515253545556

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 46

Editors:B. R. Gaines
Dates:1997
Volume:46
Publisher:Academic Press
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Papers:44
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 1
  2. IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 2/3
  3. IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 4
  4. IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 5
  5. IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 6

IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 1

Applying Decision Requirements to User-Centered Design BIBA 1-15
  Gary Klein; George L. Kaempf; Steve Wolf; Marvin Thorsden; Thomas Miller
The decision requirements of a task are the key decisions and how they are made. Most task analysis methods address the steps that have to be followed; decision requirements offer a complementary picture of the critical and difficult judgments and decisions needed to carry out the task. This article describes the use of Cognitive Task Analysis methods to identify decision requirements, as part of a project to improve the decision making of AEGIS cruiser officers in high-stress situations. We found that by identifying these requirements, and centering the system design process on them, we could develop storyboards for a human-computer interface that reflected the user's needs.
Automation-Induced Monitoring Inefficiency: Role of Display location BIBA 17-30
  Indramani L. Singh; Robert Molloy; Raja Parasuraman
Operators can be poor monitors of automation if they are engaged concurrently in other tasks. However, in previous studies of this phenomenon the automated task was always presented in the periphery, away from the primary manual tasks that were centrally displayed. In this study we examined whether centrally locating an automated task would boost monitoring performance during a flight-simulation task consisting of system monitoring, tracking and fuel resource management sub-tasks. Twelve nonpilot subjects were required to perform the tracking and fuel management tasks manually while watching the automated system monitoring task for occasional failures. The automation reliability was constant at 87.5% for six subjects and variable (alternating between 87.5% and 56.25%) for the other six subjects. Each subject completed four 30 min sessions over a period of 2 days. In each automation reliability condition the automation routine was disabled for the last 20 min of the fourth session in order to simulate catastrophic automation failure (0% reliability). Monitoring for automation failure was inefficient when automation reliability was constant but not when it varied over time, replicating previous results. Furthermore, there was no evidence of resource or speed accuracy trade-off between tasks. Thus, automation-induced failures of monitoring cannot be prevented by centrally locating the automated task.
Using Information Systems While Performing Complex Tasks: An Example from Architectural Design BIBA 31-54
  Erica de Vries; Ton de Jong
Nowadays, information systems, such as hypertexts, allow a variety of ways in which to structure information. Information systems are also used for an increasing number of purposes. In our study we examined two different purposes for using information systems in the context of a real task: architectural design. In design processes, information gathering plays a different role depending on design phase, and both exploration and finding information are important sub-processes. A study is presented in which the main goal was to determine whether there are advantages of certain information structures when carrying out a particular activity. Both tasks and variables used in the experiment were related to characteristics of the design process as identified in the literature. Two different kinds of information gathering behaviour, browsing and searching were studied, and criterion tests corresponded to the desired outcome in the design context, i.e. enlargement of the users' information span for browsing and their knowledge of specific topics for searching. Results showed a number of interactions between information structure and information gathering task depending on the particular criterion test examined. Inspection of each purpose on its own criterion test revealed the merits of network structures for browsing, but also for searching. These results parallel the recommendations emanating from design disciplines to provide information structures for design that do not impose a hierarchical structure, but that show the complexity of design information. Recommendations for hypertext research include the study of navigational characteristics in combination with tasks and variables that are meaningful in a specific context.
Automated Acquisition of User Preferences BIBA 55-77
  L. Karl Branting; Patrick S. Broos
Decision support systems often require knowledge of users' preferences. However, preferences may vary among individual users or be difficult for users to articulate. This paper describes how user preferences can be acquired in the form of preference predicates by a learning apprentice system and proposes two new instance-based algorithms for preference predicate acquisition: 1ARC and Compositional Instance-Based Learning (CIBL). An empirical evaluation using simulated preference behavior indicated that the instance-based approaches are preferable to decision-tree induction and perceptrons as the learning component of a learning apprentice system, if representation of the relevant characteristics of problem-solving states, requires a large number of attributes, if attributes interact in a complex fashion, or if there are very few training instances. Conversely, decision-tree induction or perceptron learning is preferable if there are a small number of attributes and the attributes do not interact in a complex fashion unless there are very few training instances. When tested as the learning component of a learning apprentice system used by astronomers for scheduling astronomical observations, both CIBL and decision-tree induction rapidly achieved useful levels of accuracy in predicting the astronomers' preferences.
The Dynamics of Work Organization, Knowledge and Technology During Software Development BIBA 79-101
  P. E. Waterson; C. W. Clegg; C. M. Axtell
In this paper we report findings from a study of the impact of cognitive and organizational factors upon the work of a software development project within a commercial context. We chose to study the relationship between the way in which project work is organized; the distribution of knowledge amongst project members; their use of programming tools; and the major problems that occurred during the development of a large scale computer program. Our findings point to a dynamic interplay between these factors which partly reflects the importance of expertise and knowledge within the project as well as evidence of opportunistic and emergent forms of work organization, communication and collaboration. Our study demonstrates the importance of recognizing the influence that managerial interventions and the use of new technology can have upon the conduct of software development, as well as the difficulties such changes may bring about when they disrupt organizational and cognitive processes such as "mutual adjustment" and "knowledge sharing". We conclude the paper by describing a series of implications and recommendations. These cover issues related to the "knowledge intensive" nature of software development; the influence of new technology upon project work; as well as recommendations regarding the management of software projects and the software process.
Browsing Hierarchical Data with Multi-Level Dynamic Queries and Pruning BIBA 103-124
  Harsha P. Kumar; Catherine Plaisant; Ben Shneiderman
Users often must browse hierarchies with thousands of nodes in search of those that best match their information needs. The PDQ Tree-browser (Pruning with Dynamic Queries) visualization tool was specified, designed and developed for this purpose. This tool presents trees in two tightly-coupled views, one a detailed view and the other an overview. Users can use dynamic queries, a method for rapidly filtering data, to filter nodes at each level of the tree. The dynamic query panels are user-customizable. Sub-trees of unselected nodes are pruned out, leading to compact views of relevant nodes. Usability testing of the PDQ Tree-browser, done with eight subjects, helped assess strengths and identify possible improvements. The PDQ Tree-browser was used in Network Management (600 nodes) and UniversityFinder (1100 nodes) applications. A controlled experiment, with 24 subjects, showed that pruning significantly improved performance speed and subjective user satisfaction. Future research directions are suggested.
Abstraction in Conceptual Model Design BIBA 125-150
  Diana Kao; Norman P. Archer
Understanding and supporting conceptual model design is an important issue in Model Management System (MMS) research. While there are a broad range of aspects which affect conceptual design, this study focuses on the use and the support of abstraction in the design process. We classify the use of abstraction in design into three categories: vertical, horizontal and general abstraction techniques. We then propose a theoretical framework which suggests the completeness of the design, the development of higher level concepts in design, and the design organization as the three dimensions of design output that can be enhanced by effective use of these abstraction techniques. The proposed framework was empirically tested on a design problem using non-domain experts, with a software prototype that provided abstraction aids. The findings indicated significant effects of abstraction aids on the three dimensions of design output. Specifically, training exercises with comprehensive examples of various design strategies significantly improved both the number of high level ideas generated and the design organization compared to unaided designs. The completeness of designs was enhanced by both the design environment structure and the examples and analogies provided during training. The implications of this study are: (a) it is possible to measure the impact of abstraction support on the conceptual design process, (b) the proposed measures can be used in the development and evaluation of design support systems, and (c) abstraction support can significantly improve the quality of design by non-domain experts.
Abstract Models for HCI BIBA 151-177
  Andrew M. Dearden; Michael D. Harrison
This paper investigates the use of formal mathematical models in the design of interactive systems and argues for the development of generic models that describe the behaviour of a class of interactive systems.
   In recent years a number of authors have suggested methods for modelling interactive systems using notations and frameworks drawn from software engineering mathematics. We argue that these models tend to be either: so abstract as to limit their ability to express important interaction concerns for specific systems, and limited in the degree to which they support the construction of software that conforms to the designer 's intention; or so specific to an individual system that they provide only limited re-use across development projects and are therefore likely to be too expensive to develop except in a few special applications such as safety-critical systems.
   We argue that it is possible to construct a generic model of a class of interactive systems at an intermediate level of abstraction. Such a model would offer wider reusability than detailed specifications of a single system, but greater expressiveness and support for software development than fully general abstract models.
   To support our argument we review a number of existing models in the literature and present a generic model of interactive case memories, a class of systems used in case-based reasoning.
Bulletin BIB 179-180
 

IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 2/3

Editorial: Using Explicit Ontologies in Knowledge-Based System Development BIB 181
  Brian Gaines
Using Explicit Ontologies in KBS Development BIBA 183-292
  G. van Heijst; A. Th. Schreiber; B. J. Wielinga
This article presents a number of ways in which ontologies -- schematic descriptions of the contents of domain knowledge -- can be constructed and can be used to improve the knowledge engineering process. The main message is that early in the knowledge engineering process an application-specific ontology should be constructed. To facilitate this, the article presents some principles for organizing a library of reusable ontological theories which can be configured into an application ontology. This application ontology is then exploited to organize the knowledge acquisition process and to support computational design. The process is illustrated with a knowledge engineering scenario in the domain of treating acute radiation syndrome.
Understanding, Building and Using Ontologies BIBA 293-310
  Nicola Guarino
I defend here the thesis of the independence between domain knowledge and problem-solving knowledge, arguing against the dominance of the so-called "interaction problem" mentioned in a recent paper by Van Heijst, Schreiber and Wielinga to dispute the feasibility of a single domain ontology shared by a number of different applications. The main point is that reusability across multiple tasks or methods can and should be systematically pursued even when modelling knowledge related to a single task or method. Under this view, I discuss how the principles of formal ontology and ontological engineering can be used in the practice of knowledge engineering, focusing in particular on the interplay between general ontologies, method ontologies and application ontologies, and on the role of ontologies in the knowledge engineering process. I will then stress the role of domain analysis, often absent in current methodologies for the development of knowledge-based systems.
Roles are Not Classes: A Reply to Nicola Guarino BIBA 311-318
  G. van Heijst; A. Th. Schreiber; B. J. Wielinga
In this paper we reply to Nicola Guarino's comments on our article entitled "Using explicit ontologies in knowledge acquisition". We concentrate on the issues raised by Guarino: (i) the existence of the interaction problem at the knowledge level, (ii) the nature of ontologies, and (iii) the utility of method ontologies. In our reply we attempt to distinguish between (mutual) misunderstandings, alternative viewpoints and true differences of opinion.
Trading Cost of Reuse in KBS Development using Explicit Ontologies BIBA 319-325
  Masahiro Hori
Since the design and reuse of ontologies are knowledge-intensive and time-consuming processes, it is important to make deliberate design decisions in order to obtain the benefits of reuse at a moderate cost in exchange for some acceptable loss in applicability and flexibility. This article raises issues related to the evolution of knowledge libraries, on the basis of our experiences in enabling the reuse in developing scheduling expert systems. First, the knowledge-modelling process is briefly reviewed, and the design decision on limiting the scope of reuse is discussed. The evolution of a component library is then investigated, showing the ratio of reuse in the development of a real scheduling system. Finally, the article emphasizes the significance of sharing the empirical results from both controlled and real experimentation.
Impediments in the Use of Explicit Ontologies for KBS Development BIBA 327-337
  Daniel E. O'Leary
This paper explores some of the impediments in the development of libraries of reusable ontologies. First, ontologies generated in multiple agent environments derive from political processes. As a result, it is impossible to choose an ontology that maximizes the utility of all agents in the process and the group. An "ontology impossibility theorem" is formulated and discussed. Second, ontologies are not necessarily stationary over relevant time periods, providing an impediment to librarying ontologies. Third, scaling up ontologies is a difficult matter. Fourth, since each ontology is the result of a political process, it is difficult to interface multiple ontologies.
Using Explicit Ontologies to Create Problem Solving Methods BIBA 339-364
  Chantal Reynaud; Francoise Tort
This article describes a tool called ASTREE, based on an ontology-driven approach. ASTREE has been designed to automate the construction of an application-specific model of problem-solving behaviour in cases where skeletal models cannot be reused. In ASTREE, the construction of a problem-solving model is an identification of methods capable of achieving user-specified tasks. The identification process is based on matching elements specified in the task to be achieved and elements in a set of domain knowledge delivered by an expert. This domain knowledge is called the expertise ontology because it expresses conceptualizations of domain knowledge delivered by an expert during the knowledge elicitation phase. It is argued in this article that a well-defined expertise ontology provides strong constraints for the knowledge engineering process, and in particular, for the creation of a model of problem-solving behaviour.
   This article presents the syntax and the semantics of the language of the expertise ontology, an extension of the Entity/Relationship Model. It then focuses on the main techniques that ASTREE uses in the identification process. An example of room assignment has been chosen to illustrate ASTREE's various techniques. A scenario leading to the construction of a task-method structure is presented at the end of the article.
Engineering Ontologies BIBA 365-406
  Pim Borst; Hans Akkermans; Jan Top
We analyse the construction as well as the role of ontologies in knowledge sharing and reuse for complex industrial applications. In this article, the practical use of ontologies in large-scale applications not restricted to knowledge-based systems is demonstrated, for the domain of engineering systems modelling, simulation and design. A general and formal ontology, called PHYSSYS, for dynamic physical systems is presented and its structuring principles are discussed. We show how the PHYSSYS ontology provides the foundation for the conceptual database schema of a library of reusable engineering model components, covering a variety of disciplines such as mechatronics and thermodynamics, and we describe a full-scale numerical simulation experiment on this basis pertaining to an existing large hospital heating installation. From the application scenario, several general guidelines and experiences emerge. It is possible to identify various viewpoints that are seen as natural within a large domain: broad and stable conceptual distinctions that give rise to a categorization of concepts and properties. This provides a first mechanism to break up ontologies into smaller pieces with strong internal coherence but relatively loose coupling, thus reducing ontological commitments. Secondly, we show how general and abstract ontological super theories, for example mereology, topology, graph theory and systems theory, can be used and reused as generic building blocks in ontology construction. We believe that this is an important element in knowledge sharing across domains. Thirdly, we introduce ontology projections as a flexible means to connect different base ontologies. Ontology projections can occur in simple forms such as include-and-extent and include-and-specialize, but are in their richest form very knowledge-intensive, being in fact themselves full-blown ontological theories.
Bulletin BIB 407-408
 

IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 4

Content-Based Visualization for Intelligent Problem-Solving Environments BIBA 409-441
  Jeff Yost; Andrew F. Varecka; Michael M. Marefat
Mechanisms are proposed to allow visualization to become an active agent in the problem-solving environment. Two main problems are addressed: dealing with too much data and allowing simulation steering. The agent solves these problems by extracting semantically interesting data for spatial and temporal understanding, enabling a dynamic and flexible behavior for simulation-integrated control, and intelligently creating visualizations that intuitively display the selected data. A significant event language is proposed to capture the semantically interesting data through event expressions which can then be parsed and monitored. Behavior is achieved through programmable, hierarchical finite-state machines with events mapped to the arcs and interactions with the visualization and simulation mapped to the nodes. A knowledge-based data mapping process has been designed which uses visual perceptual knowledge and problem-specific knowledge represented in cognitive maps to create visualizations. This architecture has been applied within a watershed simulation application and a prototype has been developed.
The Poverty of Media Richness Theory: Explaining People's Choice of Electronic Mail vs. Voice Mail BIBA 443-467
  Maha El-Shinnawy; M. Lynne Markus
How and why people choose which communication medium to use is an important issue for both behavioral researchers and software product developers. Little is yet known about how and why people in organizations choose among new media like electronic mail and voice mail, although the availability and use of new media are increasing dramatically. Media richness theory (MRT) is the most prominent, if contested, theory of media choice. It is concerned with identifying the most appropriate medium in terms of "medium richness" for communication situations characterized by equivocality and uncertainty. From this theory, we derived hypotheses about how and why individuals will choose between electronic mail and voice mail and tested them among users of both media in the corporate headquarters of a large company. The data are analysed using both quantitative and qualitative techniques. The results fail to support MRT, but they do support alternative explanations of people's media choice behavior. While the concept of media richness is too poor to explain the richness of people's media use behavior, our behavioral findings and explanations should prove useful to those building the next generation of integrated multimedia communication tools.
Activities and Communication Modes BIBA 469-483
  Antonios Michailidis; Roy Rada
To what extent is collaborative writing constrained by the communication modes used? We have surveyed 10 collaborative authors' perceptions on the effectiveness of five communication modes: email, face-to-face, fax, post and telephone. Through a repeated measures design, a mapping between these modes and the activities of commitment management, decision-making, awareness, communication, transparency and perceptions was determined. No tool-supported mode is as effective as face-to-face but each mode serves a function in supporting coordination.
Delegating to Software Agents BIBA 485-500
  Allen E. Milewski; Steven H. Lewis
There is currently a great deal of interest in the development of intelligent agents. While there is little agreement on exactly what constitutes an intelligent agent, many definitions embody a user-interface model that differs from the traditional one where users perform tasks with the help of computer-based "tools". In contrast, the "delegation" model associated with agents is based on entrusting tasks to an autonomous, sometimes anthropomorphized system, whose performance is monitored and evaluated. This change in user-interface model is a dramatic one since delegation can be a difficult and often-avoided behavior in humans. Agent-interface designs need to overcome well-established drawbacks in delegation. For this purpose, designers should find the management sciences and organizational psychology literatures to be as relevant as that of traditional human factors. This paper describes issues regarding task delegation as they pertain to the design of intelligent-agent-user interfaces.
Human-Computer Interaction: Psychology as a Science of Design BIBA 501-522
  John M. Carroll
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is the area of intersection between psychology and the social sciences, on the one hand, and computer science and technology, on the other. HCI researchers analyse and design-specific user-interface technologies (e.g. three-dimensional pointing devices, interactive video). They study and improve the processes of technology development (e.g. usability evaluation, design rationale). They develop and evaluate new applications of technology (e.g. computer conferencing, software design environments). Through the past two decades, HCI has progressively integrated its scientific concerns with the engineering goal of improving the usability of computer systems and applications, thus establishing a body of technical knowledge and methodology. HCI continues to provide a challenging test domain for applying and developing psychology and social science in the context of technology development and use.
Using Meta-Knowledge within a Multilevel Framework for KBS Development BIBA 523-547
  Robert T. Plant; Rose Gamble
This paper describes a multilevel development life cycle of representation refinement for knowledge-based systems that incorporates meta-knowledge at each level. The methodology uses formal techniques in the specification of the domain knowledge, the cognitive aspects and the representation. The methodology provides the knowledge engineer with a dynamic perspective of the system which can be used in conjunction with the static aspects found in the representation abstractions. To provide perspective, the paper details the refinement of one of the levels called the intermediate level, in which an implementation-independent representation is created by the use of a knowledge filter.
Bulletin BIB 549-550
 

IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 5

Silicon Sycophants: The Effects of Computers that Flatter BIBA 551-561
  B. J. Fogg; Clifford Nass
A laboratory experiment examines the claims that (1) humans are susceptible to flattery from computers and (2) the effects of flattery from computers are the same as the effects of flattery from humans. In a cooperative task with a computer, subjects (N=41) received one of three types of feedback from a computer: "sincere praise", "flattery" (insincere praise) or "generic feedback". Compared to generic-feedback subjects, flattery subjects reported more positive affect, better performance, more positive evaluations of the interaction and more positive regard for the computer, even though subjects knew that the flattery from the computer was simply noncontingent feedback. Subjects in the sincere praise condition responded similarly to those in the flattery condition. The study concludes that the effects of flattery from a computer can produce the same general effects as flattery from humans, as described in the psychology literature. These findings may suggest significant implications for the design of interactive technologies.
The Influence of Interaction Style and Experience on User Perceptions of Software Packages BIBA 563-588
  Susan Wiedenbeck; Sid Davis
In recent years, a body of literature has developed which shows that users' perceptions of software are a key element in its ultimate acceptance and use. We focus on how the interaction style and prior experience with similar software affect users' perceptions of software packages. In our experiment, direct manipulation, menu-driven and command-driven interfaces were investigated. We studied users' perceptions of the software in two hands-on training sessions. In the first session, novice users were given initial training with word-processing software, and in the second session the users were trained on a word processor which was functionally equivalent to the prior one, but had a different interaction style. In the initial training session, we found that the interaction style had a reliable but small effect on learners' perceptions of ease of use. The direct manipulation interface was judged easier to use than the command style. The interaction style, however, did not affect learners' perceptions of the usefulness of the software. In the second training session, subjects who had used a direct manipulation interface in the first session learned either the menu-based or command-based software. The perceptions of these users were compared to those of learners, who had used the menu or command software in the initial training session. We found that both interaction style and the prior experience with a direct manipulation interface affected perceptions of ease of use. Subjects with prior experience of a direct style interface tended to have very negative attitudes toward a less direct interface style. The interaction style did not affect perceptions of usefulness of the package, but the prior experience did. These results suggest that users' attitudes toward software are strongly influenced by their past history of usage, including what interaction styles the user has encountered, and this should be considered in the design of software and training programs.
Statistical Evaluation of Rough Set Dependency Analysis BIBA 589-604
  Ivo Duntsch; Gunther Gediga
Rough set data analysis (RSDA) has recently become a frequently studied symbolic method in data mining. Among other things, it is being used for the extraction of rules from databases; it is, however, not clear from within the methods of rough set analysis, whether the extracted rules are valid.
   In this paper, we suggest to enhance RSDA by two simple statistical procedures, both based on randomization techniques, to evaluate the validity of prediction based on the approximation quality of attributes of rough set dependency analysis. The first procedure tests the casualness of a prediction to ensure that the prediction is not based on only a few (casual) observations. The second procedure tests the conditional casualness of an attribute within a prediction rule.
   The procedures are applied to three data sets, originally published in the context of rough set analysis. We argue that several claims of these analyses need to be modified because of lacking validity, and that other possibly significant results were overlooked.
Active Distributed Framework for Adaptive Hypermedia BIBA 605-626
  Antonina Dattolo; Vincenzo Loia
Navigation through large hypermedia information spaces is complex and is an important application area for adaptive hypermedia systems. User navigation can be best supported when the design of the hypermedia system is embedded in an evolutionary process model that takes into account the decentralization of data sources and the variety of users. The paper deals with distributed frameworks for open hypermedia systems; it focuses on the design work done to make adaptive an existing actor-based architecture for hypermedia. The approach follows the initial design approach used in the definition of the hypermedia platform, i.e. the actor-based computational model. We present in detail the new actor classes and the cooperative schemes which allow adaptation within the resulting architecture.
Applying a Library of Problem-Solving Methods on a Real-Life Task BIBA 627-652
  Piet-Hein Speel; Manfred Aben
This paper describes the application of a library of problem-solving methods (PSMs) for model-based diagnosis (Benjamins, 1993) on a real-life task. PSMs have been proposed as a comprehensive and feasible approach to the construction of conceptual models for knowledge-based systems (KBSs). A number of evaluations of this approach have been reported in the literature. Most of these evaluations have involved toy problems or reverse engineering of existing KBSs. In this paper we have applied Benjamins' library to a real-life task.
   In this paper, we discuss how we have applied the PSMs during conceptual knowledge modelling, and how we had to adapt them to suit our task. We have found that the library of PSMs was extremely helpful in our project. Thanks to this reuse, the complete scope and quality of the "prime diagnostic method" was incorporated in our application, ambiguities in the task and domain were brought to light and the functional specifications of the target system were structured transparently. Since the reuse of library components in our real-life application was not trivial, we emphasize on the need for guidelines that support knowledge engineers to apply libraries of PSMs during the development of real-life KBSs.
Integrating User and Computer System Concerns in the Design of Interactive Systems BIBA 653-679
  Ann E. Blandford; David J. Duke
In any design process, there are different perspectives that need to be accommodated. For the design of interactive systems, two of these are that of the computer system designer and that of the end user. The focus of this paper is on tools or notations to support the integration of these different perspectives -- in particular, system modelling and theory-based user modelling. There are few established techniques for doing such integration; those that there are generally involve a loose coupling between the description of the system and that of the user, or are skewed towards one or other of these viewpoints. Recently, techniques that deal with the system and user more symmetrically have emerged. We focus, in particular, on techniques that have been developed and investigated within a large European project, Amodeus. These allow the analyst to explore properties of the conjoint system, and to investigate how the properties of the interaction relate to those of the individual agents. However, there is a trade-off, which can be characterized as increased power to critique a design being offset against reduced generality in the design perspectives that can be considered using the technique. We argue that while such techniques require a high initial investment, technological advances make the need for such integrated approaches urgent. We consider what resources each class of technique demands and what kinds of results each yields.
Bulletin BIB 681-683
 

IJHCS 1997 Volume 46 Issue 6

Editorial BIB 685-686
  Brian Gaines
Model-Based Virtual Document Generation BIBA 687-706
  Thomas R. Gruber; Sunil Vemuri; James Rice
Virtual documents are hypermedia documents that are generated on demand in response to reader input. This paper describes a virtual document application that generates natural language explanations about the structure and behavior of electromechanical systems. The application, called DME, structures the interaction with the reader as a question-answer dialog. Each page of the hyperdocument is the answer to a question, and each link on each page is a follow-up question that leads to another answer. DME is a model-based virtual document generator; unlike conventional database front-ends that provide views onto data, DME dynamically constructs the document's content (i.e. coherent explanations in English) from underlying mathematical and symbolic models. DME-based virtual documents have been running on the WWW since late 1993. They are used to document engineered systems in support of collaborative design and simulation-based training.
   In this paper we describe and demonstrate the DME application (with examples that run), and describe how it generates virtual documents on the web. We discuss the impact that model-based virtual documentation can have on the way technical documentation is authored and delivered.
The Ontolingua Server: A Tool for Collaborative Ontology Construction BIBA 707-727
  Adam Farquhar; Richard Fikes; James Rice
Reusable ontologies are becoming increasingly important for tasks such as information integration, knowledge-level interoperation and knowledge-base development. We have developed a set of tools and services to support the process of achieving consensus on commonly shared ontologies by geographically distributed groups. These tools make use of the World Wide Web to enable wide access and provide users with the ability to publish, browse, create and edit ontologies stored on an ontology server. Users can quickly assemble a new ontology from a library of modules. We discuss how our system was constructed, how it exploits existing protocols and browsing tools, and our experience supporting hundreds of users. We describe applications using our tools to achieve consensus on ontologies and to integrate information.
   The Ontolingua Server may be accessed through the URL http://ontolingua.stanford.edu
Knowledge Acquisition, Modelling and Inference Through the World Wide Web BIBA 729-759
  Brian R. Gaines; Mildred L. G. Shaw
The development of knowledge-based systems involves the management of a diversity of knowledge sources, computing resources and system users, often distributed geographically. The knowledge acquisition, modelling and representation communities have developed a wide range of tools relevant to the development and management of large-scale knowledge-based systems, but the majority of these tools run on individual workstations and use specialist data formats making system integration and knowledge interchange very problematic. However, widespread access to the Internet has led to a new era of distributed client-server computing. In particular, the introduction of support for forms on World Wide Web in late 1993 has provided an easily programmable, cross-platform graphic-user interface that has become widely used in innovative interactive systems. This article reports on the development of open architecture knowledge management tools operating through the web to support knowledge acquisition, representation and inference through semantic networks and repertory grids.
Use of HTML Forms in Complex User Interfaces for Server-Side Applications BIBA 761-771
  Bertrand Ibrahim
It is now commonplace to use forms within HTML documents to have server-based applications interact with remote users. However, these forms are, most of the time, rather simple and only allow a one time interaction between the user and the application. Forms are nevertheless very versatile and can be used to build rather complex user interfaces for server-side applications that involve multiple interaction loops. In this paper, we describe how our students used such forms to remotely control a symbolic debugger executing algorithms in the on-line version of a book used in their data structure course. After describing in detail how the user interface is built and how the students can interact with it, we focus on the limitations of this approach and how this interface could be enhanced with the use of more recent developments such as applets.
FixtureNet: Interactive Computer-Aided Design via the World Wide Web BIBA 773-788
  Rick Wagner; Giuseppe Castanotto; Ken Goldberg
The Internet offers tremendous potential for rapid development of mechanical products to meet global competition. In the past several years, a variety of geometric algorithms have been developed to evaluate computer-aided design (CAD) models with respect to manufacturing properties such as feedability, fixturability, assemblability, etc. Unfortunately, most of these algorithms are tailored to a particular CAD system and format and so have not been widely tested by industry. The World Wide Web may offer a solution: its simple interface language offers a de facto standard for the exchange of geometric data with industry and research groups. In this paper, we describe a feasibility study for such an interactive system, which can be tested directly at http://teamster.usc.edu/fixture/
ANATAGONOMY: A Personalized Newspaper on the World Wide Web BIBA 789-803
  Tomonari Kamba; Hidekazu Sakagami; Yoshiyuki Koseki
This paper describes a personalized newspaper on the World Wide Web (WWW), called ANATAGONOMY. The main feature of this system is that the newspaper is personalized without asking the users to specify their preferences explicitly. The system monitors user operations on the articles and reflects them in the user profiles. Differently from conventional newspapers on the WWW, our system sends an interaction agent implemented as a Java applet to the client side, and the agent monitors the user operations and creates each user's newspaper pages automatically. The server side manages user profiles and anticipates how interesting an article would be for each user. The interaction agent on the client side manages all the user interactions, including the automatic layout of pages. Our system has page multiple layout algorithms and the user can switch from one view to another anytime, according to the preference or machine environment. On one of the views, the user can even see all the articles sequentially without performing any operations. We evaluated a scheme in which the user scores each article explicitly, and a scheme in which all the personalization is done automatically. The results show that automatic personalization works well when some parameters are set properly.
Supporting Social Navigation on the World Wide Web BIBA 805-825
  Andreas Dieberger
This paper discusses a navigation behavior on Internet information services, in particular the World Wide Web, which is characterized by pointing out information using various communication tools. We call this behavior social navigation as it is based on communication and interaction with other users, be it through email, or any other means of communication. Social navigation phenomena are quite common although most current tools (like web browsers or email clients) offer very little support for it. We describe why social navigation is useful and how it can be supported better in future systems. We further describe two prototype systems that, although originally not designed explicitly as tools for social navigation, provide features that are typical for social navigation systems. One of these systems, the Juggler system, is a combination of a textual virtual environment and a web client. The other system is a prototype of a web-hotlist organizer, called Vortex. We use both systems to describe fundamental principles of social navigation systems.
Basic Support for Cooperative Work on the World Wide Web BIBA 827-846
  R. Bentley; W. Appelt; U. Busbach; E. Hinrichs; D. Kerr; K. Sikkel; J. Trevor; G. Woetzel
The emergence and widespread adoption of the World Wide Web offers a great deal of potential in supporting cross-platform cooperative work within widely dispersed working groups. The Basic Support for Cooperative Work (BSCW) project at GMD is attempting to realize this potential through development of web-based tools which provide cross-platform collaboration services to groups using existing web technologies. This paper describes one of these tools, the BSCW Shared Workspace system -- a centralized cooperative application integrated with an unmodified web server and accessible from standard web browsers. The BSCW system supports cooperation through "shared workspaces"; small repositories in which users can upload documents, hold threaded discussions and obtain information on the previous activities of other users to coordinate their own work. The current version of the system is described in detail, including design choices resulting from use of the web as a cooperation platform and feedback from users following the release of a previous version of BSCW to the public domain.
The TCE Corporate Technical Memory: Groupware on the Cheap BIBA 847-860
  Mark Leighton Fisher
The Thomson Consumer Electronics Corporate Technical Memory is an electronic reference document repository used to store locally developed technical know-how as a set of files that can be browsed as well as searched. Implemented as a World Wide Web application, the Corporate Technical Memory is not constrained to a limited set of accepted file formats or restricted in its indexing of binary data, due to the use of a web browser as the client software and the incorporation of "document abstracts" (brief descriptive HTML files automatically linked to their corresponding binary files), respectively. The Corporate Technical Memory attempts to solve the problem of finding and distributing local technical expertise in a system-independent fashion.
Ubiquitous Tele-Embodiment: Applications and Implications BIBA 861-877
  Eric Paulos; John Canny
In the rush into cyberspace we leave our physical presence and our real-world environment behind. The internet, undoubtedly a remarkable modern communications tool, still does not empower us to enter the office of the person at the other end of the connection. We cannot look out of their window, admire their furniture, talk to their office-mates, tour their laboratory or walk outside. We lack the equivalent of a body at the other end with which we can move around in, communicate through and observe with. However, by combining elements of the internet and tele-robotics it is possible to transparently immerse users into navigable real remote worlds filled with rich spatial sensorium and to make such systems accessible from any networked computer in the world, in essence: tele-embodiment. In this article we describe the evolution and development of one such inexpensive, simple, networked tele-operated mobile robot (tele-mobot) designed to provide this ability. We also discuss several social implications and philosophical questions raised by this research.
Bulletin BIB 879-882