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IJHCS Tables of Contents: 404142434445464748495051525354555657585960

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 50

Editors:B. R. Gaines
Dates:1999
Volume:50
Publisher:Academic Press
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Papers:25
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 1
  2. IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 2
  3. IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 3
  4. IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 4
  5. IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 5
  6. IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 6

IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 1

Refining Temporal Criteria to Classify Collaborative Systems BIBA 1-40
  Hector B. Antillanca; David A. Fuller
This paper presents a critical analysis of classification criteria for collaborative systems, and a more refined proposal for their reformulation. The analysis highlights the multiplicity of definitions and uses of the same set of classification terms which denote time relationships in collaborative systems. We observe that authors, when characterizing collaborative systems, use concepts without giving an exact definition of them, and other authors use terms in an ambiguous way, as if they were synonyms, when in fact they are not. This situation encourages the revision and reformulation of the conflictive terms. Specifically, the real-time, concurrent and synchronous concepts are analysed, and we apply them in different areas of this technology, resulting in the reformulation of the criteria. In many cases the resulting criteria are truly new due to the fact that their meanings, apart from being more precise, are different from those already used by some authors. The refining of criteria contributes to the organization and placement of the classification concepts, and helps in the formation of a useful vocabulary in order to better characterize collaborative systems.
Planning and the User Interface: The Effects of Lockout Time and Error Recovery Cost BIBA 41-59
  Kenton P. O'Hara; Stephen J. Payne
This paper reports three experiments which, through simple user-interface manipulations, examine a prediction derived from a rational analysis of problem solving: that increasing the cost of performing a problem-solving operator will increase the level of planning during problem solving and reduce the level of action in the world. The first experiment uses the slide-jump puzzle to look at the effects of imposing an implementation cost only on the undo operator of the interface to a task. The second experiment looks at problem solving with the eight-puzzle and imposes a system lockout delay after every operator application. In line with the predictions of the rational analysis model, both experiments demonstrate how these different manipulations of implementation cost result in more planning and shorter solution lengths when the operator implementation cost is high. The final experiment again uses a manipulation of lockout time and replicates the effects within the domain of a non-puzzle-like office administration type task.
Mental Representations of Expert Procedural and Object-Oriented Programmers in a Software Maintenance Task BIBA 61-83
  Cynthia L. Corritore; Susan Wiedenbeck
This study examines the mental representations formed during program comprehension and maintenance by procedural and object-oriented (OO) experts. The programmer's mental representation reflects comprehension of a program and guides tasks carried out on the program, such as debugging and modifications. The goals of the research were three-fold: (a) to determine if and how the mental representations of procedural and OO experts differ, (2) to investigate the initial mental representation formed while comprehending a moderately large program and (3) to examine the evolution of the mental representations of procedural and OO experts over time as they carried out several modifications of the same program. Fifteen expert procedural programmers and 15 expert object-oriented programmers studied and then performed three program modifications during two sessions which were 7-10 days apart. They answered two question sets designed to elicit the categories of knowledge present in their mental representations at different times. The initial mental representation of the OO participants was dominated by problem domain-based knowledge and contained relatively little detailed program information. The procedural participants' initial representation was more balanced, containing domain-based knowledge and also substantial program detail. After performing the modifications, the procedural participants' representations remained essentially the same, while those of the OO participants became more balanced with respect to the program and domain elements. The results suggest that, regardless of paradigm, expert programmers build a mixed mental representation of a larger program, which includes detailed program knowledge as well as domain-based knowledge.
Modelling the Effects of Constraint Upon Speech-Based Human-Computer Interaction BIBA 85-107
  Kate S. Hone; Chris Baber
Commercial speech systems, for use by the public, rely heavily on prompts which aim to constrain user input to a highly limited vocabulary set. Constraints help to increase the recognition accuracy of the automatic speech recognition device and thus improve dialogue efficiency. However, this strategy can also lengthen interactions because longer prompts are needed to effectively constrain user utterances and more steps are usually needed to complete a task. The current paper argues that to achieve optimal dialogue design solutions it is necessary to balance these conflicting effects of constraint. Two modelling studies are presented in which dialogue constraint levels for a home-banking application were systematically manipulated in order to investigate the effects on overall transaction time. The results indicate that, even with the assumption that high constraint leads to high recognition accuracy, it is difficult for highly constrained dialogues which entail the need for extra dialogue steps (e.g. those using menus) to compete with less-constrained dialogues which do not (e.g. those using queries). The implications of these findings to system design are discussed and it is suggested that the modelling method presented here can provide a useful tool early in the design process.

IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 2

Keyboard and Mouse Errors Due to Motor Disabilities BIBA 109-144
  Shari Trewin; Helen Pain
There are many people who find the standard computer input devices-the keyboard and mouse-difficult to use due to a motor disability. A number of keyboard and mouse configuration options designed to overcome physical difficulties exist. However, formal empirical evaluation of such facilities is rare. There is, in fact, little data available on the precise nature of physical difficulties with input devices. Hence, it is difficult to gauge the adequacy of existing access provision. This paper presents an empirical study of the keyboard and mouse errors encountered in a sample of 20 computer users with motor disabilities, and six without disabilities. Six important classes of keyboard difficulty are identified, involving significant correction time for participants with disabilities. Difficulties with all aspects of mouse usage were observed, particularly pointing and dragging. Many of the difficulties observed would be amenable to automatic detection. It is hoped that these results will help to inform the development of more accessible software and hardware.
A Graphical Notation for the Design of Information Visualizations BIBA 145-192
  Matthew Humphrey
Visualizations are coherent, graphical expressions of complex information that enhance people's ability to communicate and reason about that information. Yet despite the importance of visualizations in helping people to understand and solve a wide variety of problems, there is a dearth of formal tools and methods for discussing, describing and designing them. This thesis develops and evaluates the Relational Visualization Notation, a graphical notation based on relational algebra for the specification of information visualizations.
Human Reliability from a Social-Psychological Perspective BIBA 193-212
  Hede Helfrich
Human reliability is usually investigated either from a technical perspective, in terms of probability models, or from a general psychological perspective using information processing or decision models. Both approaches view human actions at the level of the individual. Based on a re-analysis of 100 accidents at sea (Wagenaar & Groeneweg, 1987), it is shown that focusing solely on the individual, or an aggregation of several individuals, has severe shortcomings. The statistical analysis reveals that the individuals' contributions are not mutually independent; rather, they seem to be affected by social interactions manifested in the two-person case. These results may be explained by theories of social influence.

IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 3

Designing Claims for Reuse in Interactive Systems Design BIBA 213-241
  A. Sutcliffe; J. Carroll
Claims have been proposed as a means of expressing HCI knowledge that is associated with a specific artifact and usage context. Claims describe design trade-offs and record HCI knowledge related to a specific design, or artifact, as psychological design rationale. Claims are created in the task-artifact cycle of interactive design and evaluation. Usability evaluation establishes a claim for a specific usage context, but this can restrict subsequent reuse of claims-related knowledge. To widen the scope of reuse the knowledge contained within claims and their associated artifacts has to be classified and generalized. To address this problem a schema and method for classifying claims is introduced. The schema elaborates the description of HCI knowledge in claims and enables reuse by describing the assumptions and dependencies upon which a claim rests. Methods for generalising claims and discovering new claims from existing claims and artifacts were investigated. A factoring method for evolving child claims from parent claims and their usage scenarios is described. This employs a walkthrough technique based on Norman's model of action with questions directed at the contributions a claim makes to usability at different stages in interaction. Factoring promotes evolution of child claims that either address different aspects of task support in the same domain as the parent claim, or development of more general child claims for user-interface design. The relationships between claims are represented in maps to illustrate histories of task-artifacts investigation that lead to claims evolution either via the factoring process or by empirical investigation. The schema and method for claims evolution are illustrated by case studies of claims development in tutoring systems and claims for functional requirements for specification reuse support tools. The paper concludes with a discussion of the contribution that reusable claims can make as a repository of HCI knowledge.
User-Interface Modelling -- Adding Usability to Use Cases BIBA 243-262
  Magnus Lif
User interface modelling (UIM) is basically a method for gathering user requirements that are applicable when designing the user interface to an information system. UIM is to be used as a complement to use case modelling (Jacobson, Christerson, Jonsson & Overgaard, 1992) in the system development process. An actor model, a goal model and a work model are specified during sessions where the end-users cooperate with software engineers and user-interface designers. The actor model is a description of characteristics for each category of users. The goal model is a list of high-level goals the users want to achieve. The work model is a specification of work situations, information objects and actions, and properties of attributes and operations, suitable for the design. UIM does not describe a step-by-step procedure on how to create usable interfaces. Interface design is partially a creative process than cannot be completely described with a method. However, the design process can be facilitated if the design decisions are based on a substantial model defining the users' requirements for the user interface. This model is created during UIM sessions. The method has been tested in different development projects at the Swedish National Tax Board. It has been shown to provide useful input to the user-interface design process.
A Review of User-Interface Design Guidelines for Public Information Kiosk Systems BIBA 263-286
  M. Maguire
This paper reviews general guidelines on user-interface design for self-service and public information kiosk systems, based on the author's research and on existing literature. The guidelines cover such topics as: defining user requirements, location and encouraging use, physical access, introduction and instructions, language selection, privacy, help, input, output, structure and navigation, and customization. The paper also emphasizes the need to design for stakeholders other than the end users, and offers some guidelines on user-based evaluation of kiosk systems.

IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 4

Depth of Processing and Design-Assessment of Ecological Interfaces: Task Analysis BIBA 287-307
  Patrice Terrier; Jean-Marie Cellier
Despite the cognitive vocation of a number of studies on the comparison of interfaces in sensitive industrial sectors such as the nuclear sector, and in spite of the presentation of new frameworks for both task analysis and reducing the mental load, one vital question remains: how does psychology enter into these studies? Very often the principle of depth of processing is the basis for interface design-assessment approaches in operating situations like those of nuclear reactors. This then justifies the use of a methodology based on recall. After presenting how this principle, which stems from the memory field, is the basis for the different interface designs recently proposed in the literature and the validation approach associated to these technical propositions, we present a pressurized water reactor operating situation that demonstrates the same willingness to act on reasoning through information displays. For powering up conditions, we show how integration of different representational levels has been achieved, and provide evidence for a Physical vs. a Physical and Functional display. All these features indirectly show that recent proposals on ecological interface design have some validity for real work situations, provided a context is selected. Finally, from this analysis, we define, by considering success as the limits of past experience, the conditions under which a recall technique can be used to demonstrate the efficiency of these new tools.
Facilitating Navigation in Information Spaces: Road-Signs on the World Wide Web BIBA 309-327
  Christopher Campbell; Paul Maglio
A series of experiments was conducted to evaluate whether simple hyperlink annotations-traffic lights that represent Internet connection speeds-can facilitate web navigation. Traffic lights are small red, yellow or green images added around the anchor text of each link indicating its connection speed, red for slow, yellow for somewhat fast and green for fastest. The first two experiments showed that traffic lights do not facilitate perceptual processes involved in web navigation (i.e. link localization and visual search). However, traffic lights also do not distract from the process of finding links in hypertext documents and, thus have no perceptual performance cost. The third experiment showed that traffic lights facilitate web navigation performance by improving link evaluation and decision processes. This improvement is particularly marked when link relevance is low or undifferentiated. It was concluded that supplying users with information about Internet connection speeds improves web navigation performance. Thus, traffic lights provide functional cues for efficiently navigating the web.
Annotation Technology BIBA 329-362
  Ilia A. Ovsiannikov; Michael A. Arbib; Thomas H. McNeill
Annotation Technology is a systematized set of recommendations for design of successful advanced annotation software covering the architectural, functional and user-interface aspects. It is grounded in a careful examination of 17 existing systems accompanied by our own empirical study of annotation types, applications and desired functionality. To validate the recommendations of Annotation Technology, we have also developed Annotator, a system for making on-line annotations on arbitrary hypertext documents. Annotator offers some capabilities unavailable in existing systems. It has a proxy-based architecture for annotating documents over the web and sorting the comments in an annotation database.

IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 5

On the Generation of Interactive Iconic Environments BIBA 363-389
  Gennaro Costagliola; Sergio Orefice; Giuseppe Polese; Maurizio Tucci; Genoveffa Tortora
Iconic languages have been frequently used in human-computer interfaces. Although the syntax of simple iconic languages may be intuitively suggested by the icons themselves, an unexperienced user might find it difficult to construct syntactically correct iconic sentences in a complex visual environment. The paper presents a technique or the generation of interactive syntax-directed iconic environments. The user can easily interact with the generated iconic environment thanks to an underlying syntactic mechanism which suggests both the current feasible set of icons and their feasible positions on the screen. We have implemented a prototype tool based on this technique and used it experimentally to generate several practical iconic environments.
Expert Error in Trouble-Shooting: An Exploratory Study in Electronics BIBA 391-405
  Denis Besnard; Mireille Bastien-Toniazzo
It is known that novices show poor problem-solving performances and that they engage in a relatively inefficient inferential reasoning mode. Experts show high performances in routine situations in which they only activate knowledge. The main purpose of this work was to test the hypothesis that, under some conditions, novices may develop a more efficient diagnostic reasoning than experts, i.e. they may discover the cause of a faulty system conducting fewer tests while avoiding fixation errors. This hypothesis mainly relies on the possibility that experts may be victims of their own knowledge format (French and Sternberg, manuscript). It is tested in a faulty electronic circuit trouble-shooting task. Data suggest that novices perform better than experts. Results are discussed with reference to the concepts of schema and expert error.
Compositional Modelling of Reflective Agents BIBA 407-431
  Frances Brazier; Jan Treur
In this paper, a compositional model for reflective agents is proposed within which reasoning about observation, assumption making and communication, an agent's own information state and reasoning processes, other agents' information states and reasoning processes, and combinations of these types of reflective reasoning are explicitly modelled. The types of knowledge needed to detect, analyse and resolve conflicts that arise by meta-reasoning within the agent are discussed. The knowledge and interaction between agents required to model the wise men's puzzle is used to illustrate the approach. The model has been validated using think-aloud protocols. An implementation has been made including a speech synthesis facility.

IJHCS 1999 Volume 50 Issue 6

Editorial: Perceptual Control Theory and its Application BIBA 433-444
  M. Taylor
The fundamental idea of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) has been known since at least the time of Aristotle, and was well expounded by William James. It is that people act so as to bring about the conditions they desire-to perceive their world as they wish it to be. They control their perceptions. However, the technical understanding required to turn this idea into a theory was largely developed only in this century. This editorial illustrates the nature of hierarchic control, and shows how control tasks can be partitioned between a human and a machine. It then considers some common but incorrect objections to PCT as a basis for psychology, and finally describes the eight papers that constitute this Special Issue.
Models and Their Worlds BIBA 445-461
  W. Bourbon; William Powers
Conventional behavioral models can be broadly classed as stimulus-driven (bottom-up, S-R) and brain-driven (top-down, cognitive). Perceptual control theory (PCT) uses a model that has features of both classes, and so can be difficult to distinguish from either one. The difference in PCT is not just in the model of the organism, but in the assumed properties of the world in which the organism behaves. We discuss and experimentally demonstrate the basic models, and the worlds in which they can operate properly. The results show, we believe, that PCT employs the only kind of model that can work in a realistic model of the world.
A Model of Kinesthetically and Visually Controlled Arm Movement BIBA 463-479
  William Powers
This paper describes a preliminary simulation of kinesthetic control systems that operate a humanoid arm having three degrees of freedom. The design is in part a literal interpretation of the stretch and tendon reflexes considered as control systems. A second level of control converts independent control of three joint angles into a trio of systems controlling the tip of the arm in pitch, yaw and distance coordinates centered on the shoulder. The basic properties of muscles are included, and the arm movements are calculated using equations describing the physical dynamics of the arm. A "visual servo" level of control is included in preliminary form. The model exhibits realistic behavior, producing stable and fast control without computing either inverse kinematics or inverse dynamics.
PERCOLATe: Perceptual Control Analysis of Tasks BIB 481-487
  Richard Marken
Perceptual Control and Layered protocols in Interface Design: I. Fundamental Concepts BIBA 489-520
  P. Farrell; J. Hollands; M. Taylor; H. Gamble
Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) is a general psychological theory based on the tenet, "All behaviour is the control of perception". Layered Protocol Theory (LPT) can be seen as PCT applied to the special case of communication between cooperating partners, both controlling their own perceptions. PCT and LPT can be applied to the design and analysis of human x machine interfaces, although LPT may be more tractable in many cases. LPT is discussed in the context of the analysis and redesign of the interaction between a pilot and a Control Display Unit (CDU) in an operational helicopter.
Perceptual Control and Layered Protocols in Interface Design: II. The General Protocol Grammar BIBA 521-555
  M. Taylor; P. Farrell; J. Hollands
Perceptual control theory (PCT) is a framework theory for psychology, based on the tenet "All behaviour is the control of perception." Layered protocol theory (LPT) is PCT applied to the special case of communication between cooperating partners, each controlling their own perceptions and many levels of abstraction within a dialogue. This paper discusses some perceptual control processes that occur within a single dialogue level, in the form of a General Protocol Grammar that is asserted to be valid for every level of every dialogue. A companion paper is concerned with LPT applied to the design and analysis of human-machine interfaces.
Towards Explaining the Behaviour of Novice Users BIBA 557-570
  R. Haakma
Novice users confronted with a new piece of consumer equipment often start using it right away. Some user interfaces allow users to do this successfully. This paper tries to find out how by analysing four simple user interfaces in the framework of the Perceptual Control Theory. How the interaction with novice users is supposed to evolve is described. An explanation is provided why novices are expected to select the appropriate actions and execute them in the correct order. The analyses point out how E- and I-feedback at the different interaction levels can create perceptions that induce users to build up correct intention hierarchies. It is shown that label following, difference reduction and analogical reasoning are inclined to be among the psychological mechanisms people use to link intentions to sub-intentions. Among the mechanisms for ordering sub-intentions are selective feedback presentation, difference reduction and forward and backward chaining.
Testing the Self as a Control System: Theoretical and Methodological Issues BIBA 571-580
  R. Robertson; D. Goldstein; M. Mermel; M. Musgrave
This report describes an evolution of research methodology for adducing evidence regarding whether the self functions as a control system. While there has been a great number of studies in the literature on personality and social psychology aimed at demonstrating that behavior of many kinds can be affected by focusing attention upon the subject's self-concept, or by challenging or threatening it, little attention has been given to the question of why this would be so. A proposed explanation would be that the self functions as a control system. Testing this hypothesis has entailed development of a methodological approach in which control action occurs predictably rather than having a statistical probability. This has required defining a model and testing it by predictions rather than attempting to isolate underlying variables with multivariate techniques.
Simulating Arcs and Rings in Gatherings BIBA 581-588
  Charles Tucker; David Schweingruber; Clark McPhail
A theory of collective behavior must be able to account for simple and common collective phenomena such as arcs and rings. Using a computer simulator designed according to the principles of Perceptual Control Theory, based on a model how a human being, as a living control system, engages in movement alone and with others in temporary gatherings we produced a highly symmetrical ring that remotely corresponds to the non-simulated world because it is made up exclusively of individuals. When we simulated the pairs that compared to non-simulated gatherings, the outcome was an arc but was still unlike those we have observed in many temporary gatherings. When we introduced disturbances into the gatherings in the form of other simulated actors they more closely represented what we have observed in the non-simulated world of parks, plazas, states fairs and school yards as well as those at political, religious and rallies. We offer several proposals for future research.