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International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 22

Editors:B. R. Gaines; D. R. Hill
Dates:1985
Volume:22
Publisher:Academic Press
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Papers:41
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 1
  2. IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 2
  3. IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 3
  4. IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 4
  5. IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 5
  6. IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 6

IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 1

What Non-Programmers Know about Programming: Natural Language Procedure Specification BIBA 1-10
  Kathleen M. Galotti; William F., III Ganong
Part of learning to program involves learning to use control statements. This study examined the spontaneous use by non-programmers of control statements when writing instructions. Previous work suggested that non-programmers rarely use such statements in their instructions. The present findings demonstrate that non-programmers can and do use control statements when their use is appropriate for the recipient of the instructions. Some methodological problems involved in the demonstration of basic competence are discussed.
The Effect of Microcomputer Presentation and Response Medium on Digit Span Performance BIBA 11-18
  J. Graham Beaumont
A digit span task of short-term recall was presented by microcomputer with various response devices in two experiments. In the first, subjects responded by the standard keyboard, by a keypad or by a light-pen. Performance was best with the standard keyboard, and worst with the light-pen. In the second experiment a touch-sensitive screen was also studied. The keyboard was again found to be associated with the best performance. However, it was also shown that the automated form produced significantly poorer digit spans than conventional auditory-verbal administration, and that this was due both to the use of computer-based response devices and the presentation of material in the visual rather than the auditory modality. Implications of the results for the automation of psychological tests are discussed.
A Model of Human Evaluation Process Using Fuzzy Measure BIBA 19-38
  K. Ishii; M. Sugeno
This paper presents a mathematical model for the human subjective evaluation process using fuzzy integrals based on the general fuzzy measure. First, the concept of overlap coefficient is introduced to describe the properties of a given fuzzy measure and to characterize the human evaluation process. Further, a new algorithm is developed to identify the fuzzy measure with full degrees of freedom. Lastly, the model and the identification scheme are applied to two practical examples: prediction of wood strength by an experienced inspector and trouble evasive actions taken by a computer game player.
Metaphor, Computing Systems, and Active Learning BIBA 39-57
  John M. Carroll; Robert L. Mack
Recent discussion has resolved the question of how prior knowledge organizes new learning into the technical definition and study of "metaphor". Some theorists have adopted an "operational" approach, focusing on the manifest effects of suggesting metaphoric comparisons to learners. Some have resolved the question formally into a "structural" definition of metaphor. However, structural and operation approaches typically ignore the goal-directed learner-initiated learning process through which metaphors become relevant and effective in learning. Taking this process seriously affords an analysis of metaphor that explains why metaphors are intrinsically open-ended and how their open-endedness stimulates the construction of mental models.
Combining Functions for Certainty Degrees in Consulting Systems BIBA 59-76
  Petr Hajek
Consulting systems are rule-based systems of Artificial Intelligence working with propositions that may be uncertain, i.e. may have a truth-value different from "true" and "false". The work of a consulting system consists, roughly, in propagation of uncertain knowledge throughout the net of rules according to some combining functions. It is shown that the notion of an ordered Abelian group is central for the definition of these combining functions. Various particular groups, both Archimedean and non-Archimedean, are considered for use in consulting systems. Practical experiments with them are also described.
An Empirical Investigation into Problem Decomposition Strategies Used in Program Design BIBA 77-90
  Bryan Ratcliff; Jawed I. A. Siddiqi
Preliminary findings are presented of a research study into general problem decomposition strategies used in program design. The initial phase of the investigation involved three separate experiments in which groups of subjects familiar with the principles of structured programming were asked to undertake certain tasks associated with a particular programming problem, solutions to which can be mapped onto one of two "process decomposition paradigms". Problem-solving strategies are advanced that account for the two types of solution and are consistent with the experimental results obtained. The latter revealed that solutions are strongly biased in favour of one of these paradigms, and that this bias can be explained in terms of "perception difficulty" allied to inadequacies in abstraction skills attributable to inappropriate previous training. The possible effects caused by problem specification characteristics are also discussed briefly.
Man-Machine Interface Issues in the Construction and Use of an Expert System BIBA 91-102
  Alison L. Kidd; Martin B. Cooper
The effectiveness and acceptability of an expert system is critically dependent on its man-machine interface. This paper uses a framework of three central man-machine interface issues: knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation and the communications interface, as a basis for evaluating a Prospector-type expert system shell. The application domain used as an example is a small system for fault finding on 11 GHz radio equipment. Long-term implications for the design of good man-machine interfaces for future expert systems are discussed and, where possible, shorter-term guidelines for knowledge engineers are offered.
A Workstation Assessor for Crew Operations -- WOSTAS BIBA 103-126
  Babur Mustafa Pulat; Pakize Simin Pulat
A computer aided interactive model (WOSTAS) has been developed at North Carolina A&T State University for workstation assessment in crew station design for communication, command, and control activities. The model utilizes the concepts of Assembly Line Balancing under ergonomic considerations.

IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 2

Basic Algebra Revisited: A Study with 14-Year-Olds BIBA 127-149
  D. Sleeman
This paper reports the results obtained with a group of 24 14-year-old pupils when presented with sets of algebra tasks by the Leeds Modelling System, LMS. Four months later, these same pupils were given a comparable paper-and-pencil test and detailed interviews. A comparison between these sets of results is presented.
   The results obtained on the paper-and-pencil test and the interviews were consistent, and show that the pupils had some profound misunderstandings of algebraic notation. Further, from the interviews it is possible to determine classes of strategies some pupils were using, namely:
  • -- searching for solutions (i.e. substituting);
  • -- applying a "global" rule, such as collecting ALL the numbers on one side,
        whether or not they were coefficients. Moreover, this work further demonstrates the importance of interviews to interpret curious protocols.
  • Selecting a Humanly Understandable Knowledge Representation for Reasoning About Knowledge BIBA 151-161
      Anthony S. Maida
    Three formalisms for representing knowledge about knowledge are briefly examined from the point of view of allowing a computer program to communicate its knowledge to a human. The first two formalism are philosophically motivated and the last is psychologically motivated. Although all three formalism are adequate for the purposes of valid inference in this problem domain, it is argued that the psychologically motivated formalism is the most useful of the three for the purposes of man-machine communication. The first two formalisms express more distinctions than a human would, when reasoning about the same problem, whereas the last formalism express the right number of distinctions.
    An Empirical Investigation of Reconstructability Analysis: Probabilistic Systems BIBA 163-192
      Abdul Hai; George J. Klir
    This paper describes computer experiments whose purpose has been to determine some key characteristics of a methodology for dealing with the reconstruction problem -- one of the problems associated with reconstructability analysis. These experiments illustrate a novel role of the computer as a tool for metamethodological inquiries. A summary of the obtained experimental results is also presented and some of their implications discussed.
    Decision Trees: A Contribution to Automatic Interpretation of GUHA Results BIBA 193-207
      Zdenek Renc; Lenka Setikovska
    The paper is concerned with a method of automatic interpretation of results obtained by the GUHA method with implicational quantifiers. These results are represented by a set of sentences (elementary implications) verified on a model (experimental data). On the basis of these sentences, the method described forms the so-called decision trees, with the aid of which each object of the model in question can be assigned one of the mutually exclusive properties from a set chosen in advance. In the introduction, the necessary information on the GUHA method is briefly outlined. In the following sections, the notion of a decision tree and its labelling are introduced and the means suitable for its formation are examined. In the concluding part, algorithms of generation of the (best) decision trees are described and their basic properties are inferred.
    Within and Across Modality Comprehension of Electronic Media in Children BIBA 209-214
      Mary Alice White; Janine Pollack
    A sample of sixth grade students, 74 boys and 78 girls, were presented with a 17-minute edited videotape showing one of the two subplots from an episode of a prime time commercial television programme. There were four comprehension measures; two were print measures: (1) ordering written descriptions of the narrative and (2) choosing those written scene descriptions which were essential to the telling of the story. Two tasks were pictorial: (3) ordering pictorial representations of the plot, and (4) choosing those six images that were essential to the story. Each subject received one print and one pictorial comprehension test, randomly assigned by groups. Scores on the verbal items were compared to scores on the pictorial items. The mean percentage for the verbal tasks was 63% correct and the mean percentage for the pictorial measures was 71% correct (p<0.05). Results indicate that (1) electronically presented material can be assessed electronically for comprehension, and (2) the children produced a higher measure of understanding when tested within the modality of the medium (pictorial) than when tested across modality (print).
    Natural-Language Interface for an Instructable Robot BIBA 215-240
      Robert Elton Maas; Patrick Suppes
    This article is concerned with the problems of understanding the grammar and semantics of English as it would be used to instruct a robot. We describe a working prototype system, programmed in Standard LISP, which translates English sentences into an operator language and then executes them. Imperatives become actions that are performed while declaratives become assertions that are checked for truth. We describe the context-free grammar and parser that are the first stage of translation, the postparser that uses context-sensitive information to eliminate the many bad parses permitted by the context-free grammar, and the table-driven final stage of translation. We also describe the semantics of the operators and arguments, including the context-referent mechanisms we invented to construct loops rather than the artificial means (such as labels and goto, or begin-end pairs) usually employed in programming languages. Finally, we discuss the general question of designing systems which build new procedures out of already-known procedures in ways that are similar to how a human being is taught new procedures in terms of old procedures.

    IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 3

    Editorial: Reasoning with Uncertainty in Expert Systems BIB 241-250
      Piero P. Bonissone; Richard M. Tong
    On the Problems of Representation and Propagation of Uncertainty in Expert Systems BIBA 251-264
      Roger Martin-Clouaire; Henri Prade
    This paper discusses the adaptation of basic knowledge representation constructs to the treatment of imprecise or uncertain information, the modelling of which uses distribution and scalar value respectively. Other representation issues such as the use of variables and the organization of rules in networks are briefly addressed. Then the problems of matching and propagation (in deductive inference and combination mechanisms) are considered in the specific setting of imprecision and uncertainty. Lastly, some questions concerning control strategies involved in such a problem are briefly considered.
    Experimental Investigations of Uncertainty in a Rule-Based System for Information Retrieval BIBA 265-282
      Richard M. Tong; Daniel G. Shapiro
    This paper describes the results of an experimental investigation of the effects of different representations of uncertainty in an interactive rule-based expert system for Information Retrieval. We draw on Fuzzy Set Theory both to define the various representations and to help analyse the results. We conclude that specification of an uncertainty calculus is a subtle problem that interacts in several ways with the scheme used to represent the expert knowledge itself. Our results indicate that some calculi appear to prevent the development of good queries while those whose behaviour is appropriately smooth can give satisfactory performance. More interestingly, our evidence suggests that as queries become more complex the impact of the choice of calculus is reduced. The paper concludes with a discussion of the insights gained with respect to the general problem of building rule-based expert systems.
    Higher-Order Logics for Handling Uncertainty in Expert Systems BIBA 283-293
      E. H. Mamdani; H. J. Efstathiou
    We argue that the current performance of expert systems is being limited by their capacity to cope with uncertainty. Probabilistic logics alone are not enough to cope with the many kinds of uncertainty that can occur. We show how modal and quantified logics have been devised to express different types of knowledge and are each a partial solution to the problem. Logic, however, can only express a limited amount of knowledge and this shortcoming is crucially affecting the knowledge engineering of expert systems. We argue that fuzzy logic and the associated Test-Score Semantics have a role in the development of expert systems, since they enable the representation of uncertainty and a topic-dependent semantics.
    An Inexact Inference for Damage Assessment of Existing Structures BIBA 295-306
      H. Ogawa; K. S. Fu; J. T. P. Yao
    In structural engineering practice, situations exist where the available information is inexact or imprecise. Frequently, experienced structural engineers are capable of providing meaningful answers to such problems. The purpose of this investigation is to construct an expert system called SPERIL-II for the damage assessment of existing structures on the basis of the knowledge of experienced structural engineers.
       SPERIL-II is a knowledge-based damage assessment system in which there are the following three steps in the assessment process: (1) the evaluation of local damageability from input data, (2) the evaluation of global damageability, (3) the estimation of the safety or damage state of the structure. This paper introduces an inexact inference using AND/OR/COMB relation and Dempster's rule of combination to combine two fuzzy sets with certainty factors. This inexact inference is used in all steps, and a suitable measure is given according to the importance of the structure in step (3).
    Evidence Combination in Expert Systems BIBA 307-326
      Leonardo Lesmo; Lorenza Saitta; Pietro Torasso
    This paper discusses some of the problems related to the representation of uncertain knowledge and to the combination of evidence degrees in rule-based expert systems. Some of the methods proposed in the literature are briefly analysed with particular attention to the Subjective Bayesian Probability (used in PROSPECTOR) and the Confirmation Theory adopted in MYCIN.
       The paper presents an integrated approach based on Possibility Theory for evaluating the degree of match between the set of conditions occurring in the antecedent of a production rule and the input data, for combining the evidence degree of a fact with the strength of implication of a rule and for combining evidence degrees coming from different pieces of knowledge.
       The semantics of the logical operators AND and OR in possibility theory and in our approach are compared. Finally, the definitions of some quantifiers like AT LEAST n, AT MOST n, EXACTLY n are introduced.
    Alternative Logics for Approximate Reasoning in Expert Systems: A Comparative Study BIBA 327-346
      Thomas Whalen; Brian Schott
    In this paper we report the results of an empirical study to compare eleven alternative logics for approximate reasoning in expert systems. The several "compositional inference" axiom systems (described below) were used in an expert knowledge-based system. The quality of the system outputs -- fuzzy linguistic phrases -- were compared in terms of correctness and precision (non-vagueness).
       In the first section of the paper we discuss fuzzy expert systems. The second section provides a brief review of logic systems and their relation to approximate reasoning. Section three contains the experimental design, and section four supplies the results of the experiment. Finally, a summary is given.
    Probabilistic versus Fuzzy Production Rules in Expert Systems BIBA 347-353
      Wyllis Bandler; Ladislav J. Kohout
    In the design of Expert Systems there is increasing recognition of the need for graded production rules, that is, the use of grades or degrees of strength of implication, leading to grades or degrees of certainty or possibility attached to the conclusions. This accords well with the desire to accommodate imprecise, incomplete and faulty input data, and nonetheless to arrive -- as humans do -- at meaningful results, however provisional. For historical reasons, probabilistic methods are the best-known and the oftenest attempted, although they form a small and not particularly suitable sub-set of the methods available. This paper displays the probabilistic rules in their proper perspective in the wider canvas, dwelling on some of the inherent relationships among the various operators which have come to light. For this purpose, the Checklist Paradigm is described in some detail, providing a unifying framework within which these relationships can be understood. Meanwhile, the valid modes of reasoning are increased from the classical two to a total of four.
    Analysis of a Fuzzy Dynamic System and Synthesis of Its Controller BIBA 355-363
      Masaki Togai; Paul P. Wang
    The mathematical model and a new development of the systematic synthesis technique for a fuzzy dynamic system with a fuzzy controller will be presented. In a fuzzy dynamic system, a fuzzy relational matrix will be introduced as a counterpart of a differential equation in conventional control theory. Then, as an application of the concepts of fuzzy inverse problems, a new approach to the design of a fuzzy controller for a given dynamic system will also be discussed.
       A mathematical description of a fuzzy dynamic system will be developed; a systematic method to derive a fuzzy controller strategy from an underlying fuzzy system model will also be established. The theoretical development presented here enables the suboptimal control of the fuzzy system. The analysis proposed here may not be exhaustive but it does provide some insight into the basic operations and properties of fuzzy dynamic systems.
       As an illustrative example, a fuzzy controller problem with a unit delay will be discussed in detail and the simulation results will be presented.

    IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 4

    An Approach to the Formal Analysis of User Complexity BIBA 365-394
      David Kieras; Peter G. Polson
    A formal approach to analysing the user complexity of interactive systems or devices is described, based on theoretical results from cognitive psychology. The user's knowledge of how to use a system to accomplish the various tasks is represented in a procedural notation that permits quantification of the amount and complexity of the knowledge required and the cognitive processing load involved in using a system. Making a system more usable can be accomplished by altering its design until the knowledge is adequately simplified. By representing the device behaviour formally as well, it is possible to simulate the user-device interaction to obtain rigorous measures of user complexity.
    Personality and Learning FORTRAN BIBA 395-402
      Dona M. Kagan; John M. Douthat
    Relationships between personality traits and achievement in introductory FORTRAN were examined among 326 college students. Personality was assessed via seven different multiple-choice tests, and achievement was assessed with four course exams, the first serving as a covariate. The course became more difficult as it progressed, and the relevance of personality to achievement increased. Ultimately, relatively introverted subjects, who were hard-driving and ambitious (Type A personality) obtained higher grades than their more extroverted, easy-going counterparts. There was no evidence that non-engineering majors were temperamentally "unsuited" for computer programming.
    The Transfer of Text-Editing Skill BIBA 403-423
      Mark K. Singley; John R. Anderson
    Computer-naive subjects were taught to use either one or two line editors and then a screen editor. Positive transfer was observed both between the line editors and from the line editors to the screen editor. Transfer expressed itself in terms of reductions in total time, keystrokes, residual errors, and seconds per keystroke. A simple two-component model of transfer is proposed that allows for the differential practice of general and specific components when learning a skill.
    Computer Supported Reading vs Reading Text on Paper: A Comparison of Two Reading Situations BIBA 425-439
      Susanne Askwall
    The effect presentation mode has on subjects' performance of a reasoning task was tested by comparing four different modes of presentation. Subjects were required to search and integrate information that was presented in short texts (22 sentences long). The texts were presented via a VDU (computerized reading situation) or on paper (non-computerized reading situation), in their entirety or as separate sentence. Sixteen psychology students participated in the study. Reading speed and accuracy of judgement were unaffected by presentation medium (VDU or paper). Moreover, in both situations search times were longer when little information was available and when search demands were increased. Negative information had a similar effect on subjects' ratings of difficulty in the two situations. The way information was searched differed, however, in the computerized and the non-computerized reading situations when the texts were presented as separate sentences. Four different search strategies were found; they were unevenly distributed in the two situations. In the non-computerized situation, subjects searched almost twice as much information as they did in the computerized situation. On the other hand, in the computerized situation search times were almost twice as long. The results suggest that psychological studies on how existing cognitive skills are applied to computerized situations, could provide a valuable source of information for designers of computer systems.
    Learning Computerized Tasks as Related to Prior Task Knowledge BIBA 441-455
      Yvonne Wærn
    This paper presents a theoretical analysis of the relationships between the requirements of a computerized task and people's knowledge of this task outside the computer system. The analysis is based on the goals to be reached, the methods which may be used, and the conditions which must be satisfied for each method to be used, with or without the computer system. It is suggested that it will be most difficult to learn a computerized task when new methods are related to old goals and/or when old methods require new conditions to be satisfied. Empirical observations supporting analyses of different tasks are presented. The empirical data reveal difficulties which are not predicted by the theoretical analyses, and it is concluded that a good prediction of the ease with which a new system is learnt can only result from a combination of theoretical analyses and empirical observations of users working with the system.
    QUASAR: An Input System for the Physically Handicapped BIBA 457-461
      C. D. Terrell
    QUASAR (QUick Algorithm for Selection And Response) allows a handicapped user to input information efficiently to a microcomputer. A four-way switch version has been tested in field trials. Other prototype versions have been developed which operate using two- or six-way switches. The system is generalizable to n switches.
    Correcting User Errors in SQL BIBA 463-477
      C. Welty
    Previous human factors research on SQL has discovered many correctable errors made by users. An experiment was run, testing how seriously error correction would affect SQL user performance. In the study, 39 subjects used SQL without error correction and 40 subjects had specific categories of errors corrected. The main result was that error correction improved user performance by 26%.
    Effects of Help Fields on Navigating Through Hierarchical Menu Structures BIBA 479-491
      Kathleen Snowberry; Stanley Parkinson; Norwood Sisson
    The results of two experiments on simple menu selection are reported in which participants searched for target words through hierarchical menu displays consisting of binary choices at six levels. The menu hierarchy contained 64 words at the lowest level. Category descriptor terms were provided at higher levels and participants were required to select a sequence of options which would lead to the target word. In addition to the standard menu options, participants in experimental groups were shown help fields containing either previous selections, the target word, or upcoming selections. Participants who selected options in the presence of options at the next lower level in the menu (upcoming selections) searched with greater accuracy than participants in the control condition (no additional information), but neither continuous display of the target nor providing a list of previous selections within a trial benefited search performance. This pattern of results was found both when participants had no previous experience on the task and when help fields were introduced after 64 trials on the standard menu. Similar trends were found when help fields were introduced after 128 trials on the standard menu, but between-group differences failed to reach significance in that condition. The results of these experiments suggest that when required to use menus with multiple levels in simple menu selection, the options at a given level should include information about options at deeper levels in the menu.

    IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 5

    On the Interaction of Man and EDP Use as Work Activity BIBA 493-505
      Jurgen Pilgrim
    The working process in electronic data processing (EDP use) is regarded as a work activity performed by the computer user, and is discussed on the basis of user investigations carried out in a bioscientific research unit. The interaction between man as the EDP user and EDP use takes effect through the EDP task and its requirements of the computer. This relationship leads to justification of the "user system" as a model concept, which offers a better approach to planning and analysis of computer applications integrating the user. A method of judging computer applications as EDP use from the standpoint of the user is presented and explained using the results of investigations using an interactive methods base.
    The Use of Modal Default Reasoning in Information Systems BIBA 507-522
      Piotr Rychlik
    In describing a real, complex world it is practically impossible to represent all the facts about it. Moreover, quite a large number of these facts are "soft" (i.e. doubtful or not verified). In this paper, we propose the use of the language of modal default logic as a tool for knowledge representation, this being a solution to both the problems mentioned above. This approach appears to be very fruitful in modelling common sense reasoning. We discuss these representational problems, giving an example of an experimental information system that was implemented using the OL-resolution proving method for a certain class of S5 modal theories. All suggested solutions are applied in this system.
    Language Models and Search Algorithms for Real-Time Speech Recognition BIBA 523-547
      Carlo Scagliola
    In this paper, "continuous speech recognition" problem is given a clear mathematical formulation as the search for that sequence of basic speech units that best fits the input acoustic pattern. For this purpose spoken language models in the form of hierarchical transition networks are introduced, where lower level subnetworks describe the basic units as possible sequences of spectral states. The units adopted in this paper are either whole words or smaller subword elements, called diphones. The recognition problem thus becomes that of finding the best path through the network, a task carried out by the linguistic decoder. By using this approach, knowledge sources at different levels are strongly integrated. In this way, early decision making based on partial information (in particular any segmentation operation or the speech/silence distinction) is avoided; usually this is a significant source or errors. Instead, decisions are deferred to the linguistic decoder, which possesses all the necessary pieces of information. The properties that a linguistic decoder must possess in order to operate in real-time are listed, and then a best-few algorithm with partial traceback of explored paths, satisfying the above requisites, is described. In particular, the amount of storage needed is almost constant for any sentence length, the computation is approximately linear with sentence length, and the interpretation of early words in a sentence may be possible long before the speaker has finished talking. Experimental results with two systems, one with words and the other with diphones as basic speech units, are reported. Finally, relative merits of words and diphones are discussed, taking into account aspects such as the storage and computing time requirements, their relative ability to deal with phonological variations and to discriminate between similar words, their speaker adaptation capability, and the ease with which it is possible to change the vocabulary and the language dependencies.
    How to Tell People Where to Go: Comparing Navigational Aids BIBA 549-562
      Lynn A. Streeter; Diane Vitello; Susan A. Wonsiewicz
    To compare the effectiveness of navigational aids, drivers attempted to follow routes in unfamiliar environments using either customized route maps, vocal directions, or both. The customized route maps, which included only information relevant to the particular route, were drawn to scale, used colour, included interturn mileages, and showed landmarks. The route to be driven was traced in red. To obtain vocal directions, drivers operated a tape recorder that permitted them to play the next or the previous instruction. Instructions were generated by a set of rules with roughly one set of instructions per turn. Information that was not on the map was not included in the vocal instructions. Drivers who listened to directions drove to destinations in fewer miles, took less time, and showed about 70% fewer errors than the map drivers. The performance of drivers with route maps and voice directions was between that of the map only and voice only drivers.
    On Search in an Incomplete Database BIBA 563-579
      Lena Linde; Yvonne Waern
    The purpose of this investigation is to determine the psychological factors which are important for the efficient use of information from an incomplete database. Ten psychology students were instructed to answer a question by searching for information in a database. The question was not directly answerable but required the subjects to make inferences from the information retrieved. The following differences were found between the most and the least efficient subjects: the more efficient subjects started by obtaining an overview of the alternative search words available. They used the information obtained both to find possible answers and to exclude impossible ones. The more efficient subjects used prior knowledge schemata to make inferences, which yielded fewer possible candidates than the prior knowledge schemata used by the less efficient subjects. The less efficient subjects became more confused by the different possibilities, forgot information retrieved and repeated searches. It was concluded that an efficient search in an incomplete database requires that people have an overview of the alternatives offered. It also requires that one should make inferences from the information obtained in order to form possible hypotheses and to reject impossible alternatives.
    Identification of Regular Configurations with Partial Information BIBA 581-587
      Wojciech Zakowski; Maciej Koutny
    The problem of identifying finite binary relationships on X with partial information is studied, i.e. how to find R {isin} {mathsR} such that P {subset} R when P {subset} X × X; some classes of {mathsR} of binary relations on X are given. Similar problems were recently investigated and some heuristic guidelines for effective use of partial information were formulated. In this paper the identification of three binary relationships: alliance, conflict and neutrality, which are the starting points of a mathematical model of conflict situations, is considered. The experimental method in which the investigator seeks to discover a relationship by means of successive tests, each of which reveals partial information, is applied. An algorithm for identification of these relationships which enables us to make effective and efficient deductions is provided and its optimality is proved.

    IJMMS 1985 Volume 22 Issue 6

    Efficient Computer-User Interface in Electronic Mail Systems BIBA 589-611
      Omer Akin; D. Radha Rao
    This paper explores the question of improving the user-computer interface. The approach is one of observing and codifying various parameters that influence the efficiency of the interface in the context of electronic mail tasks. First, we observe "expert" and "regular" users of a mail system and identity the sources of efficiency. The data indicates that experts use a different, more specialized set of commands in performing standard mail tasks. While experts perform these tasks with fewer errors and more "completely", it is not clear that they achieve this any faster than regular users. Recommendations for system design are made. In addition, errors made by subjects are codified. The major proportion of errors observed fall under syntactic and typographical categories. Implications for error recovery and prevention are discussed.
    Some Reasons Why Algebraic Topology is Important in Neuropsychology: Perceptual and Cognitive Systems as Fibrations BIBA 613-650
      William C. Hoffman
    The topological structure of fibration (a total space coupled with a base space by a projection mapping) appears to be found throughout the CNS. Neuropsychological structure and functioning are analysed in terms of such fibrations, and application made to perceptual and cognitive systems. The key feature of "mechanistic" cognition appears to be a CNS embodiment of the category of simplicial sets. Specific structures for problem-solving and memory are determined in terms of this category.
    Experimental Evaluation of Dialogue Types for Data Entry BIBA 651-661
      Kerstin Severinson Eklundh; Hans Marmolin; Carl-Eric Hedin
    An experiment evaluating four basic types of data entry dialogue with regard to speed showed a clear interaction between type of dialogue and type of data. A form-based dialogue was fastest for many ordered data, while a command dialogue was faster for unordered data. There was no significant difference between the number of errors at each dialogue type. The lowest performance times across data types were reached with an extended command dialogue with a built-in facility for command-less, ordered input. This dialogue type gave low performance times for all data types. A study of the subjects' preference regarding interaction mode in the command dialogues showed that most subjects preferred an interaction mode which optimized speed at the cost of less feedback and less opportunity for error control. This can be expressed in terms of dialogue gears: a majority of the subjects chose a high gear of interaction. This did not, however, result in a higher error rate for those subjects.
    Specification and Generation of Variable, Personalized Graphical Interfaces BIBA 663-684
      Richard Bournique; Siegfried Treu
    A top-down system design study, concerned with the complex issues that arise when humans interact with graphics systems, is presented. A number of desirable features are profiled and the mechanisms or "agents" through which those features are incorporated into the interface are summarized. A formal, extensible method for specifying an interface, prior to implementation, is then demonstrated. The BNF-like specification is constructed from the language-based agents previously described and is used as a blueprint for the design of a software tool which allows an experimenter to generate variable, personalized graphical interfaces. Finally, a description of that tool, its capabilities, limitations, and some implementation issues are discussed.