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TOIS Tables of Contents: 0102030405060708091011

ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems 1

Editors:John O. Limb
Dates:1983
Volume:1
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISSN 1046-8188; HF S548.125 A33
Papers:18
Links:Table of Contents
  1. TOIS 1983 Volume 1 Issue 1
  2. TOIS 1983 Volume 1 Issue 2
  3. TOIS 1983 Volume 1 Issue 3
  4. TOIS 1983 Volume 1 Issue 4

TOIS 1983 Volume 1 Issue 1

Editor's Introduction BIB 1-2
  John O. Limb

Research Contributions

The Design of Star's Records Processing: Data Processing for the Noncomputer Professional BIBAK 3-24
  Robert Purvy; Jerry Farrell; Paul Klose
Xerox's Star Professional Workstation is distinguished by a graphic user interface committed to the "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" design philosophy. The system promotes a see/point/push-a-button style of interaction with immediate feedback, in marked contrast to more familiar programming or command language interfaces.
   Star's records processing feature integrates traditional data processing functionality into this user model, using standard Star documents for data definition, entry, display, update, and report generation. Benefits include an economy of concepts and effort for user and implementor alike, along with the synergy of a unified environment.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Database management, Languages, Data description languages (DDL), Data manipulation languages (DML), Query languages, Report writers, Office automation, Professional workstations
An OIS Model for Internal Accounting Control Evaluation BIBAK 25-44
  Andrew D., Jr. Bailey; James H. Gerlach; R. Preston McAfee; Andrew B. Whinston
Internal control is an important aspect of accounting office systems. The implementation and maintenance of a control structure which protects corporate assets from theft, misuse, and fraud and permits the preparation of accurate and reliable financial reports is a result of both good business practice and legal requirements. This article presents a precedence model for specifying accounting office systems. Formal analysis procedures are formulated for evaluating the internal controls of the modeled system. The procedures establish precondition and postcondition relationships between designated control points.
Keywords: Information systems application, Office automation, Computer applications, Administrative data processing, Business, Financial, Management of computing and information systems, System management, Management audit, Management, Internal accounting control, Computer audit and control
Supporting Organizational Problem Solving with a Work Station BIBAK 45-67
  Gerald Barber
An approach to supporting work in the office is described. Using and extending ideas from the field of artificial intelligence (AI) we describe office work as a problem-solving activity. A knowledge-embedding language called OMEGA is used to embed knowledge of the organization into an office worker's work station in order to support the office worker in problem solving. A particular approach to reasoning about change and contradiction is discussed. This approach uses OMEGA's viewpoint mechanism, which is a general contradiction-handing facility. Unlike other knowledge representation systems, when a contradiction is reached the reasons for the contradiction can be analyzed by the deduction mechanism without having to resort to search mechanisms such as a backtracking.
   The viewpoint mechanism is the heart of the problem-solving support paradigm, a paradigm which supplements the classical AI view of problem solving.
   An example is presented in which OMEGA's facilities are used to support an office worker's problem-solving activities. The example illustrates the use of viewpoints and of OMEGA's capabilities to reason about its own reasoning processes.
Keywords: Information storage and retrieval, Systems and software, Information networks, Information systems applications, Office automation, Artificial intelligence, Applications and expert systems, Office automation, Artificial intelligence, Knowledge representation formalisms and methods, Semantic networks, Design, Languages
Integrating Diverse Knowledge Sources in Text Recognition BIBAK 68-87
  Sargur N. Srihari; Jonathan J. Hull; Ramesh Choudhari
A new algorithm for text recognition that corrects character substitution errors in words of text is presented. The search for a correct word effectively integrates three knowledge sources: channel characteristics, bottom-up context, and top-down context. Channel characteristics are used in the form of probabilities that observed letters are corruptions of other letters; bottom-up context is in the form of the probability of a letter when the previous letters of the word are known; and top-down context is in the form of a lexicon. A one-pass algorithm is obtained by merging a previously known dynamic programming algorithm to compute the maximum a posteriori probability string (known as the Viterbi algorithm) with searching a lexical trie. Analysis of the computational complexity of the algorithm and results of experimentation with a PASCAL implementation are presented.
Keywords: Information systems applications, Office automation, Word processing, Artificial intelligence, Problem solving, Control methods and search, Dynamic programming, Graph and tree search strategies, Pattern recognition, Applications, Text processing, Text processing, Text editing, Spelling, Algorithms, Theory, Knowledge integration
Message Files BIBAK 88-98
  Dennis Tsichritzis; Stavros Christodoulakis
We describe a message-filing capability which allows for the retrieval of messages according to contents. Messages are organized in large, general files such that frequent reorganization is avoided. The user specifies a filter which restricts the attention to a manageable subset of messages. Messages within the subset are retrieved for a final check. We discuss file organization and access method, as well as performance and implementation considerations.
Keywords: Control structures and microprogramming, Microcode applications, Special purpose, Computer systems organization, Performance of systems, Modeling techniques, Database management, Physical design, Access methods, Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Abstracting methods, Information systems applications, Communications applications, Electronic mail, Design, Performance

Practice and Experience

How Do People Organize Their Desks? Implications for the Design of Office Information Systems BIBAK 99-112
  Thomas W. Malone
This paper describes a series of interviews focusing on the way professional and clerical office workers organize the information in their desks and offices. A number of implications for designing "natural" and convenient computer-based information systems are discussed.
   Two principal claims are made: (1) A very important function of desk organization is to remind the user of things to do, not just to help the user find desired information. Failing to support this function may seriously impair the usefulness of electronic office systems, and explicitly facilitating it may provide an important advantage for automated office systems over their nonautomated predecessors. (2) The cognitive difficulty of categorizing information is an important factor in explaining how people organize their desks. Computer-based systems may help with this difficulty by (a) doing as much automatic classification as possible (e.g., based on access dates), and (b) including untitled "piles" of information arranged by physical location as well as explicitly titled and logically arranged "files."
   Several other implications for the design of electronic office systems are discussed, and some differences in how people organize their desks are described.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Information storage and retrieval, Information storage, File organization, Information systems applications, Office automation, Equipment, Computing milieux, Personal computing, Design, Human factors, Desk organization, Personal information environments

TOIS 1983 Volume 1 Issue 2

Research Contributions

An Experimental Distributed Modeling System BIBAK 117-142
  Gary J. Nutt
Computer systems will increasingly rely on distributed components in order to increase performance while providing autonomous computing facilities. This evolution implies that a corresponding advance must take place in the state of the art of system analysis and evaluation. This paper describes an experimental modeling system developed to study distributed office information systems. The modeling system is unusual in that the simulation component is itself a distributed program. Support facilities and the organization of the simulator are presented.
Keywords: Software engineering, Miscellaneous, Operating systems, Communications management, Operating systems, Organization and design, Information systems applications, Office automation, Information systems applications, Communications applications, Office automation, Distributed programming office modeling, Simulation
Document Processing in a Relational Database System BIBAK 143-158
  Michael Stonebraker; Heidi Stettner; Nadene Lynn; Joseph Kalash; Antonin Guttman
This paper contains a proposal to enhance a relational database manager to support document processing. Basically, it suggests support for data items that are variable-length strings, support for ordered relations, support for substring operations, and support for new operators that concatenate and break apart string fields.
Keywords: Database management, Languages, Query languages, Information storage and retrieval, Information storage, File organization, Information systems applications, Office automation, Word processing, Document processing, Document storage, Extended query languages
Details of Command-Language Keystrokes BIBAK 159-178
  R. B. Allen; M. W. Scerbo
The Keystroke-Level Model asserts that the time for an expert to enter a task using a command language is a function of specific task-acquisition, mental, and motor-response times. The evidence for the model is critically reviewed, and new data are presented. The fit of the new data to the model is modest even when several modifications of the model are considered. It is proposed that a more complex model, based explicitly on cognitive processes, is necessary.
Keywords: Operating systems, Systems programs and utilities, Command and control languages, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human information processing, Information systems applications, Office automation, Text processing, Text editing, Human factors, User interface, Cognitive psychology

Practice and Experience

Message System Mores: Etiquette in Laurel BIBAK 179-192
  Douglas K. Brotz
Electronic message systems provide a new mode of communication that currently lacks an accepted set of social protocols. On the basis of observations of user behavior in Laurel, a widely used electronic message system, several suggestions for message system etiquette are given. Topics covered include misaddressed messages, rudeness, message system costs, unsolicited messages, chain reactions, and masquerading.
Keywords: Computer-communication networks, Miscellaneous, Information systems applications, Communications applications, Electronic mail, Computers and society, Social issues, Human factors, Electronic message system, Communication, Manners, Etiquette

TOIS 1983 Volume 1 Issue 3

Research Contributions

Authentication in Office System Internetworks BIBAK 193-210
  Jay E. Israel; Theodore A. Linden
In a distributed office system, authentication data (such as password) must be managed in such a way that users and machines from different organizations can easily authenticate themselves to each other. The authentication facility must be secure, but user convenience, decentralized administration, and a capability for smooth, long-term evolution are also important. In addition, the authentication arrangements must not permit failures at a single node to cause systemwide down time. The design used in the Xerox 8000 Series products is described. This design anticipates applications in an open-network architecture where there are nodes from diverse sources and one node does not trust authentication checking done by other nodes. Furthermore, in some offices encryption will be required to authenticate data transmissions despite hostile intruders on the network. Requirements and design constraints when applying encryption for authentication in office systems are discussed. It is suggested that protocol standards for use in office systems should allow unencrypted authentication as well as two options for encrypted authentication. Issues that will arise as an office system evolves to deal with increasingly sophisticated threats from users of the system are described.
Keywords: Computer-communication networks, General, Security and protection, Computer-communication networks, Network architecture and design, Network communications, Computer-communication networks, Network protocols, Protocol architecture, Data encryption, Data encryption standard (DES), Information systems applications, Office automation, Security, Standardization, Authentication, Internetworks, Distributed systems, Decentralized systems, Heterogeneous systems, Ethernet, Open architecture
Projecting Demand for Electronic Communications in Automated Offices BIBAK 211-229
  Stephen A. Smith; Robert I. Benjamin
The large projected growth in the use of office information systems over the next ten years will in turn significantly increase the demand for electronic communications in offices. Projections for this demand on a per employee basis are developed, based on assumed office automation scenarios and case-study observations of current activity levels. Implications for communications systems design are discussed. The results are also compared with observed communications traffic in an existing automated office environment.
Keywords: Information systems applications, Office automation, Information systems applications, Communications applications, Electronic mail, Economics, Measurement, Performance, Communications systems
The Clearinghouse: A Decentralized Agent for Locating Named Objects in a Distributed Environment BIBAK 230-253
  Derek C. Oppen; Yogen K. Dalal
The problem of naming and locating objects in a distributed environment is considered, and the clearinghouse, a decentralized agent for supporting the naming of these "network-visible" objects, is described. The objects "known" to the clearinghouse are of many types and include workstations, file servers, print servers, mail servers, clearinghouse servers, and human user. All objects known to the clearinghouse are named using the same convention, and the clearinghouse provides information about objects in a uniform fashion, regardless of their type. The clearinghouse also supports aliases.
   The clearinghouse binds a name to a set of properties of various types. For instance, the name of a user may be associated with the location of his local workstation, mailbox, and nonlocation information such as password and comments.
   The clearinghouse is decentralized and replicated. That is, instead of one global clearinghouse server, there are many local clearinghouse servers, each storing a copy of a portion of the global database. The totality of services supplied by these clearinghouse servers is called "the clearinghouse." Decentralization and replication increase efficiency, security, and reliability.
   A request to the clearinghouse to bind a name to its set of properties may originate anywhere in the system and be directed to any clearinghouse server. A clearinghouse client need not be concerned with the question of which clearinghouse server actually contains the binding -- the clearinghouse stub in the client in conjunction with distributed clearinghouse servers automatically finds the mapping if it exists. Updates to the various copies of a mapping may occur asynchronously and be interleaved with requests for bindings of names to properties; updates to the various copies are not treated as indivisible transactions. Any resulting inconsistency between the various copies is only transient: the clearinghouse automatically arbitrates between conflicting updates to restore consistency.
Keywords: Computer-communication networks, Network operations, Network management, Computer-communication networks, Distributed systems, Distributed databases, Network operating systems, Database management, Logical design, Data models, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Search processes, Information systems applications, Communications applications, Electronic mail, Design, Clearinghouse, Names, Locations, Binding, Network-visible objects, Internetwork

Practice and Experience

Learning to Use Word Processors: Problems and Prospects BIBAK 254-271
  Robert L. Mack; Clayton H. Lewis; John M. Carroll
Computer text editors are powerful, but complex, tools. Particularly in the early stages of learning, the complexity of these tools can cause serious problems for users who are not experienced with computers. The problems of new users were studied by asking the users to think out loud while learning to use word-processing systems. In this paper several of the most typical and debilitating problems these users had understanding and following directions in using training manuals, as well as problems understanding and using interface functions to accomplish word processing tasks, are taxonomized and analyzed. Approaches for improving design features of the interface functions and the training methods used for learning are discussed.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Human information processing, Information systems applications, Office automation, Equipment, Word processing, Artificial intelligence, Learning, Analogies, Concept learning, Human factors, Behavioral science, Cognitive psychology, Protocol methodology, Instruction, Novices, Text editors, Human-computer interface

TOIS 1983 Volume 1 Issue 4

Research Contributions

Human Factors Challenges in Creating a Principal Support Office System -- The Speech Filing System Approach BIBAK 273-298
  John D. Gould; Stephen J. Boies
This paper identifies the key behavioral challenges in designing a principal-office system and our approaches to them. These challenges included designing a system which office principals would find useful and would directly use themselves. Ultimately, the system, called the Speech Filing System (SFS), became primarily a voice store and forward message system with which users compose, edit, send, and receive audio messages, using telephones as terminals. Our approaches included behavioral analyses of principals' needs and irritations, controlled laboratory experiments, several years of training, observing, and interviewing hundreds of actual SFS users, several years of demonstrating SFS to thousands of potential users and receiving feedback, empirical studies of alternative methods of training and documentation, continual major modifications of the user interface, simulations of alternative user interfaces, and actual SFS usage analyses. The results indicate that SFS is now relatively easy to learn, solves real business problems, and leads to user satisfaction.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Information systems applications, Information systems applications, Office automation, Information systems applications, Communications applications, Human factors, Principal support system, Office of the future
A Data Modeling Approach for Office Information Systems BIBAK 299-319
  Simon Gibbs; Dionysis Tsichritzis
A data model for representing the structure and semantics of office objects is proposed. The model contains features for modeling forms, documents, and other complex objects; these features include a constraint mechanism based on triggers, templates for presenting objects in different media, and unformatted data types such as text and audio. The representation of common office objects is described. User-level commands may be translated to operations within the model.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human information processing, Database management, Logical design, Data models, Information systems applications, Office automation, Design, Templates, Unformatted data
Office Procedure as Practical Action: Models of Work and System Design BIBAK 320-328
  Lucy A. Suchman
The design of office technology relies upon underlying conceptions of human organization and action. The goal of building office information systems requires a representation of office work and its relevant objects. The concern of this paper is that although system designers recognize the centrality of procedural tasks in the office, they tend to ignore the actual work involved in accomplishing those tasks. A perspicuous instance of work in an accounting office is used to recommend a new line of research into the practical problems of office work, and to suggest preliminary implications of that research for office systems design.
Keywords: Models and principles, General, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human information processing, Design, Human factors, Office procedure, Models of work