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ACM Transactions on Information Systems 10

Editors:Robert B. Allen
Dates:1992
Volume:10
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISSN 1046-8188; HF S548.125 A33
Papers:18
Links:Table of Contents
  1. TOIS 1992 Volume 10 Issue 1
  2. TOIS 1992 Volume 10 Issue 2
  3. TOIS 1992 Volume 10 Issue 3
  4. TOIS 1992 Volume 10 Issue 4

TOIS 1992 Volume 10 Issue 1

Research Contributions

DAIDA: An Environment for Evolving Information Systems BIBAKPDF 1-50
  M. Jarke; J. Mylopoulos; J. W. Schmidt; Y. Vassiliou
We present a framework for the development of information systems based on the premise that the knowledge that influences the development process needs to somehow be captured, represented, and managed if the development process is to be rationalized. Experiences with a prototype environment developed in ESPRIT project DAIDA demonstrate the approach. The project has implemented an environment based on state-of-the-art languages for requirements modeling, design and implementation of information systems. In addition, the environment offers tools for aiding the mapping process from requirements to design and then to implementation, also for representing decisions reached during the development process. The development process itself is represented explicitly within the system, thus making the DAIDA development framework easier to comprehend, use, and modify.
Keywords: Software engineering, Requirements/specifications, Software engineering, Tools and techniques, Computer-aided software engineering (CASE), Software engineering, Management, Software quality assurance (SQA), Programming languages, Language classifications, Design languages, Database management, Logical design, Database management, Languages, Database programming languages, Database management, Database administration, Data dictionary, Artificial intelligence, Knowledge representation formalisms and methods, Representation languages, Management of computing and information systems, Software management, Software maintenance, Design, Languages, Management, Knowledge engineering, Mapping assistant, Multilevel specification, Repository, Software information system, Software process model
Principles of Delay-Sensitive Multimedia Data Storage and Retrieval BIBAKPDF 51-90
  Jim Gemmell; Stavros Christodoulakis
This paper establishes some fundamental principles for the retrieval and storage of delay-sensitive multimedia data. Delay-sensitive data include digital audio, animations, and video. Retrieval of these data types from secondary storage has to satisfy certain time constraints in order to be acceptable to the user. The presentation is based on digital audio in order to provide intuition to the reader, although the results are applicable to all delay-sensitive data. A theoretical framework is developed for the real-time requirements of digital audio playback. We show how to describe these requirements in terms of the consumption rate of the audio data and the nature of the data-retrieval rate from secondary storage. Making use of this framework, bounds are derived for buffer space requirements for certain common retrieval scenarios. Storage placement strategies for multichannel synchronized data are then categorized and examined. The results presented in this paper are basic to any playback of delay-sensitive data and should assist the multimedia system designer in estimating hardware requirements and in evaluating possible design choices.
Keywords: Information storage and retrieval, Information storage, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Retrieval models, Information interfaces and presentation, Multimedia information systems, Animations, Audio input/output, Video (e.g., tape, disk, DVI), Design, Performance, Continuous media, Delay-sensitive, Real time

Practice and Experience

The Active Badge Location System BIBAKPDF 91-102
  Roy Want; Andy Hopper; Veronica Falcao; Jonathan Gibbons
A novel system for the location of people in an office environment is described. Members of staff wear badges that transmit signals providing information about their location to a centralized location service, through a network of sensors. The paper also examines alternative location techniques, system design issues and applications, particularly relating to telephone call routing. Location systems raise concerns about the privacy of an individual, and these issues are also addressed.
Keywords: Input/output and data communications, Data communications devices, Receivers (e.g., voice, data, image), Transmitters, Information systems applications, Office automation, Equipment, Time management (e.g., calendars, schedules), Information systems applications, Communications applications, Management of computing and information systems, Security and protection, Design, Experimentation, Human factors, Active badges, Location systems, PBX, Privacy issues, Tagging systems

Technical Correspondence

Consistency, Standards, and Formal Approaches to Interface Development and Evaluation: A Note on Wiecha, Bennett, Boies, Gould, and Greene BIBPDF 103-111
  Jonathan Grudin
ITS and User Interface Consistency: A Response to Grudin BIBPDF 112-114
  Charles Wiecha

TOIS 1992 Volume 10 Issue 2

Research Contributions

Lexical Ambiguity and Information Retrieval BIBAKPDF 115-141
  Robert Krovetz; W. Bruce Croft
Lexical ambiguity is a pervasive problem in natural language processing. However, little quantitative information is available about the extent of the problem or about the impact that it has on information retrieval systems. We report on an analysis of lexical ambiguity in information retrieval test collections and on experiments to determine the utility of word meanings for separating relevant from nonrelevant documents. The experiments show that there is considerable ambiguity even in a specialized database. Word senses provide a significant separation between relevant and nonrelevant documents, but several factors contribute to determining whether disambiguation will make an improvement in performance. For example, resolving lexical ambiguity was found to have little impact on retrieval effectiveness for documents that have many words in common with the query. Other uses of word sense disambiguation in an information retrieval context are discussed.
Keywords: Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Dictionaries, Indexing methods, Linguistic processing, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Search process, Selection process, Artificial intelligence, Natural language processing, Text analysis, Experimentation, Measurement, Performance, Disambiguation, Document retrieval, Semantically based search, Word senses
Structural Analysis of Hypertexts: Identifying Hierarchies and Useful Metrics BIBAKPDF 142-180
  Rodrigo A. Botafogo; Ehud Rivlin; Ben Shneiderman
Hypertext users often suffer from the "lost in hyperspace" problem: disorientation from too many jumps while traversing a complex network. One solution to this problem is improved authoring to create more comprehensible structures. This paper proposes several authoring tools, based on hypertext structure analysis.
   In many hypertext systems authors are encouraged to create hierarchical structures, but when writing, the hierarchy is lost because of the inclusion of cross-reference links. The first part of this paper looks at ways of recovering lost hierarchies and finding new ones, offering authors different views of the same hypertext. The second part helps authors by identifying properties of the hypertext document. Multiple metrics are developed including compactness and stratum. Compactness indicates the intrinsic connectedness of the hypertext, and stratum reveals to what degree the hypertext is organized so that some nodes must be read before others.
   Several existing hypertexts are used to illustrate the benefits of each technique. The collection of techniques provides a multifaceted view of the hypertext, which should allow authors to reduce undesired structural complexity and create documents that readers can traverse more easily.
Keywords: Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, Information storage and retrieval, General, Design, Documentation, Human factors, Measurement, Graph theory, Hierarchies, Hypertext, Metrics, Networks, Structural analysis
Getting Around the Task-Artifact Cycle: How to Make Claims and Design by Scenario BIBAKPDF 181-212
  John M. Carroll; Mary Beth Rosson
We are developing an "action science" approach to human-computer interaction (HCI), seeking to better integrate activities directed at understanding with those directed at design. The approach leverages development practices of current HCI with methods and concepts to support a shift toward using broad and explicit design rationale to reify where we are in a design process, why we are there, and to guide reasoning about where we might go from there. We represent a designed artifact as the set of user scenarios supported by that artifact and more finely by causal schemas detailing the underlying psychological rationale. These schemas, called claims, unpack wherefores and whys of the scenarios. In this paper, we stand back from several empirical projects to clarify our commitments and practices.
Keywords: Software engineering, Requirements/specifications, Methodologies, Tools, Software engineering, Tools and techniques, Models and principles, General, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Design, Documentation, Human factors, Design rationale, Planning, User interfaces

TOIS 1992 Volume 10 Issue 3

Research Contributions

Shortening the OED: Experience with a Grammar-Defined Database BIBAKPDF 213-232
  G. Elizabeth Blake; Tim Bray; Frank Wm. Tompa
Textual databases with highly variable structure can be usefully described by a grammar-defined model. One example of such a text is the Oxford English Dictionary. This paper describes a first attempt to apply technology based on this model to a real problem. A language called GOEDEL, which is a partial implementation of a set of grammar-defined database operators, was used to extract and alter a subset of the OED in order to assist the editors in their production of The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. The implementation of the pstring data structure to describe a piece of text and the functions that operate on this pstring are illustrated with some detailed examples. The project was judged a success and the resulting program used in production by the Oxford University Press.
Keywords: Programming languages, Language classification, Specialized application languages, Database management, Database applications, Computing methodologies, Text processing, Computer applications, Computers in other systems, Publishing, Design, Human factors, Languages, Grammar defined model, Parsed string, Text database
The Envoy Framework: An Open Architecture for Agents BIBAKPDF 233-264
  Murugappan Palaniappan; Nicole Yankelovich; George Fitzmaurice; Anne Loomis; Bernard Haan; James Coombs; Norman Meyrowitz
The Envoy Framework addresses a need for computer-based assistants or agents that operate in conjunction with users' existing applications, helping them perform tedious, repetitive, or time-consuming tasks more easily and efficiently. Envoys carry out missions for users by invoking envoy-aware applications called operatives and inform users of mission results via envoy-aware applications called informers. The distributed, open architecture developed for Envoys is derived from an analysis of the best characteristics of existing agent systems. This architecture has been designed as a model for how agent technology can be seamlessly integrated into the electronic desktop. It defines a set of application programmer's interfaces so that developers may convert their software to envoy-aware applications. A subset of the architecture described in this paper has been implemented in an Envoy Framework prototype.
Keywords: Introduction and survey, Computer-communication networks, Distributed systems, Distributed applications, Software engineering, Tools and techniques, Software libraries, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Information storage and retrieval, Systems and software, Current awareness systems (selective dissemination of information -- SDI), Information systems applications, Office automation, Management of computing and information systems, Software management, Software development, Design, Human factors, Management, Application programmer interface, User agent
Conceptual Learning in Database Design BIBAKPDF 265-293
  Yannis E. Ioannidis; Tomas Saulys; Andrew J. Whitsitt
This paper examines the idea of incorporating machine learning algorithms into a database system for monitoring its stream of incoming queries and generating hierarchies with the most important concepts expressed in those queries. The goal is for these hierarchies to provide valuable input to the database administrator for dynamically modifying the physical and external schemas of a database for improved system performance and user productivity. The criteria for choosing the appropriate learning algorithms are analyzed, and based on them, two such algorithms, UNIMEM and COBWEB, are selected as the most suitable ones for the task. Standard UNIMEM and COBWEB implementations have been modified to support queries as input. Based on the results of experiments with these modified implementations, the whole approach appears to be quite promising, especially if the concept hierarchy from which the learning algorithms start their processing is initiated with some of the most obvious concepts captured in the database.
Keywords: Database management, Logical design, Data models, Schema and subschema, Database management, Physical design, Access methods, Database management, Database administration, Artificial intelligence, Learning, Concept learning, Algorithms, Design, Management, Performance, Adaptive database systems, Learning from examples, COBWEB,/UNIMEM

Practice and Experience

Converting a Textbook to Hypertext BIBAKPDF 294-315
  Roy Rada
Traditional documents may be transformed into hypertext by first reflecting the document's logical markup in the hypertext (producing first-order hypertext) and then by adding links not evident in the document markup (producing second-order hypertext). In our transformation of a textbook to hypertext, the textbook is placed in an intermediate form based on a semantic net and is then placed into the four hypertext systems: Emacs-Info, Guide, HyperTies, and SuperBook. The first-order Guide and SuperBook hypertexts reflect a depth-first traversal of the semantic net, and the Emacs-Info and HyperTies hypertexts reflect a breadth-first traversal. The semantic net is augmented manually, and then new traversal programs automatically generate alternate outlines. An index based on word patterns in the textbook is also automatically generated for the second-order hypertext. Our suite of programs has been applied to a published textbook, and the resulting hypertexts are publicly available.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Information storage and retrieval, Information storage, Information systems applications, General, Text processing, Document preparation, Design, Human factors, Theory, Document markup, Electronic publishing, Human-computer interaction, Hypermedia models

TOIS 1992 Volume 10 Issue 4

Special Issue Editorial

User Interface Software and Technology BIB 317-319
  Jock Mackinlay; Jim Rhyne

Practice and Experience

Lessons Learned from SUIT, the Simple User Interface Toolkit BIBAKPDF 320-344
  Randy Pausch; Matthew Conway; Robert DeLine
In recent years, the computer science community has realized the advantages of GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces). Because high-quality GUIs are difficult to build, support tools such as UIMSs, UI Toolkits, and Interface Builders have been developed. Although these tools are powerful, they typically make two assumptions: first, that the programmer has some familiarity with the GUI model, and second, that he is willing to invest several weeks becoming proficient with the tool. These tools typically operate only on specific platforms, such as DOS, the Macintosh, or UNIX/X-windows.
   The existing tools are beyond the reach of most undergraduate computer science majors, or professional programmers who wish to quickly build GUIs without investing the time to become specialists in GUI design. For this class of users, we developed SUIT, the Simple User Interface Toolkit. SUIT is an attempt to distill the fundamental components of an interface builder and GUI toolkit, and to explain those concepts with the tool itself, all in a short period of time. We have measured that college juniors with no previous GUI programming experience can use SUIT productively after less than three hours. SUIT is a C subroutine library which provides an external control UIMS, an interactive layout editor, and a set of standard "widgets," such as sliders, buttons, and check boxes. SUIT-based applications run transparently across the Macintosh, DOS, and UNIX/X platforms. SUIT has been exported to hundreds of external sites on the internet. This paper describes SUIT's architecture, the design decisions we made during its development, and the lessons we learned from extensive observations of over 120 users.
Keywords: Software engineering, Tools and techniques, Software libraries, User interfaces, Software engineering, Programming environments, Interactive, Software engineering, Miscellaneous, Rapid prototyping, Reusable software, Computer graphics, Graphics utilities, Application packages, Graphics packages, Software support, Computer graphics, Methodology and techniques, Device independence, Interaction techniques, Computers and education, Computer and information science education, Computer science education, Experimentation, Design, Human factors, Export, Graphical user interface, GUI, Learnability, Pedagogy, Portability, Rapid prototyping, Software tools, UIMS, User interface toolkit

Research Contributions

A High-Level and Flexible Framework for Implementing Multiuser User Interfaces BIBAKPDF 345-380
  Prasun Dewan; Rajiv Choudhary
We have developed a high-level and flexible framework for supporting the construction of multiuser user interfaces. The framework is based on a generalized editing interaction model, which allows users to view programs as active data that can be concurrently edited by multiple users. It consists of several novel components including a refinement of both the Seeheim UIMS architecture and the distributed graphics architecture that explicitly addresses multiuser interaction; the abstractions of shared active variables and interaction variables, which allow users and applications to exchange information; a set of default collaboration rules designed to keep the collaboration-awareness low in multiuser programs; and a small but powerful set of primitives for overriding these rules. The framework allows users to be dynamically added and removed from a multiuser session, different users to use different user interfaces to interact with an application, the modules interacting with a particular user to execute on the local workstation, and programmers to incrementally trade automation for flexibility. We have implemented the framework as part of a system called Suite. This paper motivates, describes, and illustrates the framework using the concrete example of Suite, discusses how it can be implemented in others kinds of systems, compares it with related work, discusses its shortcomings, and suggests directions for future work.
Keywords: Computer-communication networks, Distributed systems, Distributed applications, Distributed databases, Software engineering, Tools and techniques, User interfaces, Software engineering, Programming environments, Interactive, Programming languages, Language constructs, Input/output, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Information systems applications, Office automation, Text processing, Text editing, Design, Human factors, Languages, Computer-supported cooperative work, Groupware, Editing, User interface management systems
EmbeddedButtons: Supporting Buttons in Documents BIBAKPDF 381-407
  Eric A. Bier
EmbeddedButtons is a library of routines and a runtime kernel that support the integration of buttons into document media, including text and graphics. Existing document editors can be modified to participate in this open architecture with the addition of a few simple routines. Unlike many button systems that insert special button objects into document media, this system supports turning existing documents objects into buttons. As a consequence, buttons inherit all of the attributes of normal document objects, and the appearance of buttons can be edited using operations already familiar to users. Facilities are provided for linking buttons to application windows so that documents can serve as application control panels. Hence, user interface designers can lay out control panels using familiar document editors rather than special-purpose tools. Three classes of buttons have been implemented, including buttons that pop up a menu and buttons that store and display the value of a variable. New button classes, editors, and applications can be added at run time. Two editors, one for text and one for graphics, currently participate in the architecture.
Keywords: Software engineering, Miscellaneous, Rapid prototyping, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Computer graphics, Methodology and techniques, Interaction techniques, Text processing, Text editing, Human factors, Active documents, Buttons, User interface layout
A General Framework for Bidirectional Translation between Abstract and Pictorial Data BIBAKPDF 408-437
  Satoshi Matsuoka; Shin Takahashi; Tomihisa Kamada; Akinori Yonezawa
The merits of direct manipulation are now widely recognized. However, direct manipulation interfaces incur high cost in their creation. To cope with this problem, we present a model of bidirectional translation between pictures and abstract application data, and a prototype system, TRIP2, based on this model. Using this model, general mapping from abstract data to pictures and from pictures to abstract data is realized merely by giving declarative mapping rules, allowing fast and easy creation of direct manipulation interfaces. We apply the prototype system to the generation of the interfaces for kinship diagrams, Graph Editors, E-R diagrams, and an Othello game.
Keywords: Software engineering, Tools and techniques, User interfaces, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human information processing, Algorithms, Design, Experimentation, Human factors, Bidirectional translation, Direct manipulation, User interface, User interface management systems, Visualization
A Model for Input and Output for Multilingual Text in a Windowing Environment BIBAKPDF 438-451
  Yutaka Kataoka; Masato Morisaki; Hiroshi Kuribayashi; Hiroyoshi Ohara
The layered multilingual input/output (I/O) system we designed, based on typological studies of major-language writing conventions, unifies common features of such conventions to enable international and local utilization. The internationalization layer input module converts keystroke sequences to phonograms and ideograms. The corresponding output module displays position-independent and dependent characters. The localization layer positions language-specific functions outside the structure, integrating them as tables used by finite automaton interpreters and servers to add new languages and code sets without recompilation.
   The I/O system generates and displays stateful and stateless code sets, enabling interactive language switching. Going beyond POSIX locale model bounds, the system generates ISO 2022, ISO/DIS 10646 (1990), and Compound Text, defined for the interchange encoding format in X11 protocols, for basic polyglot text communication and processing. Able to generate multilingual code sets, the I/O system clearly demonstrates that code sets should be selected by applications which have purposes beyond selecting one element from a localization set. Functionality and functions related to text manipulation in an operating system (OS) must also be determined by such applications.
   A subset of this I/O system was implemented in the X window system as a basic use of X11R5 I/O by supplying basic code set generation and string manipulation to eliminate OS interference. To ensure polyglot string manipulation, the I/O system must clearly be implemented separately from an OS and its limitations.
Keywords: Computer-communication networks, Distributed systems, Distributed applications, Operating systems, Communications management, Input/output, Computer graphics, Graphic systems, Distributed / network graphic, Text processing, Document preparation, Language and systems, Design, Standardization, Internationalization, Input method, Input/output, Linguistics, Localization, Multilingual, Multiwindow, Output method, X window systems