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UAHCI 2009: 5th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, Part III: Applications and Services

Fullname:UAHCI 2009: 5th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, Part III: Applications and Services
Note:Volume 7 of HCI International 2009
Editors:Constantine Stephanidis
Location:San Diego, California
Dates:2009-Jul-19 to 2009-Jul-24
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5616
Standard No:ISBN: 978-3-642-02712-3 (print), 978-3-642-02713-0 (online); hcibib: UAHCI09-3
Links:Online Proceedings | Publisher Book Page
  1. UAHCI 2009-07-19 Volume 3
    1. Universal Access to Learning and Education
    2. Interaction and Navigation in Physical and Virtual Environments
    3. Universal Access to On-Line Communities, eServices and Work
    4. Language, Text, Voice, Sound, Images and Signs
    5. Universal Access to the World Wide Web

UAHCI 2009-07-19 Volume 3

Universal Access to Learning and Education

Building a Programmable Architecture for Non-visual Navigation of Mathematics: Using Rules for Guiding Presentation and Switching between Modalities BIBAKFull-Text 3-13
  Iyad Abu Doush; Enrico Pontelli
This paper presents a new implementation framework for exploring different non-visual modalities of presentation and navigation of mathematical content. The objective is to create a framework to facilitate the investigation of different presentation modalities, and to sustain the development of solutions that could fit a broad range of visual disabilities. The increased flexibility and the ability to customize the presentation scheme have the potential to provide a better fit for the needs of the user and enhance accessibility of complex mathematical content. The proposed approach relies on two principles. The first principle is a separation of concerns: instead of freezing the modality of presentation in the navigation system, we introduce the notion of rendering rule. The second feature of the proposed navigation system is the ability to switch on demand between interactive navigation and prosody-based presentation. This work is implemented as an extension to the Firefox web browser. New functionalities for reading MathML contents in a web page are added to the open source screen reader FireVox.
Keywords: Rule-based Systems; Math Accessibility; Prosody; Navigation
Mixing Content and Endless Collaboration -- MashUps: Towards Future Personal Learning Environments BIBAKFull-Text 14-23
  Andreas Auinger; Martin Ebner; Dietmar Nedbal; Andreas Holzinger
The recent movement by major Web services towards making many application programming interfaces (APIs) available for public use has led to the development of the new MashUp technology, a method of merging content, services and applications from multiple web sites. The new technology is now being successfully applied in the academic community to enrich and improve learning and teaching applications. This paper examines its implementation and use, discusses methods and styles of usage and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of client and server application, based on related work and recent experiences gathered with a large university-wide open learning management system (WBT-Master/TeachCenter of Graz University of Technology), which allows lecturers to use diverse web resources.
Keywords: mashups; personal learning environments; learning content; collaboration
When You Can't Read It, Listen to It! An Audio-Visual Interface for Book Reading BIBAKFull-Text 24-33
  Carlos Duarte; Luís Carriço
This paper presents a prototype of a mobile Digital Talking Book player, which, by combining visual and non-visual means of interaction, strives to achieve universal accessibility. Details on the non-visual aspects of the interaction, both input and output, are provided. To assess the validity of the proposed solutions, an experiment evaluates the non-visual operation of the prototype. Results show users can complete the same tasks with visual and non-visual interaction. However, some limitations are identified, and the observations prompt a discussion on how the use of multimodal interfaces can improve their accessibility and usability.
Keywords: Universal Access; Multimodal Interfaces; Non-visual interaction; Digital Talking Books
A Study on the Compatibility of Ubiquitous Learning (u-Learning) Systems at University Level BIBAKFull-Text 34-43
  Martin Ebner; Christian Stickel; Nick Scerbakov; Andreas Holzinger
Graz University of Technology has a long tradition in the design, development and research of university wide Learning Management Systems (LMS). Inspired by the iPhone Style, the available system has now been extended by the addition of a mobile viewer, which grants the student mobile accessibility to all available online content. In this paper, we report on the lessons learned within a study on user experience with this specially designed LMS mobile viewer. The User Experience (UX) was measured by application of a 26 item questionnaire including the six factors Attractiveness, Perspicuity, Efficiency, Dependability, Stimulation and Novelty, according to Laugwitz et al. (2008). The results showed high rates of acceptance, although the novelty of our approach received a surprisingly low rating amongst the novice end users.
Keywords: Mobile Usability; User experience (UX); u-Learning; Factor analysis
Intuitive E-Teaching by Using Combined HCI Devices: Experiences with Wiimote Applications BIBAKFull-Text 44-52
  Andreas Holzinger; Selver Softic; Christian Stickel; Martin Ebner; Matjaz Debevc
The wide availability of game based technologies and sophisticated e-Learning possibilities creates new demands and challenges on Human-Computer Interaction and Usability Engineering (HCI&UE). Solid research in HCI must support improvement in learning ability and creativity for both teachers and students. According to recent market surveys the Wii remote controller or Wiimote is currently more wide spread than standard Tablet PCs and is the most used computer input device worldwide. As a collection of many sensors, also including Bluetooth technology, accelerometers and IR sensors, Wiimote is of great interest for HCI experiments, especially in the area of e-Learning and e-Teaching. In this paper, we present results gained from the investigation of the potential of Wiimote as both a standard input device -- such as mouse or presenter -- and as a gesture and finger tracking sensor. We demonstrate, on the basis of examples from e-Teaching, how easily everyday gestures can be interpreted in regular computer applications utilizing Wiimote's hardware modules and some additional software modules.
Keywords: Wii; Wiimote; finger tracking; gestures; usability; e-Learning
Assistive Tool for Collaborative Learning of Conceptual Structures BIBAKFull-Text 53-62
  Lauri Lahti
There is a demand for computational methods assisting learners to generate relevant associations for current context. Many concepts in natural language have ambiguous meanings implying alternative ways to define associations for them. It is crucial to develop collaborative methods that support free experiments with promising conceptual structures in learning. Methods for evaluating these structures in respect to the person's needs are also required. We propose a new collaborative ideation scheme and based on that we have implemented an assistive tool for learning conceptual structures in a collaborative Web environment.
Keywords: online learning; collaboration; concept map; competing values framework
Influence of Students' Motivation on Their Experience with E-Learning Systems: An Experimental Study BIBAKFull-Text 63-72
  Rosa Lanzilotti; Francesca Montinaro; Carmelo Ardito
The use of information technologies to support learning is an important study area for both teaching experts and HCI researchers aiming to produce efficacious e-learning systems allowing teachers, tutors and students to carry out their activities in a satisfactory and enjoyable manner. The system the user will interact with must therefore be designed not only on the basis of the classic usability principles but also of those aspects that affect the overall user experience. Aim of the present study is to see how individual characteristics of cognitive and above all motivational type affect learning while using an e-learning system, and to assess their impact on the overall e-learning user experience.
Keywords: E-learning systems; motivation; user experience; evaluation study
Automatically Structuring Text for Audio Learning BIBAKFull-Text 73-82
  Barbara Leporini; Maria Claudia Buzzi; Marina Buzzi; Giulio Mori
In recent years podcasting has been in great demand as a recreation and a learning tool. In this paper we describe the design and implementation of a system for automatically converting documents to structured audio. Our prototype is a Web-based service for preparing structured audio material to download on portable mp3 players. The on-line service is especially designed to aid users with special needs, such as the visually impaired. Ultimately, this would enhance comprehension for all.
Keywords: Podcasting; e-Learning; blind; mp3 files; document converting
SeMap: A Concept for the Visualization of Semantics as Maps BIBAKFull-Text 83-91
  Kawa Nazemi; Matthias Breyer; Christoph Hornung
The enhancement of the individual knowledge is a basic need that came up with changes in our society, whereas the process of learning disappears more and more. In the recent past the disappearance of a predefined learning process was named ambient learning, which came up to cope the changing need of every time and everywhere learning. Learning contents get more structure by new technologies like semantics, which specifies and defines more the semantic structure and with it the meaning of information. Users working with information system are confronted with different processes for getting the required information. The following paper introduces a new visualization technique, which uses the everyday processes of information search for imparting knowledge. The visualization technique utilizes the surplus of semantics to encourage the process of ambient learning.
Keywords: semantic visualization; ambient learning; treemap; treeview
Interactive Game Based Learning: Advantages and Disadvantages BIBAKFull-Text 92-101
  Margit Pohl; Markus Rester; Peter Judmaier
Interactive Game-Based Learning might be used to raise the awareness of students concerning questions of sustainability. Sustainability is a very complex topic. By interacting with a simulation game, students can get a more detailed and holistic conception of how sustainability can be achieved in everyday purchasing situations. The SuLi (Sustainable Living) game was developed to achieve this goal. In an evaluation study we found evidence that SuLi is an interesting alternative to more traditional approaches to learning. Nevertheless, there are still many open questions, as, e.g., whether one should combine simulation games with other forms of teaching and learning or how to design simulation games so that students really acquire detailed concepts of the domain.
Keywords: Game Based Learning; Evaluation; Ecodesign; Life Cycle Thinking
Content Personalization for Inclusive Education through Model-Driven Engineering BIBAFull-Text 102-109
  Christopher Power; Richard F. Paige
Content personalization of e-learning resources has the opportunity to encourage self-directed learning and collaborative activities between students with varying cultures and backgrounds. In the case of students with disabilities, it also has the potential to provide equality of access to learning resources that can be presented in formats that are compatible with a student's needs and preferences. In this paper, a framework is presented for doing this type of content personalization for students with disabilities using Model-Driven Engineering tools and techniques.
How Should I Read This Word?: The Influence of Vowelization in a Deep Language Orthography on Online Text Comprehension BIBAFull-Text 110-119
  Karen Precel; Ronit Webman; Yoram Eshet; Batsheva Engelberg-Behr
This study examined whether online text vowelization of words in context facilitates reading in Hebrew, which is a deep orthography language. The study compared the effect of vowelization on reading among native and non-native Hebrew speakers. In Study 1, 44 participants performed a self-paced reading -- cumulative presentation task [9], that includes a 2 (voweled/non-voweled) X 2 (frequent/non-frequent) X 2 (homographs/unambiguous words) X 2 (location of words: beginning or middle/end of sentence) design. Study 2 was conducted in order to deal with some of the methodological problems in study 1. Eighty-six participants performed the same task. Results indicated that vowelization does not facilitate reaction times of homographs for both Hebrew and non-Hebrew speakers. The results are discussed in relation to previous studies and the participants' characteristics.
A Contextualised Model for Accessible E-Learning in Higher Education: Understanding the Students' Perspective BIBAFull-Text 120-129
  Jane Seale
In this paper a contextualised model of accessible e-learning practice in higher education is proposed that takes into account three key factors: all the stakeholders of accessibility within a higher education institution; the context in which these stakeholders have to operate: drivers and mediators and how the relationship between the stakeholders and the context influences the responses they make and the accessible e-learning practices that develop. In order to demonstrate the value of the contextualised model in terms of encouraging us to think about the different accessibility stakeholders and the contexts in which they are operating, an illustrative example of one of the identified stakeholders: disabled students will be provided. Data from a recent UK focused study called LEXDIS will be used to provide this illustration and evaluate the usefulness of attending to both context and mediators when thinking about designing for and promoting accessibility within universities.
A Flexible Design for Accessible Spoken Math BIBAKFull-Text 130-139
  Neil Soiffer
MathPlayer is a plug-in to Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Adobe Acrobat/Reader that renders MathML visually and converts it to textual speech strings. The version under development has a unique architecture that allows multiple styles of speech, easy internationalization/localization, and the generation of a user interface that allows user customization of the words spoken based upon external rule files. It includes many other accessibility features such as individual magnification of expressions, synchronized highlighting of text and speech, and conversion to Braille math codes.
Keywords: Print Disabilities; Visual Impairments; Accessibility; MathML
Setting Up a Cross-Disciplinary Design Space for E-Learning Application Development BIBAFull-Text 140-149
  Chris Stary
Learner-centered design of e-learning environments provides potential for improving learning processes. Its underlying paradigm, constructivism, has not been exploited and implemented fully so far. It is still difficult to transfer specific experiences and developments from one case to another. To apply effectively constructivism to e-learning, developers need a generic design space guiding them in the translation of respective principles to features for interaction. This contribution reviews relevant inputs from e-learning and learning sciences with respect to representing domain knowledge and designing interactive learning processes. For the development of e-learning environments a structured design space capturing and relating different layers of abstraction and design dimensions is proposed. Intended for users and developers, it supports the generation and transformation of constructivist design elements to implementation components. In particular, it allows tracing and pro-active reflection for various target groups, as it can be accessed from both, a conceptual, and an implementation-oriented perspective.
Towards Intelligent Interaction in Classroom BIBAFull-Text 150-156
  Pengfei Xu; Guanghui Han; Wen Li; Zhongke Wu; Mingquan Zhou
In classroom environments, complex and valuable communication takes place. To augment and record these communications effectively, various computer-based systems were deigned in the past decade. In fact, with advancements of multimedia technology and interaction technologies, research in this field has already brought some of these systems into regular usage. The main contribution of this paper is to give an overview of the human-computer interaction technologies and approaches used in intelligent classroom systems. Current challenges in intelligent interaction in classroom are also discussed. Improving these interaction techniques has a significant effect on the overall system performance and user experience.
Haptic Science Learning System for Students with Visual Impairments: A Preliminary Study BIBAKFull-Text 157-166
  Takehiko Yamaguchi; Steven L. Johnson; Hyung Nam Kim; Yueqing Li; Chang Soo Nam; Tonya L. Smith-Jackson
This paper assesses the usability of developed haptic interface features to support future development of haptically enhanced science learning applications for students with visual impairments. Of the features developed and evaluated, three features are described in this study: Haptic Boundary, Menu Selection, and Object Recognition. Two focus groups participated in an interview and usability session. Results from this study give insight to the needs of the visually impaired community in regard to haptic applications.
Keywords: Haptic Virtual Environment; Science Learning; Universal Design; Assistive Technology
Building Problem Spaces for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students' Spatial Cognition in a Programming Language BIBAKFull-Text 167-175
  Nobuhito Yamamoto; Tomoyuki Nishioka; Syoko Shiroma
It has been published that the mental faculty for handling languages influences the development of spatial cognition ability for deaf and hard of hearing students. To make measurements for their ability and extract the features, various kinds of methods that decrease the language effects have been tried. In this article, an experimental method is described that uses a programming language. The communication method using the simple language and the graphical interface may give us a convenient way for students' understanding questions and expressing their ideas. The software tool used in the research, Hyperlogo and its graphical interface, is described in the first half section. And then the experiments to which the tool is applied are shown.
Keywords: Spatial Cognition; Hyperlogo; Deaf and Hard of hearing; Communication tool; Programming Languages; Turtle graphics

Interaction and Navigation in Physical and Virtual Environments

"Where Did I Put That?" -- Effectiveness of Kinesthetic Memory in Immersive Virtual Environments BIBAKFull-Text 179-188
  Achim Ebert; Matthias Deller; Daniel Steffen; Matthias Heintz
Kinesthetic memory is an essential factor in human interaction with the outside world. It helps adept keyboard users to type rapidly and hit the keys without having to look at them. It enables musicians to play their instruments without consciously having to think about the necessary movements. And it can help people to find things again, based on the location where they put them. The benefits of kinesthetic memory in the physical world are well known and well used for training or in physical therapy. Yet little effort has been made to examine the effects of kinesthetic memory in a virtual environment. In our paper, we present a user study designed to explore the intensity of kinesthetic memory while interacting with a large screen immersive environment. This could be used to improve the usability and effectiveness of user interfaces for such environments.
Keywords: Kinesthetic memory; Virtual environments; Usability
Study on Motivation in Healthcare Treatment Using a Networked Healthcare Guidance System BIBAKFull-Text 189-196
  Kaori Fujimura; Masahiro Shiraishi; Kenji Ogura; Yuji Maeda
To support the continuing effort towards improving healthcare, we have developed a computer system that enables patients and healthcare counselors to access data such as weight and the number of steps walked, which is uploaded by patients allowing counselors to advise patients based on their patients' healthcare records using a video phone. A six-month trial was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the system. From the daily-uploaded data, 70% of the patients continued to upload their data until the end of the trial. According to the results of the questionnaire, half of the patients underwent a behavioral change based on the Transtheoretical Model [1]. We found that having a clear goal, checking data daily, and continuous support provided by healthcare counselors motivate patients to continue a particular regimen.
Keywords: behavior modification; healthcare guidance; IT; network
Navigation Support for the Walking Wounded BIBAKFull-Text 197-206
  Lucy T. Gunawan; Augustinus H. J. Oomes; Zhenke Yang
We aim at designing an effective evacuation support system for disaster response, specifically tailored to aid the walking wounded, a significant group of victims suffering from relatively minor injuries. Supplying walking wounded victims with a simple navigation aid enables them to arrive at a predetermined safe area, while allowing first responders to be allocated where they are most needed. This, we believe, may lead to a more efficient evacuation process. In this paper, we describe a user-centered iterative design process of the navigation aid for the walking wounded. The paper outlines the project from the design phase, through the development and evaluation phases. We find that pedestrian navigation by the sole use of an arrow-pointing device is possible. Additional functionality may enhance the user's confidence and efficiency.
Keywords: user-centered design; navigation; walking wounded; prototyping; evacuation; disaster response
Process and Location-Aware Information Service System for the Disabled and the Elderly BIBAKFull-Text 207-215
  Manchul Han; Gunhee Kim; Se Hyung Park; Laehyun Kim; Sungdo Ha
This paper presents a context-aware information service system for people with disabilities and for older adults. The system guides users who have difficulties in performing complicated tasks or finding paths at public places such as hospitals or government offices. The system is composed of sensor networks and a local information system which work together to gather the location and the process information, a user device which directly provides guidance to the user, and an information service server which understands the user context and provides guide contents.
Keywords: context-awareness; context model; human-computer interaction; system framework; mobility
The Influence of Cognitive and Personality Characteristics on User Navigation: An Empirical Study BIBAKFull-Text 216-225
  Nikola Marangunic; Andrina Granic
An empirical study aiming to investigate the influence of cognitive and personality characteristics on user web navigation is presented in this paper. Individual cognitive abilities and personality dimensions were identified and validated, and expected correlations with results of objective variables were postulated. Effectiveness, efficiency and orientation within a web site were the measured objective variables. Measures of spatial ability and extraversion were correlated with objective accomplishment measures and orientation. A high statistically significant correlation was found between spatial ability measure and orientation measure. Conversely, no other correlations were supported. Future work will be significantly improved by employing new variables, measures and instruments, especially for user personality dimensions.
Keywords: spatial ability; extraversion; user navigation; orientation; empirical study
A Modality Replacement Framework for the Communication between Blind and Hearing Impaired People BIBAKFull-Text 226-235
  Konstantinos Moustakas; Dimitrios Tzovaras; Laila Dybkjær; Niels Ole Bernsen
This paper presents a multimodal framework for the communication between blind and hearing impaired people. The algorithms that are developed are based on the concept of modality replacement, which is the use of information originating from various modalities to compensate for the missing input modality of the system or the users. Spatial information is conveyed in the blind user's terminal through the haptic modality utilizing an efficient haptic rendering scheme, while verbal information is presented in the hearing impaired user's terminal through sign language synthesis. All technologies are integrated in a virtual treasure hunting game, where a blind and a hearing impaired user have to collaborate so as to navigate in the virtual environment and solve the riddle of the game. Usability evaluation of this framework has shown significant impact of the proposed system for the disabled users.
Keywords: Modality replacement; multimodal interfaces; haptics; sign language; virtual reality
Indoor Position and Orientation for the Blind BIBAKFull-Text 236-245
  Mauricio Sáenz; Jaime Sánchez
This work proposes the study and design of mobile interfaces to identify the position and orientation of blind people in closed environments. Through this development we seek to reach a consensus on the use of a certain technology that would allow for the identification of the position and orientation of people within a closed space (such as a school or home) with the necessary infrastructure. A focus group was held in order to identify the users' problems with the navigation. In addition we made initial and final usability tests. The results of the usability evaluation showed that the interface designed was highly usable for blind users and that the technology designed worked to improve the indoor navigation of blind people.
Keywords: blind navigation; indoor navigation; orientation and mobility
3D Virtual Environments for the Rehabilitation of the Blind BIBAFull-Text 246-255
  Julio Villane; Jaime Sánchez
The accretion of orientation and mobility skills in blind people is fundamental for the development of an independent life. To these ends, activities oriented towards reinforcing this line of knowledge require direct interactions with spaces in real places, and the assistance of an educator or a companion as well. The objective of this study was to design, implement and evaluate 3D virtual environments in order to evaluate orientation and mobility learning in an unfamiliar environment based on the use of such environments. The procedure was provided by a learning stage in which the user learned to move about in the virtual environments, followed by an interaction stage in which he/she traveled virtually through the environments, to then travel the virtual environments that had been navigated virtually in the real world. To simulate the virtual surroundings, Unreal Engine was used, which is a gaming engine that allows for the construction of scenarios through a graphic editor. The results obtained show that the users were able to run the established route without any difficulties, for which reason it can be established that it is possible to produce mental models of real places through virtual interactions guided only by auditory cues.
Non-complete Topological Analysis in Image-Based 3D Building Reconstruction BIBAKFull-Text 256-261
  Yu Wang; Xin Zheng
3D reconstruction from single view is a very difficult problem in computer vision and computer graphics. Much different from method using presently, we proposed a feasible and efficient method of 3D building reconstruction method by using non-complete topological analysis in this paper, which rapidly achieves the process of recognizing architectures based one or two images. Firstly, the outline of visible parts of architectures is extracted from image and is analyzed to get the incomplete topology of architectures. Next, the resulted topology will be divided into different primitive geometries, and these geometries are used to match models in databases finally. Experiments show that our method has better effectiveness and feasibility.
Keywords: non-complete topology analysis; 3D reconstruction; weighted recognition algorithm
Identifying Proper Scales on Digital Maps for In-Vehicle Navigation Systems BIBAKFull-Text 262-270
  Anna Wu; Xiaolong Zhang
Current commercial mobile navigation systems often use a pre-determined scale selection schema without considering differences in spatial complexity of locations. To identify what map scales people may need and what spatial features make relevant maps stand out, we conducted an experiment on subjective map selection in a route planning task between two cities in the United States. Our results suggest that the distribution of selected maps is fairly concentrated on those maps that contain spatial information about both the origin and the destination, the current location and the destination, and the transition between different important roads in a route. These results suggest that the choice of map scales should not follow a preset scale rule for diverse locations, and instead, it should be adaptive to the complexity of local roads and decision-making processes.
Keywords: Map scale; mobile interface design
A Hardware Accelerated Algorithm for Terrain Visualization BIBAKFull-Text 271-280
  Mao-Jin Xie; Wei-Qun Cao
In recent years, rapid development of graphics hardware technology made it possible to render a large scale model in real-time. In this paper, we present a hardware accelerated algorithm for large scale terrain model visualization based on the ROAM (Real-time Optimally Adaptive Meshes) algorithm to create LOD models. GPU programming is therefore employed to calculate the vertices' transform, normal vector, texture coordinate, texture sampling and fragment lighting, and to accomplish terrain rendering. Experimental results indicate that the presented algorithm works efficiently for real-time roaming of large scale terrain.
Keywords: GPU Programming; Terrain Visualization; ROAM
Robust Pose Estimation for Outdoor Mixed Reality with Sensor Fusion BIBAFull-Text 281-289
  Steven Zhiying Zhou; Jayashree Karlekar; Daniel Hii; Miriam Schneider; Weiquan Lu; Stephen Wittkopf
We present a sensor fusion based technique for outdoor augmented reality system for mobile devices using GPS, gyroscope, and geo-referenced 3D models of the urban environment. Geo-spatial interaction not only provides overlays of the existing environment but compliments with other data such as location-specific photos, videos and other information from different time periods enhancing the overall user experience of augmented reality. To provide robust pose estimation of the camera relative to the world coordinates, firstly, GPS and gyroscope are used to obtain the rough estimation. Secondly, model based silhouette tracking and sensor fusion approach is used to refine the rough estimation and to provide seamless media rich augmentation of 3D textured models.

Universal Access to On-Line Communities, eServices and Work

Effects of Multimodal Feedback on the Usability of Mobile Diet Diary for Older Adults BIBAKFull-Text 293-302
  Miroslav Bojic; Olivier A. Blanson Henkemans; Mark A. Neerincx; Charles van der Mast; Jasper Lindenberg
Globally, overweight is an increasing problem and this especially the case for older adults, facing physical challenges and who need to maintain a healthy diet. eHealth services, such as a digital diet diary could support them. Consequently, we designed a multimodal mobile diet diary supporting interaction through text, graphics and speech. The diary, which gave personalized advice about maintaining a healthy diet based on meals entries, was evaluated with 32 older adults in a Smart Home Lab through use of scenarios. Results indicate that participants' satisfaction was highest when the feedback was provided through text and graphics. We found no effect on the effectiveness and efficiency. Additionally, spatial ability, computer experience and age explained variance in the evaluation of the diary. Our findings show that a multimodal mobile diet diary can support older adults maintaining a healthy diet and give insights on designing usable mobile interfaces for older adults.
Keywords: older adults; multimodal feedback; multimodal interaction; usability; diet diary; diet knowledge; eHealth; self-care; mobile devices; PDA
Social Practice: Becoming Enculturated in Human-Computer Interaction BIBAKFull-Text 303-313
  Justine Cassell
We present a new approach to the design, development and evaluation of embodied conversational agents (ECAs) that allows them to index identity through culturally and socially authentic verbal and non-verbal behaviors. This approach is illustrated with research we are carrying out with children who speak several dialects of American English, and the subsequent implementation and first evaluation of a virtual peer based on that research. Results suggest that issues of identity in ECAs are more complicated than previous approaches might suggest, and that ECAs themselves may play a role in understanding issues of identity and language use in ways that have promise for educational applications.
Keywords: Virtual Peers; Embodied Conversational Agents; Culture; Ethnicity
Impact of Gaze Analysis on the Design of a Caption Production Software BIBAKFull-Text 314-323
  Claude Chapdelaine; Samuel Foucher; Langis Gagnon
Producing caption for the deaf and hearing impaired is a labor intensive task. We implemented a software tool, named SmartCaption, for assisting the caption production process using automatic visual detection techniques aimed at reducing the production workload. This paper presents the results of an eye-tracking analysis made on facial regions of interest to understand the nature of the task, not only to measure of the quantity of data but also to assess its importance to the end-user; the viewer. We also report on two interaction design approaches that were implemented and tested to cope with the inevitable outcomes of automatic detection such as false recognitions and false alarms. These approaches were compared with a Keystoke-Level Model (KLM) showing that the adopted approach allowed a gain of 43% in efficiency.
Keywords: Caption production; eye-tracking analysis; facial recognition; Keystoke-Level Model (KLM)
Everyone Counts: Voting Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 324-332
  E. Vincent, II Cross; Shaneé Dawkins; Jerome McClendon; Tony Sullivan; Gregory Rogers; Arit Erete; Juan E. Gilbert
There are approximately 37.5 million disabled Americans of voting age. Current voting technologies have failed to provide Americans with disabilities a voting system that allows them to vote without assistance. Through the use of natural interaction a voting system called Prime III provides a secure and usable voting system for all voters regardless of ability. Prime III was recently tested at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in which a number of Americans with various disabilities had the opportunity to vote. Participants were tasked with casting their vote using Prime III. The results of this study showed that Prime III allowed voters who where blind, and/or hearing impaired the ability to cast their vote without any additional assistance. The participants noted that Prime III was easy to use and trusted the system to successfully cast their vote.
Keywords: E-Voting; Universal Access; Multi-modal Interfaces
A Study on the Consumers' Brand Cognition and Design Strategy by ZMET BIBAKFull-Text 333-342
  Chen-hao Fan
The research used Means-End Chain as theory basis to combine the consumers' inclinations sense to form the chain-relation as "attributes-result-value", using a new Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique to analyze the high involvement people thoughts and feelings to find out about the consumer's profound concept. Personal interview data was examined in the application of qualitative analysis of Laddering Technique and content analysis method, so as to explore the hierarchical relations of customers' cognitive value, and to build up their mental map and hierarchical value map (HVM). Based on the collected HVM elicited from the study, it has shown that the consumers' ultimate values through 73 components are "pleasure", "commoditization", "agelong power", "free and easy", "exhilaration", "experience of Japanesque life", "progress in personal sense. he results of the research help designer understand precisely the detailed product in accordance' deep thoughts, as well as the factors that affect customers' buying behavior.
Keywords: ZMET (Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique); Brand Values; Consumers' Inclinations
The WORKPAD User Interface and Methodology: Developing Smart and Effective Mobile Applications for Emergency Operators BIBAKFull-Text 343-352
  Shah Rukh Humayoun; Tiziana Catarci; Massimiliano de Leoni; Andrea Marrella; Massimo Mecella; Manfred Bortenschlager; Renate Steinmann
In complex emergency/disaster scenarios, teams from various emergency-response organizations collaborate in order to achieve a common goal. The use of smart mobile devices and applications in these scenarios can improve this collaboration dynamically; and poses interesting challenges, such as user' mental attention, small screen size, unavailability of reliable network, reduced power, and battery consumption. So, to design and develop interactive applications to be used in mobile and pervasive scenarios requires novel methodologies which combine user-centred design approaches and software engineering approaches tailed for distributed architectures. In this paper, we outline the methodology, adopted successfully in the European WORKPAD project, and describe the work done from getting the requirements to developing the interface of the desired system.
Keywords: Emergency Scenarios; Mobile Systems; User Interface; User-Centred Design; Requirement Collection
On-Line Communication Interface Design for Visually Impaired Users BIBAKFull-Text 353-358
  Sheue-Ling Hwang; Che-Wei Chang
The visually impaired users encounter difficulties in acquiring information via image transmission, and then some misunderstandings might occur. In this study, recommendation of user interface layout is proposed. And a communication condition for on-line meeting with auditory interface is designed to give visually impaired users indication of speakers' identification. An experiment was conducted to evaluate how an on-line meeting was affected by the numbers of participants.
Keywords: Visually impaired users; auditory interface; on-line meeting; FSM-GOMS
Accessing Positive and Negative Online Opinions BIBAKFull-Text 359-368
  Hanhoon Kang; Seong Joon Yoo; Dongil Han
Nowadays, an increasing number of people review the comments on each item before they will purchase the commodities and services offered by online shopping malls, Internet blogs, or cafés. However, it is somewhat challenging to routinely read trough all of the comments. The purpose of this study is to introduce some methods to classify the positive or negative review pertaining to the blog comments on a movie written in Korean. For this purpose, a variety of algorithms was used to classify the reviews and allow feature-selection by applying the traditional machine learning method for classifying literature.
Keywords: opinion mining; machine learning; text categorization
Web 3D Challenges on the Socialization and Integration of People with Activity Limitations BIBAKFull-Text 369-374
  Yiannis Laouris
The Web 3D presents theoretical possibilities to render many physical and mental disabilities disappear. It allows users to do things they may not be able to do in the real world. This paper examines the requirements regarding accessibility and discusses the impact that 3D worlds could have on the socialization and integration of people with special needs.
Keywords: Web 3D; Accessibility; Second Life; haptic devices; socialization
"Art-sonomy": Social Bookmarking of Real Artworks via Mobile Applications with Visual Tags BIBAKFull-Text 375-384
  Stefano Levialdi Ghiron; Carlo Maria Medaglia; Amedeo Perrone
Tag-based indexing systems allow users to name web resources freely choosing keywords, called tags. Users (observers) may browse resources using a tag-cloud, a screen presentation that looks like an alphabetically ordered list of the most popular tags, visually weighted by font size. This project called Artsonomy, enables users to associate keywords (tags) to real artworks (for ex. in a museum) labeled with a QR Code by means of an application on a mobile device. The user's tags are collected in a tag-cloud on the Artsonomy website so enabling other observers to share their experience after viewing an artwork.
Keywords: Social bookmarking; QR Codes; Mobile; Artworks; Visual Tagging; Folksonomy
Interactive Accessible Notifications for Emergency Notification Systems BIBAKFull-Text 385-394
  Alessio Malizia; Teresa Onorati; Andrea Bellucci; Paloma Díaz; Ignacio Aedo
Notifications are critical when an emergency scenario is going to happen (e.g. a hurricane approaching); so the ability to transmit notifications to different kind of users is a crucial feature for Emergency Management Systems. In this work an ontology was developed by investigating different sources: accessibility guidelines, emergency response systems, communication devices and technologies, taking into account the different abilities of people to react to different alarms (e.g. mobile phone vibration as an alarm for deaf blind people). The knowledge codified in the proposed ontology could be used to enhance and promote the use of non-conventional interfaces for notifying emergency messages thus providing accessibility under different conditions and for different kind of users.
Keywords: Accessibility; Eye-tracking; Universal Design; Non-conventional interfaces; Emergency Notification Systems (ENS)
Users Can Do Better with PDAs Than Paper: A Usability Study of PDA-Based vs. Paper-Based Nursing Documentation Systems BIBAKFull-Text 395-403
  Néstor J. Rodríguez; José A. Borges; Gilberto Crespo; Carlos Pérez; Carlos Martinez; Celia R. Colón-Rivera; Aixa Ardín
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are a viable technology for providing access to Electronic Medical Records at the point-of-care. However, acceptance of this technology by clinicians will depend on how easy they can make the transition from the system they normally use to a PDA-based system. Since many hospitals are still using paper-based patient record systems this study intends to provide some insight on the aspects that need to be considered in the transition from a paper-based system to a PDA-based system. The study compares the interaction of nurses with PDA-based and paper-based nursing documentation systems in terms of performance and subjective satisfaction. Twenty staff nurses from a metropolitan hospital performed twelve tasks on each system. The study supports the conclusion that a PDA-based nursing documentation system can be superior to a paper-based system in term of performance for tasks that don't required writing notes. Nurses were significantly more satisfied with the PDA-based system than with the paper-based system with every interaction and system aspect evaluated on the study. In general the results of the study provide hard evidence to predict an easy transition for nurses from a paper-based system to a PDA-based system nursing documentation system.
Keywords: mobile devices; PDAs; usability; medical informatics
Groupware Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 404-413
  John G. Schoeberlein; Yuanqiong (Kathy) Wang
The accessibility issues of Groupware applications prevent visually impaired and other persons with disabilities access to these highly graphical interfaces. To address the accessibility issues persons with disabilities have with Groupware, a recent literature review on Groupware accessibility was performed. This paper reviews recent research to identify the accessibility issues; the input devices and output forms utilized to improve accessibility; and, the proposed solutions for Groupware accessibility. The conclusion is that encapsulating or overlaying the Groupware interface with an accessible auditory interface was a common solution to accessibility. Future research is needed in the following areas: guidelines for accessibility; identifying accessibility issues that users with disabilities may face; promoting awareness of the accessibility issues; evaluating groupware accessibility; design of accessible auditory interfaces; system/software support for persons with disabilities working in isolation; support for alternative input and output devices for persons with disabilities.
Keywords: CSCW; Groupware; accessibility; blind; visually impaired; dyslexia; user Interface; assistive technology
Evaluating Groupware Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 414-423
  John G. Schoeberlein; Yuanqiong (Kathy) Wang
Accessibility has been one of the biggest problems that people with disabilities face in the work place, due to today's rapid change in computer technology. This paper presents the evaluation of several console-based and web-based groupware applications including Outlook, AIM, Google Blog, and Group System's ThinkTank in terms of their accessibility. These applications were evaluated for accessibility based on various characteristics of the applications such as accessible front-end, hierarchy or list structures, input support, output support; screen reader adaptability; and keyboard access. Additionally, web-based groupware applications were evaluated using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and U.S. Government's Section 508 guidelines. Fujitsu's Web Accessibility Inspector tool was also utilized to help evaluate the web-based applications. It is found that groupware applications have very limited accessibility through the support of keyboard access. Additional audio support and flattened hierarchies should be considered, to enable some persons with disabilities easy access to groupware applications. Future research should include persons with disabilities in evaluating groupware applications, to determine preferences. Since many groupware applications provide Application Program Interfaces (API), custom front-ends should be developed to include audio content and to flatten hierarchies and lists.
Keywords: CSCW; Groupware; accessibility; blind; visually impaired; dyslexia; user Interface; and assistive technology
Enhancing the Creativity Process by Adding Context Awareness in Creativity Support Tools BIBAKFull-Text 424-433
  George A. Sielis; Aimilia Tzanavari; George A. Papadopoulos
The existence of creativity support tools establishes creativity as part of the Computer Science research. Therefore, the development of computational methods for the enhancement of creativity is undoubtedly a challenge. In this paper we argue that adding context awareness in creativity support tools will enhance the creativity process. This belief is based on the evaluation of a number of the most popular creativity support tools in relation to the features and characteristics they support. In this review, we examine the characteristics related to the interaction between the user and the creativity support tools in two phases: the 'preparation' of creativity process and the 'ideation' phase. Through this analysis we observe that the tools in most cases play a passive role. Real time Human-Computer interaction is missing, and therefore the creativity process is not as effective as it could and should be. Finally, we conclude that the addition of context awareness in creativity support tools can enhance the creativity process and innovation.
Keywords: creativity; innovation; learning; context awareness; creativity support tools
Models of Culture for Virtual Human Conversation BIBAKFull-Text 434-440
  David R. Traum
In this paper, we survey different types of Models of culture for virtual humans. Virtual humans are artificial agents that include both a visual human-like body and intelligent cognition driving action of the body. Culture covers a wide range of common knowledge of behavior and communication that can be used in a number of ways including interpreting the meaning of action, establishing identity, expressing meaning, and inference about the performer. We look at several examples of existing cultural models and point out remaining steps for a more full model of culture.
Keywords: Virtual Humans; Cultural Models
Generations in the Workplace: An Exploratory Study with Administrative Assistants BIBAKFull-Text 441-450
  Lisa M. Vizer; Vicki L. Hanson
To better support older adults in the workplace, this study examines the strategies workers employ to learn software and complete tasks. The purpose of the overall research project is to understand how to help older workers adapt to and remain productive in the workplace. This knowledge may inform the design and development of training modules and software extensions to accommodate the needs of workers as they age. This paper describes an exploratory study in which administrative assistants at an industrial research facility were interviewed and surveyed about their work practices, preferences, and attitudes. The data revealed a high level of communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among the assistants. Possibilities for future research are inclusion of workers at other companies and in other jobs, examination of the motivations and attitudes surrounding work behavior, and development of design guidelines for software tools.
Keywords: workplace; generations; collaboration
The Role of Intermediaries in the Development of Asynchronous Rural Access BIBAKFull-Text 451-459
  Jerry Watkins; Jo Tacchi; M. S. Kiran
In Orissa state, India, the DakNet system supports asynchronous Internet communication between an urban hub and rural nodes. DakNet is noteworthy in many respects, not least in how the system leverages existing transport infrastructure. Wi-Fi transceivers mounted on local buses send and receive user data from roadside kiosks, for later transfer to/from the Internet via wireless protocols. This store-and-forward system allows DakNet to offer asynchronous communication capacity to rural users at low cost. The original ambition of the DakNet system was to provide email and SMS facilities to rural communities. Our 2008 study of the communicative ecology surrounding the DakNet system revealed that this ambition has now evolved -- in response to market demand -- to the extent that e-shopping (rather than email) has become the primary driver behind the DakNet offer.
Keywords: mobile services; ICT for development; human-computer interaction

Language, Text, Voice, Sound, Images and Signs

WordTree: Results of a Word Prediction System Presented Thanks to a Tree BIBAFull-Text 463-471
  Georges Badr; Mathieu Raynal
For mobility and portability reasons, written communication devices are getting smaller and physical keyboards are replaced with virtual or on-screen one (PDA, pocket pc, GPS, etc.). Text entry has become a tiring job for people (ordinary and motor disabled people) because of the low entry speed. A list of predicted words can be presented to reduce the number of clicks to complete the word. However, these techniques present a disadvantage: let's consider the situation where the word the user wants to enter is not presented in the list. He has then to continue his writing. The prediction system narrows the possibilities in order to display the wanted word. In this paper we present a novel interaction technique in which the user can select a substring of the word. The user clicks on any letter, and the substring to this letter is inserted in the text. We also present the simulated experiments to compare our system to the classical list. The results are then discussed and analyzed.
Sign Language Recognition: Working with Limited Corpora BIBAKFull-Text 472-481
  Helen Cooper; Richard Bowden
The availability of video format sign language corpora limited. This leads to a desire for techniques which do not rely on large, fully-labelled datasets. This paper covers various methods for learning sign either from small data sets or from those without ground truth labels. To avoid non-trivial tracking issues; sign detection is investigated using volumetric spatio-temporal features. Following this the advantages of recognising the component parts of sign rather than the signs themselves is demonstrated and finally the idea of using a weakly labelled data set is considered and results shown for work in this area.
Keywords: Sign Language Recognition; Volumetric Features; Weakly Supervised Learning; Data Mining
Evaluation of a Voice-Based Internet Browser with Untrained and Trained Users BIBAKFull-Text 482-491
  Klaus-Peter Engelbrecht; Craig Wootton; Ina Wechsung; Sebastian Möller
In our paper, we present evaluation results for VoiceBrowse, an interactive system allowing users to access content and services from the Internet via voice control. We compare two user groups, inexperienced and experienced computer users, regarding their performance and judgment of two versions of the system differing in the dialog initiative. Furthermore we investigate the usability of the systems after long-term usage (simulated by fifteen minutes practise). We find that even inexperienced computer users know from the beginning how to speak to the system, which contrasts assumptions in the related literature. Inexperienced uses perform as good as experienced users with both systems before and after the training. We also compare judgments of the systems before and after the training.
Keywords: web browsing; spoken dialog systems; Internet experience
Sign Language Online with Signlink Studio 2.0 BIBAKFull-Text 492-501
  Deborah I. Fels; Martin Gerdzhev; Ellen S. Hibbard; Abby Goodrum; Jan Richards; Jim Hardman; Norma Thompson
Recent advances in web technologies and services have expanded the possibility of having a truly multimedia, interactive web experience for many users. It also means that video based content is not just possible but affordable. Online video-based sign language content is now much more prolific. However, most of the interactive functions remain text-based. We describe a tool, Signlink Studio, that allows hyperlinking functionality within video content, called signlinking, sign language-based form elements, and a sign language forum and content management system. We also present three methodologies specifically oriented towards creating sign language video materials for Signlink Studio or other video-based web applications. As a result of this focus on web functionality that is culturally and linguistically relevant, we suggest that a more equitable and inclusive web will evolve.
Keywords: sign language web accessibility; inclusive web design tools and web services
Towards a Modeling Language for Designing Auditory Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 502-511
  Mexhid Ferati; Davide Bolchini; Steven Mannheimer
Auditory applications are systems that communicate content, navigation capabilities and functionality mainly via the aural channel, or via a combination of the aural and visual channels, and can support the user interaction in a multimodal fashion as well (e.g. through touch or speech). In this paper, we present the preliminary results of an exploratory research effort aimed at establishing a design modeling language for auditory applications, by extending an existing interactive application design model (IDM, Interactive Dialogue Model) used in the area of hypermedia and information-intensive applications. Our exploratory research capitalizes on previous experience in hypermedia modeling, aural information architectures, and design of auditory applications. We use an auditory application, the Acoustic Edutainment Interface (AEDIN), as a real case study to inform and exemplify the use of the modeling language.
Keywords: Auditory Interfaces; Aural Design; Design Model; Design Language; Information Architecture; Navigation; Access Structures; Audio Feedback; User-Centered Design
Indoor Domain Model for Dialogue Systems BIBAKFull-Text 512-520
  Porfírio P. Filipe; Nuno J. Mamede
The design of spoken language applications that allow people to talk with machines/computers, in the same way that they talk with each other, is materialized as a Spoken Dialogue System (SDS). This paper presents a knowledge modeling approach to allow spontaneous configuration of SDS. Our approach focus on the representation and management of the domain knowledge that is aggregated at runtime and aims to update the dialogue management strategy. To do so, one developed an autonomous Environment Interaction Manager (EIM). When working on the indoor environment, the domain knowledge reflects the plan of the building and the SDS controllable resources. The building is modeled as a dynamic aggregation "part-whole" of controllable resources. Each resource owns and shares a semantic interface that makes available its task set manipulated by the SDS. These ideas have been applied with success in our lab, modeling the semantic interface aggregation under the semantic web vision.
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction; Spoken Dialogue System; Natural Interaction; Smart Environments; Domain Model
Using ASR for Transcription of Teleconferences in IM Systems BIBAFull-Text 521-529
  Ira R. Forman; Thomas Brunet; Paul Luther; Allen Wilson
The integration of voice transmission into instant messaging systems may be a boon for most of us, but causes a problem for others, that is, this integration will disadvantage those who are deaf and hard of hearing. This problem may be mitigated with transcription implemented with automated speech recognition (ASR). This paper describes a plug-in for IBM's Sametime instant messaging product that uses commercial ASR products to provide transcription. The user interface and the lessons learned from the wide use of the plug-in are described.
Improving Spatial Reference in American Sign Language Animation through Data Collection from Native ASL Signers BIBAKFull-Text 530-539
  Matt Huenerfauth
Many deaf adults in the U.S. have difficulty reading written English text; computer animations of American Sign Language (ASL) can improve these individuals' access to information, communication, and services. Current ASL animation technology cannot automatically generate expressions in which the signer associates locations in space with entities under discussion, nor can it generate many ASL signs whose movements are modified based on these locations. To determine how important such phenomena are to user-satisfaction and the comprehension of animations by deaf individuals, we conducted a study in which native ASL signers evaluated ASL animations with and without entity-representing spatial phenomena. We found that the inclusion of these expressions in the repertoire of ASL animation systems led to a significant improvement in user comprehension of the animations, thereby motivating future research on automatically generating such ASL spatial expressions.
Keywords: American Sign Language; animation; natural language generation; evaluation; accessibility technology for people who are deaf
An Interaction Based Approach to Document Segmentation for the Visually Impaired BIBAKFull-Text 540-549
  Robert Keefer; Dimitris Dakapoulos; Anna Esposito; Nikolaos G. Bourbakis
While reading devices for the visually impaired have been available for many years, they are often expensive and difficult to use. The image processing required to enable the reading task is a composition of several important sub-tasks, such as image capture, binarization, pyramidal representation, region segmentation, regions grouping, separation of text sentences from images, words recognition, etc. In this paper we deal with some of these sub-tasks in an effort to prototype a machine (Tyflos-reader) that will read a document for a person with a visual impairment and respond to voice commands for control. The methodology used and illustrative results are provided in this paper.
Keywords: Voice User Interface (VUI); document segmentation; reading for the visually impaired
DocEmoX: A System for the Typography-Derived Emotional Annotation of Documents BIBAKFull-Text 550-558
  Georgios Kouroupetroglou; Dimitrios Tsonos; Eugenios Vlahos
This work presents the design and implementation of the DocEmoX system for the automated typography-derived emotional extraction and annotation of printed and electronic documents. The DocEmoX system targets the Design-for-All based multimodal accessibility of documents. The methodology is based on the results derived from a number of readers' emotional state response experiments that model the mapping of any combination of typographic elements into specific analogous variations of the three emotional dimensions (Valence/Pleasure, Arousal and Potency/ Dominance) using a set of Emotional Rules. DocEmoX implements these Emotional Rules in XSL format and produces the annotated output document following the ODF standard and the W3C EmotionML recommendations.
Keywords: document accessibility; emotional text-to-speech; emotional state modeling; typography; EmotionML; ODF
Computer-Assisted Lip Reading Recognition for Hearing Impaired BIBAKFull-Text 559-568
  Yun-Long Lay; Hui-Jen Yang; Chern-Sheng Lin
Within the communication process of human beings, the speaker's facial expression and lip-shape movement contains extremely rich language information. The hearing impaired, aside from using residual listening to communicate with other people, can also use lip reading as a communication tool. As the hearing impaired learn the lip reading using a computer-assisted lip reading system, they can freely learn lip reading without the constraints of time, place or situation. Therefore, we propose a computer-assisted lip reading system (CALRS) for phonetic pronunciation recognition of the correct lip-shape with an image processing method, object-oriented language and neuro-network. This system can accurately compare the lip-image of Mandarin phonetic pronunciation using Self-Organizing Map Neuro-Network (SOMNN) and extension theory to help hearing impaired correct their pronunciation.
Keywords: hearing impaired; Self-Organizing Map Neuro-Network; extension; lip reading reorganization
Combining Color and Shape Features for Image Retrieval BIBAKFull-Text 569-576
  XiaoFu Lee; Qian Yin
This paper presents a method for extracting and combining features from image that can be used to perform effective image retrieval. First, we use a method of diamond segmentation for all images in database. Then, in HSV color space, we extract color vectors of 256 dimensions for both the segments in and out the diamond. At last, we extract shape feature from all images with the method of moment invariants. Then we compare our method with single color feature and shape feature, as well as two contrast combining methods. Experiments show that our method has better effectiveness and feasibility.
Keywords: Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR); HSV color features; moment invariants
Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP) Technologies for Sign Language Based Human-Computer Interaction BIBAKFull-Text 577-586
  Sylvie C. W. Ong; David Hsu; Wee Sun Lee; Hanna Kurniawati
Sign language (SL) recognition modules in human-computer interaction systems need to be both fast and reliable. In cases where multiple sets of features are extracted from the SL data, the recognition system can speed up processing by taking only a subset of extracted features as its input. However, this should not be realised at the expense of a drop in recognition accuracy. By training different recognizers for different subsets of features, we can formulate the problem as the task of planning the sequence of recognizer actions to apply to SL data, while accounting for the trade-off between recognition speed and accuracy. Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) provide a principled mathematical framework for such planning problems. A POMDP explicitly models the probabilities of observing various outputs from the individual recognizers and thus maintains a probability distribution (or belief) over the set of possible SL input sentences. It then computes a policy that maps every belief to an action. This allows the system to select actions in real-time during online policy execution, adapting its behaviour according to the observations encountered. We illustrate the POMDP approach with a simple sentence recognition problem and show in experiments the advantages of this approach over "fixed action" systems that do not adapt their behaviour in real-time.
Keywords: Sign language recognition; human-computer interaction; planning under uncertainty
Acoustic Rendering of Data Tables Using Earcons and Prosody for Document Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 587-596
  Dimitris Spiliotopoulos; Panagiota Stavropoulou; Georgios Kouroupetroglou
Earlier works show that using a prosody specification that is derived from natural human spoken rendition, increases the naturalness and overall acceptance of speech synthesised complex visual structures by conveying to audio certain semantic information hidden in the visual structure. However, prosody alone, although exhibits significant improvement, cannot perform adequately in the cases of very large complex data tables browsed in a linear manner. This work reports on the use of earcons and spearcons combined with prosodically enriched aural rendition of simple and complex tables. Three spoken combinations earcons+prosody, spearcons+prosody, and prosody were evaluated in order to examine how the resulting acoustic output would improve the document-to-audio semantic correlation throughput from the visual modality. The results show that the use of non-speech sounds can further improve certain qualities, such as listening effort, a crucial parameter when vocalising any complex visual structure contained in a document.
Keywords: document-to-audio; data tables; earcons; prosody; Text-to-Speech; ToBI; document accessibility
Enhancing Web Document Accessibility by Authoring Texts and Text Comprehension Activities BIBAKFull-Text 597-606
  Grammatiki Tsaganou; Maria Samarakou; Panagiotis Blitsas; Maria Grigoriadou
In this paper we discuss recent directions concerning the structural analysis of science documents and cognitive aspects of document elements aiming at document comprehension. Structural analysis of documents, according to text comprehension theory, promotes document understanding and enhances universal accessibility of documents. We outline the process of structuring science documents and activities for comprehension using the authoring tool ReTuDiSAuth. This process improves universal accessibility of document supporting authors to structure text and text activities for students with different abilities, requirements and preferences.
Keywords: Web document accessibility; structural analysis of documents; universal accessibility of documents; web authoring tools
A Similarity Measure for Vision-Based Sign Recognition BIBAKFull-Text 607-616
  Haijing Wang; Alexandra Stefan; Vassilis Athitsos
When we encounter an English word that we do not understand, we can look it up in a dictionary. However, when an American Sign Language (ASL) user encounters an unknown sign, looking up the meaning of that sign is not a straightforward process. It has been recently proposed that this problem can be addressed using a computer vision system that helps users look up the meaning of a sign. In that approach, sign lookup can be treated as a video database retrieval problem. When the user encounters an unknown sign, the user provides a video example of that sign as a query, so as to retrieve the most similar signs in the database. A necessary component of such a sign lookup system is a similarity measure for comparing sign videos. Given a query video of a specific sign, the similarity measure should assign high similarity values to videos from the same sign, and low similarity values to videos from other signs. This paper evaluates a state-of-the-art video-based similarity measure called Dynamic Space-Time Warping (DSTW) for the purposes of sign retrieval. The paper also discusses how to specifically adapt DSTW so as to tolerate differences in translation and scale.
Keywords: Gesture recognition; sign language recognition; American Sign Language; Dynamic Space-Time Warping; video databases; similarity-based retrieval

Universal Access to the World Wide Web

WCAG 2.0 Test Samples Repository BIBAFull-Text 619-627
  Shadi Abou-Zahra; Michael Cooper
The WCAG 2.0 Test Samples Repository resembles an extensive test suite for Web accessibility evaluation tools. It provides Web content that demonstrates accessible and inaccessible coding practice. It can be used to examine how Web accessibility evaluation tools detect inaccessible Web content, and to help the calibration of their performance. However, unlike test suites, Test Samples are not an exhaustive set of test cases for all situations and coding practices. They are therefore not a definitive measurement of compliance but one of the metrics for assessing such compliance. The WCAG 2.0 Test Samples are also useful for the developers of authoring tools, of user agents, or of Web content. This paper introduces the implementation of the WCAG 2.0 Test Samples Repository.
An Acceptability Predictor for Websites BIBAKFull-Text 628-634
  Ray Adams; Anthony White; Efe Ceylan
User acceptance is a high priority for website design and implementation. Two significant, but largely separate, approaches to acceptability are: First, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has explored the measurement of technical features of a website to gauge its accessibility. Second, human judgments about acceptability are obtained from intended users or experts. The present work explores the important question of how best to combine these two methods. Experiment One required new users to explore automatic website evaluation systems. They found two of four systems difficult or impossible to use and system outputs difficult to understand. Experiment Two combines formal properties and user judgments, using an automatic system to predict user judgments from formal website properties. A simple system was able to predict user judgments within 91% accuracy. Clearly, user judgments about websites can be predicted reliably, a result of value to designers.
Keywords: Prediction; acceptability; usability; accessibility; websites
Integrating Accessibility and Functional Requirements BIBAKFull-Text 635-644
  Rehema Baguma; Roger G. Stone; Jude T. Lubega; Theo P. van der Weide
Initial research on Web accessibility was focused on testing completed Web pages. More recently, the focus is moving to integrating accessibility features into coding tools such as Dreamweaver 8 and plugins notably LIFT. Thus accessibility is being considered slightly earlier in the development process. However, the state of Web accessibility is still disappointing even on websites that have followed the guidelines and or used evaluation and coding tools. We are proposing an approach to start considering accessibility much earlier. Our purpose is to address accessibility in the context of what is to be done and who will be participating. In this paper, we present views of Web developers about this approach. We then show (using a case study) how Web developers can elicit accessibility requirements alongside functional requirements and integrate the two to obtain conceptual models with explicit traces of accessibility requirements integrated with functional requirements. Finally we discuss lessons learnt from the case study and common benefits of the approach for Web accessibility and Web projects.
Keywords: Web accessibility; Web accessibility requirements; functional requirements; non functional requirements
Is It Possible to Predict the Manual Web Accessibility Result Using the Automatic Result? BIBAFull-Text 645-653
  Carlos Casado Martínez; Loïc Martínez Normand; Morten Goodwin Olsen
The most adequate approach for benchmarking web accessibility is manual expert evaluation supplemented by automatic analysis tools. But manual evaluation has a high cost and is impractical to be applied on large web sites. In reality, there is no choice but to rely on automated tools when reviewing large web sites for accessibility. The question is: to what extent the results from automatic evaluation of a web site and individual web pages can be used as an approximation for manual results? This paper presents the initial results of an investigation aimed at answering this question. He have performed both manual and automatic evaluations of the accessibility of web pages of two sites and we have compared the results. In our data set automatically retrieved results could most definitely be used as an approximation manual evaluation results.
Assistive Tools to Reach European Accessibility Web Standards BIBAKFull-Text 654-663
  Sonia Colas; Nicolas Monmarché; Mohamed Slimane
People with disabilities can use assistive technology to browse the Internet, but web sites must respect WCAG recommendations in order to be easily visited. Creating accessible web sites can be a difficult task for small communities because web sites are sometimes managed by beginner webmasters. We have developed tools for helping them to reach accessibility compliance. It can be used to create or modify a web site in order to reach, step-by-step, a better level of accessibility. It is designed to assess the compliance to HTML, CSS and WCAG specifications. Our tool integrates the UWEM specifications published by the WAB Cluster for harmonizing assessment methods in Europe.
Keywords: web accessibility; guideline; automatic corrector tools
Web Accessibility Metrics: Effects of Different Computational Approaches BIBAKFull-Text 664-673
  André Pimenta Freire; Christopher Power; Helen Petrie; Eduardo H. Tanaka; Heloisa V. Rocha; Renata Pontin de Mattos Fortes
Assessing and monitoring the accessibility of web pages are important challenges for ensuring universal accessibility of the web. In this paper, we analyse the quantitative results of the evaluation of web pages using four different metrics with different approaches to the aggregation of results from accessibility audits. The web pages evaluated are from three different Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). The impact of the different aggregation approaches on the ranges of the values of the resulting metrics and on the ranking of web pages are discussed. We observe that the different approaches may provide different outcomes for comparison purposes, and argue that further investigations on the use of user data to improve the measurement of accessibility should be conducted.
Keywords: Web accessibility; accessibility metrics; expert evaluation
WCAG 2.0 for Designers: Beyond Screen Readers and Captions BIBAFull-Text 674-682
  Loretta Guarino Reid; Andi Snow-Weaver
The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide guidance on making websites accessible to people with disabilities. WCAG 1.0 focused largely on coding requirements that enable websites to interoperate with assistive technologies used by people with disabilities. WCAG 2.0 addresses an environment where website complexity has increased significantly due to higher network bandwidth and the introduction of new interactive technologies. It places more constraints on the default look and feel of a website. Of the 38 Level A and AA provisions, about 50%, impact the website design. This paper reviews those requirements, examining the user needs that they are intended to support and highlighting example strategies for addressing those needs.
Using Semantic-Level Tags in HTML/XML Documents BIBAFull-Text 683-692
  Lawrence J. Henschen; Julia C. Lee
We demonstrate that the development and use of mark-up techniques specifying semantic-level information and the development of advanced browser systems for interpreting these mark-ups appropriately for users with different capabilities can help make universal access a reality. We give several examples of semantic-level tags and attributes and show how they facilitate universal access as well as potentially address other issues in web design such as validation. We describe at least one way that advanced browsers could process such tags. Finally, we outline steps that would be appropriate for developing such mark-up languages and incorporating them into advanced browsers. The use of semantic-level tags allows for universal access to be built in at the early stages of design rather than be tacked on at the end or, even worse, not provided at all.
Considerations of Efficiency and Mental Stress of Search Tasks on Websites by Blind Persons BIBAFull-Text 693-700
  Junichi Iizuka; Akira Okamoto; Yasuo Horiuchi; Akira Ichikawa
We examined what kind of rating index was usable for verification of usability of websites for blind persons. The search time had a strong correlation with the NASA-TLX WWL scores. This would suggest a possibility to evaluate the usability by the search time. On the other hand, in respect of the accessibility check tool, its verification result had no correlation with NASA-TLX WWL scores, so it could not be used as a tool for verification of usability. We must develop a new usability check tool for blind persons. If we place functions with high usage frequency and high level of importance at a top of the website where a user can easily recognize them, it not only gives us a high level of visibility but also is effective for a blind person using voice output web browser as well.
The Evolution of a Web Accessibility Testing Protocol BIBAKFull-Text 701-706
  Tom Jewett; Wayne Dick
In early 2007, the California State University (CSU) system initiated a program to make all information technology accessible to persons with disabilities; the authors were appointed to lead the Web portion of this effort. Campuses initially hoped to rely on automated testing of Web sites to evaluate their level of accessibility and determine what repairs would be needed. However, we found that automated testing tools were severely limited both in their ability to identify relevant problems and, surprisingly, in their scalability to sites of CSU magnitude. The first manual (non-automated, human intelligence based) testing protocols that we developed proved to be awkward in practice; this paper reports our substantial recent refinements after extensive use and incorporation of the newest accessibility guidelines. We also suggest how this protocol can become part of the Web development workflow, rather than being used solely to check legacy sites.
Keywords: Web accessibility; manual evaluation; testing; Section 508; WCAG
Haptic Navigation in the World Wide Web BIBAKFull-Text 707-715
  Nikolaos Kaklanis; Dimitrios Tzovaras; Konstantinos Moustakas
This paper presents a methodology for mapping a web page onto a 3D virtual reality environment enriched with haptic feedback and an application that has been developed according to the proposed methodology and gives blind people the opportunity to navigate through the internet by touch. According to the proposed haptic navigation in the world wide web, haptic and virtual modalities are combined together in order to enhance user experiences for multiple users: a normal sighted person is able to interact with the virtual reality scene via the visual or/and the auditory or/and the haptic information channel, a blind person is able to interact with the virtual reality scene by hearing and touch, a person having a small visual impairment benefits from the haptic feedback to reinforce the visual channel. The haptic navigation overcomes some of the shortcomings posed by audio rendering of web pages, such as the sequential navigation.
Keywords: 3D haptic web browser; force feedback; hapget; haptic interaction; haptic interaction in virtual worlds; haptic navigation; multimodal user interface; tactile feedback; virtual reality
The Usability of Web Accessibility Guidelines: An Approach for Evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 716-724
  Maria Kapsi; Evangelos Vlachogiannis; Jenny S. Darzentas; Thomas Spyrou
This paper aims at contributing to the evaluation of web accessibility and thus promoting design for all, considering the design process as an iterative process containing evaluation as a fundamental component. More specifically, the paper: 1) rethinks Web Accessibility Evaluation notion and its abstract requirements, 2) investigates the usability of W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0), and 3) proposes an approach for an evaluation of the usability of accessibility guidelines.
Keywords: accessibility; WCAG; W3C; usability; evaluation
MAID: A Multi-platform Accessible Interface Design Framework BIBAKFull-Text 725-734
  Maria Korozi; Asterios Leonidis; George Margetis; Constantine Stephanidis
Despite the outbreak in the development of new User Interface toolkits, the need for a combined toolkit that inherently supports adaptation to user needs and addresses accessibility issues still remains. MAID introduces a new approach to developing user interfaces that encapsulate new technology trends and also address individual users' needs. Additionally, MAID is accompanied by a library of adaptable widgets -- primitives and complex -- that allow designers to develop the actual user interfaces used by the MAID framework, eliminating thus the need for developers to be experts in user interface design and accessibility, in order to implement dynamic applications.
Keywords: Design for All; User Interface; Accessibility; Multiplatform
On the Gap between Automated and In-Vivo Evaluations of Web Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 735-744
  Rui Lopes; Luís Carriço
In this paper we present an accessibility analysis framework for the specification of Web accessibility evaluation scenarios that differentiates the requirements of users with disabilities, in order to achieve personalised accessibility assessment. We apply this framework to evaluations of Web Accessibility (e.g., WCAG 2.0 conformance) and to usability evaluations with users with disabilities. With this framework we leverage usability tests with these users in order to discern the non-automatable parts of WCAG and, consequently, skip the requirement of having experts analyse these parts for each personalisation scenario.
Keywords: Personalised Web Accessibility; Accessibility Theory; Accessibility Requirements
Integrating HCI in a Web Accessibility Engineering Approach BIBAKFull-Text 745-754
  Lourdes Moreno; Paloma Martínez; Belén Ruíz-Mezcua
The treatment of Web accessibility is not only following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to strictly comply with technical aspects. The development processes of web applications are very much centred in the architecture, which are normally very distant to the user. This requires integrating usability and accessibility in software engineering processes incorporating a User-Centered Design (UCD) and Inclusive Design. In this paper, an integration of usability techniques in the whole life cycle of a web application is shown. This work is part of AWA framework (Accessibility for Web Applications) that provides a methodological support for the development of accessible web applications.
Keywords: Web accessibility; Human Computer Interaction (HCI); usability; User Centred-Design (UCD); Inclusive Design; Web engineering methods
FireScanner: A Browser Scanning Add-On for Users with Motor Impairments BIBAKFull-Text 755-763
  Stavroula Ntoa; George Margetis; Constantine Stephanidis
The web has become the most commonly used gateway to information, commerce and entertainment. As a result, accessing online resources without any barriers has turned to be of utmost importance for all the citizens of the Information Society. One common obstacle faced by users with motor impairments of the upper limbs is their difficulty to interact with a computer application using standard input devices, such as the keyboard and the mouse. This paper presents a browser add-on, named FireScanner, providing access to the web for people with hand motor impairments, through the scanning technique.
Keywords: Firefox; add-on; extension; scanning; motor impairments; accessibility; web
Universal Access to the Internet Web Pages for Users with Special Needs BIBAKFull-Text 764-767
  Pavel Ocenasek
This paper presents a system that provides access to the web pages for internet users with special needs. The first part introduces the accessibility of common web sites. The second part follows with the system concept that is based on regular expression translator. The final part concludes with the practical results of web pages translation.
Keywords: translation; proxy server; URL web-proxy; security; accessibility
The Analysis and Assessment of Adjustment of Selected Web Sites and Web Browsers to the Needs of People with Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 768-777
  Aleksandra Polak-Sopinska; Zbigniew Wisniewski
In the 21st century internet is becoming an indispensable element of every person's life. Frequently internet is the basic source of information. Moreover it enables communication, making financial transactions, shopping, etc. Unfortunately in many cases internet applications and sites are not adjusted to psychomotor and perception abilities of the disabled, the number of which is continuously increasing in Poland and all over the world. Very often the sites and applications are illegible and not user-friendly.
   The article presents results of the analysis on adjustment of selected Web site and Web browser graphic interfaces to the needs of disabled people.
Keywords: web sites; web browsers; internet standards; user interface; disabled people
Development of an Agent Based Specialized Web Browser for Visually Handicapped Tamils BIBAKFull-Text 778-786
  R. Ponnusamy; T. Chitralekha; V. Prasanna Venkatesan; S. Kuppuswami
In the modern age every one needs the access to the Internet; the regional language and visually handicapped are not an exception for that. SPECS (SPEcialized Computer System) is a system developed for this purpose to give an access to the visually handicapped people of Tamil language. It has a Braille shell, from where the user can enter his request to the browser through a regional language Braille and then the output generated by the browser is given out as voice. The effectiveness of this system is measured through requests access speed and precision of this system and compared with other normal browser.
Keywords: Internet; Tamil language; Visually Handicapped People; Braille
Vis-A-Wis: Improving Visual Accessibility through Automatic Web Content Adaptation BIBAKFull-Text 787-796
  Giuseppe Santucci
The accessibility of Web content is gaining an increasing interest and several research activities deal with standards and methodologies for enforcing Web sites accessibility and usability. In spite of all these efforts most of the actual Web sites are still not accessible at all. The reason of that is twofold: from on side, most of Web site developers are unaware of the actual standards and methodologies for accessibility; on the other side, such standards are still too broad to address in an effective way all the accessibility issues. This paper attacks the Web accessibility problem following two different paths: (1) it focuses on a subset of the accessibility issues, i.e., problems associated with hypo-sight and color-blindness, and (2) it provides means for automatically adapting, i.e., transcoding any existing Web page, increasing its accessibility with respect to the aforementioned disabilities.
Keywords: Web accessibility; visual impairment; transcoding; assistive technologies; hypo-sight; color-blindness
Dynamic Adaptation of Web 2.0 Applications by Combining Extended Device Profiles BIBAKFull-Text 797-802
  Carlos A. Velasco; Yehya Mohamad; Jaroslav Pullmann
This paper presents our approach to the dynamic adaptation of Web 2.0 applications. The work is based upon the assumption that the Web is evolving towards a cloud of customisable applications and data, where users will have the ultimate freedom to adapt their environments (named by T.V. Raman as 2W). Our research aims at the provision of adaptable environments for users with special needs via an extension of standard device profiles combined with the modelling of Web applications based upon ARIA. We describe hereby our initial prototype and suggest extensions to ubiquitous Web applications via delivery context information.
Keywords: Web 2.0; Ubiquitous Web; Mobile Web; Adaptivity; Device Profiles; ARIA; accessibility
A Semantic Accessibility Assessment Environment for Design and Development for the Web BIBAKFull-Text 803-813
  Konstantinos Votis; Rui Lopes; Dimitrios Tzovaras; Luís Carriço; Spiridon D. Likothanassis
The Web is now increasingly being accessed by many people with disabilities. Thus, the great heterogeneity of Web application technologies as well as the provided Web content requires the introduction of accessibility aspects in order to fulfill the preferences for all people with disabilities or not. For that reason accessibility support at all stages of the design and development process of Web applications should be a solution that appears in the horizon. New developed Web applications should be fully adapted to different user needs, and totally accessible regardless of the specific condition of end users. Our approach introduces an advanced semantic accessibility assessment environment which initializes semantic models representing the most of main accessibility constrains and terms which are required for the design and development of Web applications, through the use of generic and domain ontologies. The proposed assessment environment can be used for the accessibility assessment of Web applications during the design and development phase.
Keywords: Web accessibility; Semantic Accessibility Assessment; W3C; WCAG; Disabilities