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Proceedings of the 3rd ERCIM Workshop on 'User Interfaces for All'

Fullname:Proceedings of the 3rd ERCIM Workshop on 'User Interfaces for All'
Editors:Constantine Stephanidis; Noelle Carbonell
Location:Obernai, France
Dates:1997-Nov-03 to 1997-Nov-04
Publisher:ERCIM
Standard No:hcibib: UI4ALL97
Papers:34
Links:Call for Papers and Participation | Proceedings
  1. Invited Talks
  2. Long Papers
  3. Short Papers
  4. Poster Presentations
"Foreword" BIBPDF 1
  Constantine Stephanidis; Noelle Carbonell

Invited Talks

Bringing Computing to the Maintainers of Large Vehicles BIBAPDF 1
  Len Bass
The maintenance of large vehicles (airplanes, trains, tractors) provides difficult problems for computing devices. The environment has extremes of temperature and light, dirt and grease are common and tools such as computers must be very robust. The technicians who perform the maintenance must have the mobility to move around, over, under and inside the vehicle and must have their hands free much of the time. Maintenance is an activity that is performed both solo and with collaboration and the individuals who perform it tend to be have little computer sophistication.
   Since 1993, the Wearable Computer Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University has been constructing and testing a variety of different hardware and software systems in a variety of different maintenance contexts. Five different disciplines have been involved in these designs: user interface and industrial designers and software, electrical and mechanical engineers. Some of these systems constructed are body worn, some are hand held. All have limited capability for input and output and are designed for the maintenance environment.
   This talk will describe the canonical solutions that have been developed during the wearable work and how and why the systems that have been developed vary from the canonical solution. Although none of the systems utilize the canonical solution, it still provides the basis from which the designs have progressed. The manner in which the various disciplines interact and the constraints they place on each other will also be explored.
Intelligent Multimedia Interaction BIBAPDF 2
  Mark T. Maybury
Governments, industry and academia have increased their focus on the importance of the human machine interface in the global information economy. More effective, efficient and natural human computer or computer mediated human-human interaction will require automated understanding and generation of multimedia and will rely upon precise information about the user, discourse, task and context (Maybury 1993).
   This invited talk will begin by briefly outlining the history of and advances in the area of intelligent multimedia interfaces including multimedia input analysis, multimedia presentation generation, model based interfaces, and the use of user, discourse and task models to enhance interaction.
   The talk will describe our research to provide users with intelligent interfaces which reason about and exploit tasks models and models of user focus of attention to mitigate application and domain complexity through such means as tailored presentation design and cooperative responses. Through a video demonstration, I will show an early intelligent multimedia interface that incorporates language processing, simple user and discourse modeling, and visualization to improve the timeliness and accuracy of information access from the web (Smotroff et al. 1995). The talk will then describe architectures that have evolved from research in intelligent user interfaces over the past twenty years (Sullivan and Tyler 1991; Maybury and Wahlster 1997) and distinguish these from conventional commercial user interface architectures.
   The presentation will conclude by pointing out current work in progress that aims to fully instrument the interface and build (automatically and semi-automatically) annotated corpora of human-machine interaction. We believe this will yield deeper and more comprehensive models of interaction which should ultimately enable more principled interface design.
   Time permitting, we will also overview our current, ambitious effort to create algorithms to segment, extract, summarize and visualize broadcast news in MITRE's Broadcast News Navigator (Maybury et al. 1997). This exemplifies an emerging class of applications that support content-based retrieval of multimedia (Maybury 1997). The talk will conclude with comments on the future of intelligent human computer interaction.

Long Papers

Supporting Interface Adaptation: the AVANTI Web Browser BIBAKPDF 14
  C. Stephanidis; A. Paramythis; C. Karagiannidis; A. Savidis
The increasing use of Internet and the World Wide Web as a primary medium for communication and access to information is creating numerous opportunities and challenges for the population at large and especially for people with disabilities. The importance of supporting information exchange between all potential users in the context of the emerging Information Society has, therefore, increased significantly. This paper focuses on the employment of user interface adaptation techniques, for the provision of accessibility and high-quality interaction to Web-based applications and services to able-bodied, blind and motor-impaired users. The work reported has been conducted in the context of the ACTS AC042 AVANTI project of the European Commission.
Keywords: User interface adaptation, Web-based applications for people with disabilities, Unified user interface development
Adaptation Agents: Providing Uniform Adaptations in Open Service Architectures BIBAPDF 15
  Markus Bylund; Annika Wærn
We present the notion of adaptivity agents, agents that can be used to adapt an open range of services to a common user model, using a common adaptation scheme. The idea is illustrated with a specific adaptation agent, and exemplified with the KIMSAC system, an agent-based system for an open range of public information services to citizens.
   The usage of adaptation agents has several advantages to existing work on user-adaptive systems. The user model is shared between services, allowing services to make use of each other's inferences about the user. The adaptation agent is intended to be owned by the user, who can inspect and control its content and decide how information can be distributed to services. This way, an important privacy issue for open service architectures is addressed. The adaptation agent also provides a common model of user adaptations to services. This way, the user needs not learn a new interaction model each time a service is added.
   The functionality of the adaptation agent is determined by its service contract with services. The service contract specifies which adaptations will be made, and what information needs to be exchanged between agents to achieve these adaptations. We provide a first step towards a truly open service environment, by providing an analysis of the ontologies needed for communication between services and adaptation agents.
The PPP Persona: Towards a Highly Personalised User Interface BIBAPDF 9
  Elisabeth Andre; Thomas Rist; Jochen Mueller
Animated agents -- either based on real video, cartoon-style drawings or even model-based 3D graphics -- offer great promise for computer-based presentations as they make presentations more lively and appealing and allow for the emulation of conversation styles known from human-human communication. In this paper, we describe a life-like interface agent which presents multimedia material to the user following the directives of a script. The overall behavior of the presentation agent is partly determined by such a script, and partly by the agent's self-behavior.
How to Integrate Concepts for the Design and the Evaluation of Adaptable and Adaptive User Interfaces BIBAPDF 15
  Chris Stary; Alex Totter
Adaptation and adaptability are on their way to become common features of user interfaces that claim to provide access to users with different abilities (user interfaces for all). Facing this fact one should expect a sound conceptual and technical background for adaptable or adaptive system design and evaluation. Unfortunately, neither a common terminological framework, nor a comprehensive framework for design and evaluation exists. However, both framework developments should be enforced, in order to avoid further diversifications of concepts and methodologies. In this paper we detail and exemplify an enforcement procedure to establish a terminological and methodological framework. The procedure is based on an epistemological and semantic analysis. It combines conceptual and empirical research in an unifying way. First results for adaptation and adaptability are presented.
IRIS: an Intelligent Tool Supporting Visual Exploration of Spatially Referenced Data BIBAPDF 14
  Gennady L. Andrienko; Natalia V. Andrienko
To obtain a visual data presentation with a conventional geographic information system (GIS) or another graphic tool, the user should have special knowledge on graphics design for making correct selection of visualisation techniques in accord with the characteristics of data to be presented and relations between data components. Including such knowledge into a visualisation system allows to find correct solutions automatically and to save user's time and efforts for data exploration. A very important role in data exploration belongs to interactive manipulations with data and graphics such as querying, filtering, transformations of graphics, obtaining supplementary presentations. An attempt to provide extensive intelligent support to users in data investigation is made in the knowledge-based system IRIS. It automatically generates cartographic presentations of spatially referenced data and enables a wide range of interactive manipulations with maps and data. The peculiarities and restrictions of cartographic presentation are accounted for in the approach to visualisation design applied in the system. The recent implementation of the system runs in the World Wide Web and allows work of remote users from all over the world.
Unified Manipulation of Interaction Objects: Integration, Augmentation, Expansion and Abstraction BIBAPDF 15
  Anthony Savidis; Constantine Stephanidis
Interface developers combine interaction elements in order to implement the User Interface of interactive software applications, using the development facilities available by a given development tool. The functional capabilities of the interface tool may significantly affect the quality of the resulting interactive software product, as well as the resources needed for further maintenance, upgrade, porting and expansion. Interaction objects play a key role in interface tools, irrespective of the nature of the interface construction technique (e.g. graphical construction, programming language, declarative specification, task notation). We have identified four fundamental categories of mechanisms for manipulating interaction objects in interface tools. Their merits in the context of interface development tools are identified, particularly in the context of developments for diverse user groups and openness for different interaction technologies. We will also show that these two functional requirements play a key role towards meeting the objectives of User Interfaces for All.
A Review of User Interface Design Guidelines for Public Information Kiosk Systems BIBAPDF 17
  M. C. Maguire
This paper reviews general guidelines on user interface design for self service and public information kiosk systems, based on the author's research and existing literature. The guidelines are divided into: defining user requirements, location and encouraging use, physical access, introduction and instruction, language selection, privacy, help, input, output, structure and navigation, and customisation. The paper also emphasises the need to design for stakeholders other than the end users, and offers some guidelines on user-based evaluation of kiosk systems.

Short Papers

Adapting Multimedia Information for Internationalisation and; for Users with Disabilities BIBAPDF 6
  Martin Prime
There is considerable pressure to make information more accessible, both to users with disabilities, and to users around the world. One focus of information dissemination and adaptation is the WWW. Current changes to browsers and content mainly effect HTML text, not multimedia. HMML is the proposed WWW standard for synchronised multimedia including video, audio, and media which are themselves static. The Chameleon editor produces HMML and provides conditionals on the selection of channels for a particular presentation. This provides support for the adaptability of multimedia by rules to select the one appropriate for the users language, presentation and other adaptation needs.
Convene -- MUD Interfaces for Disabled Users BIBAPDF 6
  Kent Saxin Hammarstroem; Kristina Höök; Anna-Lena Ereback
Convene is a problem oriented project regarding communication interfaces for disabled users. We have chosen to especially study interfaces for MUD (Multi User Dimension) systems, i.e. environments where multiple users interact in a common virtual environment, often in the form of a game. The results will be applicable in other areas, as the interactions in a MUD comprise most aspects of communication.
   In the first, ongoing phase, we identify the problems specific to our user groups. These problems include handling fast interactions among participants, navigation in the MUD world, and general communication skills. Starting from our understanding of these problems, we propose a design with two main approaches to tackling the problems of our users:
  • Separation of information into multiple modalities (speech, images, etc) and
       adaptation of these to specific disabilities;
  • Transferring some information processing to simple forms of agents.
  • Impediments to Designing and Developing for Accessibility, Accommodation and High Quality Interaction BIBAPDF 5
      D. Akoumianakis; C. Stephanidis
    Universal design entails the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design. In the context of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), design for all entails the design of interactive artefacts accessible and highly usable by the broadest possible end user population, including disabled and elderly people. The distinctive characteristics of such a notion is the emphasis upon accessibility and high quality interaction. These two usability requirements provide the driving forces towards a new paradigm of User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) intended to deliver products widely usable by users with diverse requirements in a variety of contexts. The current generation of UIST, though making solid contributions towards more natural and intuitive interaction mechanisms, has traditionally failed to account for the notion of accessibility, as considered in the present context. As a result, the capability to effectively and efficiently produce user interfaces for all is seriously prohibited.
       Given the current practice regarding interactive computer-based software development and the requirements for accessibility, accommodation and high quality interaction, it follows that a new HCI research and practice agenda is needed based on human needs and social responsibility. At the core of such an agenda lie two basic questions, which have surfaced throughout the short history of HCI and continue to pose challenges, despite recent progress. These are the underlying theory of design and the notion of user interface software architecture. In the following, we provide a brief account of each one and reflect upon the challenges underpinning the study of HCI in the emerging information age.
    From Adaptable Interfaces to Model-Based Interface Development: The GIPSE Project BIBAPDF 7
      G. Patry; P. Girard
    Developing specialized versions of applications is usually made by computer experts. The GIPSE system has been designed to allow end-users to specialise their application by creating new functions. As it allows this task by Programming by Demonstration techniques, without any use of textual programming language, GIPSE can be used by non computer literates.
       Starting from GIPSE, we propose to rely two approaches which, at a first glance, seem very different: model-based interface development and user-adaptable applications. We argue that these two approaches may converge, bringing user empowerment to formal approaches, and conversely, bringing formal insurance to end-user developments.
    Using Agents in Social Navigation BIBAPDF 3
      David Benyon; Alan Munro
    The issue of how users can navigate their way through large information spaces is crucial to the ever expanding and interlinking of computer systems. Computer users live in a world of information spaces. One of the most critical activities which users need to undertake is to retrieve information from such spaces and thus the problem of how to help the user to navigate, explore and identify the objects of interest is critical to the success of the system (Benyon and Höök, 1997).
       The PERSONA project is a collaborative long-term research project between the Swedish Institute of Computer Science and Napier University. It is funded by the EU's fourth framework programme, task LTR4.4, and is investigating a new approach to navigation based on a personalised and social navigational paradigm. Most information retrieval in the "real" world is accomplished through communication between people. We trust certain individuals to possess the information we are looking for. In addition, we expect them to be able to express the information so that it becomes personalised to our needs, understanding and abilities. Often the information seeking is done through talking to several persons, comparing the advice given, reformulating the original need for information, and only sometimes turning to other information sources such as books or on-line databases. One way in which this project seeks to develop our understanding of human activities in information spaces is by looking at the concept of social navigation.
    A World Wide Web-Based HCI-Library Designed for Interaction Studies BIBAKPDF 6
      Ketil Perstrup; Erik Frokjeer; Maria Konstantinovitz; Thorbjorn Konstantinovitz; Flemming S. Sorensen; Jytte Varming
    The World Wide Web has the potential for making scientific information widely available even to people without access to scientific libraries, but using the World Wide Web for this is hard in practice. Possible causes for this are that there is no central repository for scientific papers, that the papers are often not indexed by the World Wide Web search engines, and when they are, novices have trouble using the services. We have developed HCILIB as an interface to a collection of scientific articles on Human-Computer Interaction available on the World Wide Web. HCILIB uses a scatter/gather inspired technique to display a browsable structure for the collection integrated with Boolean queries. It has facilities for searchers to restrict their view of the collection to the parts they consider interesting and reorganize these to display a personal classification of documents. This allows us to investigate usage patterns and differences in them for such a library including field studies of the interaction.
    Keywords: Information search and retrieval, Information interfaces and presentation, Query formulation and search process, Digital libraries, World Wide Web, Scatter/gather, Browsing
    METADYNE: A Dynamic Adaptive Hypermedia System for Teaching BIBAKPDF 7
      Nicolas Delestre; Catherine Greboval; Jean-Pierre Pecuchet
    Following ITS and BLE, research on Computer Aided Teaching has taken an interest in hypertext systems. However the main advantage of those hypertext systems, i.e. the liberty of navigation, has quickly become a major drawback for a lot of types of system (for instance information systems, help systems, research systems, etc.) and especially teaching systems. From that time, research has turned toward Adaptive Hypermedia and more recently toward Dynamic Adaptive Hypermedia. This paper introduces the architecture of a Dynamic Adaptive Hypermedia tool for Teaching, using the Internet as communication system. This system being developed within our laboratory.
    Keywords: Adaptive hypermedia, Multimedia, Object-oriented database, Computer aided teaching, Internet
    A Design Methodology and a Prototyping Tool for Adaptive Interface Design BIBAKPDF 6
      Sebastien Romitti; Charles Santoni; Philippe Francois
    In this paper, the authors show a design methodology for adaptive interfaces. This methodology allows to completely specify, and then generate the interface. The specification consists of two stages: a stage of Petri net modelisation of the interface dialogue, from a static task modelisation under MAD or UAN, and a stage of specification of the presentation, using Abstract Interactive Objects. A Petri net interpreter uses the dialogue and the presentation specification in order to generate the interface. With those tools, development of adaptive interface becomes easier.
    Keywords: Design methodology, Specification, Petri net, Interface generation, Adaptive interfaces
    Adaptive Toolbars: An Architectural Overview BIBAPDF 7
      T. Miah; M. Karageorgou; R. P. Knott
    Applications today are "Packed" with toolbars. If we take a count of the number of toolbars in some of today's application, we see that MS-Word has 9 toolbars, MS-Excel has 13, and MS-PowerPoint has 7. One obvious question to ask is; do users really use all of the toolbar items available in each application, or are they just cluttering the screen?
       This paper presents a technique for automatically adapting the toolbar to user needs. For example as users work through a document in MS-Word, they may select BOLD from the format menu and not use the toolbar, or the toolbar with the BOLD icon is not displayed. As the user continues to use the command repeatedly from the menu bar the software should detect this usage and display the appropriate toolbar.
       A system for adapting the toolbars for MS-Word has been designed, implemented and preliminary evaluation carried out. The result of the evaluation showed that on average most subjects prefer the adaptive version of Word. These subjects were mainly from the novice and expert group of users.
    An Adaptive USENET Interface Supporting Situated Actions BIBAPDF 6
      Christopher Lueg
    In this paper, we discuss a novel approach to support users in information overload situations. This situated approach is based on the perspective that human cognition is most appropriately described as situated. In this context, situated means that human cognition is considered as an emergent property of the interaction of an individual with his or her environment. Our work aims at supporting humans in coping with information overload situations. In order to account for situatedness, we only support users in finding interesting information instead of automating the search task. Reading Usenet news is a prime example for situations with high volume conversational data. The global conferencing system Usenet offers an amount of conversational data per day that exceeds human cognitive capabilities by far. We have augmented a standard newsreading tool to offer support for situated actions. First experiences with the augmented newsreader are encouraging and suggest that this situated approach is an interesting complement to traditional information filtering approaches.
    Visual Scripting for Virtual Behaviours BIBAPDF 5
      Mansoo Kim; Ee-Taek Lee
    We suggest an interactive method that visually describes the behaviors of virtual objects, parses the visual scripting and finally achieves the semantics. In this approach, users draw only curves, which describe synchronization among motions as well as geometric motion paths of virtual characters, in the same three-dimensional space. This approach promotes the maximum transfer of the users' knowledge of behaviors of physical objects and actions into virtual environments, so the users can rapidly generate virtual characters' behaviors such as running, walking, grasping, and other motions.
    Error Recovery Representations in Interactive System Development BIBAPDF 7
      Francis Jambon
    This paper deals with human error resistance. In the first part of it, a short state-of-the-art of human error resistance, i.e., error prevention and error correction will be presented. Then, error correction, which is usually divided into three sequential tasks: detection, explanation, and recovery will be described.
       The second part of the paper will put emphasis on error recovery, which is our main object of study. First and foremost, through an example, we will see what makes the distinction between forward and backward error recovery, i.e., how the system is able to restore its previous state after an error occurrence. In addition to it, the three different kinds of backward error recovery -- undo, cancel, and stop -- will be illustrated.
       Then, the limits of the current distinction between forward and backward error recovery will be highlighted. As a consequence, the paper proposes a new representation of error recovery based on two dimensions: error additional cost and system state degradation. In the context of time-critical systems, another dimension will be introduced: time.
    Visual Representation Concept of Factory Information BIBAPDF 6
      Gert Zulch; Volker Keller; Axel Fischer
    The development in industries like the machine tool industry or the automotive industry is to concentrate on the major working fields and buying the best competence in the other working fields from system suppliers (see STRASMANN, SCHULER 1996). An information system allowing a fast information flow between customer and suppliers (esp. while constructing a new product) has to be built up. In order to guarantee that every partner gets the actual information, everybody should have access to a shared data base.
    Customising by Demonstration Generic Systems to Specific Tasks BIBAPDF 7
      P. Girard; G. Pierra; J. C. Potier
    Most of the computer applications are generic in nature. As a result, end-user must map their specific activities into the capabilities of the generic applications and their specific classes of objects onto the low-levels entities supported by their systems. Programming by Demonstration (PbD) is a technique that enables to abstract from a particular example of a process, the general program that describes a family of similar processes. We describe a 2D graphic editor which incorporates PbD capabilities. This system, named EBP, is intended to bring to draftsmen a complete environment for programming without any textual interaction with programs. It follows technical draftsmen habits, using a purely procedural approach without any inference, and it offers several original programming goodies: complete support of control structures, visual debugging, fully integrated PbD user interface.
    Seeing the Wood for the Trees BIBAPDF 6
      Phil Turner; Alex R. Rogers; Susan Turner; Jeremy Ellman
    This paper describes the work in progress of the TWEE project. TREE is a European-funded language engineering project addressing the issue of advertising and accessing employment opportunities across Europe. Advertisements for jobs will be stored in a database and made available in the language of choice of the end-user via a WWW interface. An account of the early design and evaluation of the user interface to the TREE system is here described.
    Certifying Web Accessibility for the Handicapped by ISO 9241 Conformance Testing BIBAPDF 7
      Henrike Gappa; Reinhard Oppermann; Michael Pieper
    Software-ergonomic evaluation is aimed at assessing a system's degree of usability. The criteria of the evaluation can be established in several ways, e.g., by a theory or standards. The European Union (EU) published the directive 90/270/EWG concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for VDT workers (EEC 1990) to establish common working conditions for users of visual display terminals. The national governments participating in the EU have transformed this directive into national law. The international standardisation activities of ISO 9241 concerning ergonomic requirements for visual display terminals form the basis which define the relevant technological requirements necessary to fulfil the directive. In this paper, an expert support method for evaluating user interfaces according to the ISO 9241 standard is presented and applied to a web tool's accessibility assessment for end-users with special needs.
    The Difficulties and the Possibilities of Adapted Access for the Blind to the Web BIBAKPDF 7
      Siwar Farhat
    The Internet represents one of the most used tools in the field of communication, thanks to its richness, its capacity to communicate rapidly and effectively on a world scale. The Man-Machine interfaces for accessing the Internet are currently too rigid and poorly adapted to human research strategies. This leads us to reconsider the interface for access to the Internet, hence the introduction of speech as a mean of interaction to access the Internet, both for input and output. The adaptation of the Internet using the concept of multimodality is a one of our objectives, to give the visually handicapped the ability to communicate easily with the outside world. In this article we will demonstrate the difficulties and possibilities of adapting access to graphic interfaces, in particular the Web, in accordance with the user profile.
    Keywords: Blind people, Graphical user interface, Web, System author, Non visual interface
    Customising HTML by Filtering: Techniques for Making the Internet Accessible to the Visually Handicapped BIBAPDF 6
      Djamel Hadjadj; Robert Agro; Dominique Burger
    This paper describes new techniques for making HTML documents more accessible to all users. Since visually handicapped users have great difficulty accessing the Web, this discussion focuses on their special needs. We have developed a software to ensure that adaptation of documents is independent of their production and delivery. The software is compatible with existing recommendations for HTML design [4][11], is readily customised and updated. The software is implemented in the context of Microsoft ActiveX.

    Poster Presentations

    A Textual Journal for Telecommunication Services BIBAPDF 3
      Olivier Cure
    The significant increase of telecommunication services over the last few years combined with a widespread use of personal computers and workstations has opened up an incredible amount of application possibilities. Human factors and ergonomics have become a main concern for overcoming new kinds of problems raising along with the complexity and changes of these working environments.
       On the request of the CNET and CNRS, we have been studying the interactions of an end-user with a system that bundles together as many as five different services: a wordprocessor, an action historic, a macro-command recorder, a journal and a telecommunication tool (a French minitel emulator). One of our main concerns was to help the user with all the repetitive tasks by applying demonstrational techniques into the prototype. Repetitive tasks are such a burden for all potential users, from the experienced programmers to first timer computer users.
       The heart of such a system is to define the invocation of these services while anticipating the upcoming end-user's actions. When trying to do so, we need to infer on the tasks performed by the user, we need to trace the data by storing them in a macro-command, keeping track of the user's past command history.
    Adoption and Diffusion of Groupware in Software Engineering Projects BIBAPDF 3
      Sarah Drummond; Cornelia Boldyreff
    Software engineering tasks, during both development and maintenance, typically involve teamwork using computers. Team members rarely work on isolated computers; networked computers are commonly used. An underlying assumption is that software engineering teams will work more effectively if adequately supported
       by network-based groupware technology and project management tools. This research is investigating the provision of such network-based support for software engineering teams, both geographically distributed and co-located. The immediate objective is to provide network-based support, specifically groupware and distributed project management, for students working on Software Engineering Group (SEG) projects in the Department of Computer Science at Durham and to develop and trial SEG projects involving staff and students from a number of universities. The long term objectives are to develop more flexible support for group working among university students and their staff supervisors for project work and tutorials in general.
    Towards an Oral Interface for Data Entry: The MAUD System BIBPDF
      A. Fohr; J.-P. Haton; J.-F. Mari; K. Smaili; I. Zitouni
    The SVT: A Workflow Visualisation Tool BIBAPDF 3
      Martin Howard
    In the summer of 1996, the SUPREME research project was started with the aim to adapt workflow technology to process industry and power plant maintenance. Part of this was to provide a tool that displayed the contents of the workflow database, enabling those involved in maintenance work to form an understanding of the ongoing and planned work and to enable them to handle scheduling and replanning of activities. During late 1996 to early 1997, Martin Howard and Jonas Lowgren at Linkoping University designed a system with the working name Supreme Visualization Tool (SVT), to support these activities. At the time of writing, the implementation of the first prototype is taking place, so we have no experience of the system in use. However, it is presented here because it signifies an important alternative approach to the more traditional database applications and one that probably will become more and more common in the future. Additionally, it is an attempt to combine and integrate various visualization and interaction techniques, as well as extending them.
    User Interface of a New Generation of Authoring Environment of Multimedia Documents BIBAPDF 3
      Muriel Jourdan; Cicile Roisin; Laurent Tardif
    Multimedia documents compose in time and space different kinds of objects (audio, text, ...). Some of these objects; like video, have intrinsic durations. Furthermore, they can be temporally organized by the author to define the temporal scenario of the document. Due to this temporal dimension, authoring a multimedia presentation is known to be a non-trivial task. Numerous works [Buc93, Song96, Jou97a] tend to prove that using temporal constraints, like the Allen operators [All89] (before, equal, during, ...) to specify the temporal scenario of a document is a good way to achieve the "easy-to-use" goal. However even by using temporal constraints, specifying a temporal scenario is still a complex task, if no visual interface helps the author to understand the set of solutions of his specification and the interdependencies between the objects due to explicit and induced constraints (i.e. A equal C and C before D implies A before D).
       We discuss in this paper the main requirements for the design of such an interface and we present our proposition experimented in our constraint-based authoring environment called Madeus [Jou97a]. A more detailed presentation of these aspects could be found in [Jou97b].
    Querying by Iconic User Interface on an Object-Oriented Database Desktop BIBAPDF 2
      Armstrong Kadyamatimba; John Mariani
    In (Kadyamatimba 1996) we described our basic concept of Desktop Objects for supporting browsing and direct manipulation schema evolution with the Oggetto OODB (Mariani 1992). Iconic User Interface (IUI) is an extension to provide a fully integrated querying service. Substantial work exists on graphical interfaces to databases: QBD* (Angelaccio 1990), OdeView (Agrawal 1990) and Moggetto (Sawyer 1995). Most of these interfaces support the browsing of schema of databases. However, OdeView extensions (Dar 1995) support browsing and querying but as separate operations. Querying operations should be integrated with browsing mechanism as in PESTO (Carey 1996). However, the difference with our work is that we exploit the desktop's direct manipulation to integrate the querying operations and results browsing.
       The focus of IUI is not on the statement and formulation of the query, although this is certainly a major part of any future work on the system. Rather, once queries have been stated (potentially by expert users), our concern is that they are easily available and useful to even novice users, and that their appearance and presentation of results are potentially indistinguishable from the browsing process supported by our desktop. This is a major diversion from some of the systems mentioned above. The next sections describes the IUI.