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psychnology Tables of Contents: 010203040506070809101112

Psychnology 2

Editors:Luciano Gamberini; Giuseppe Riva; Anna Spagnolli
Dates:2004
Volume:2
Standard No:ISSN 1720-7525
Papers:18
Links:www.psychnology.org | Table of Contents
  1. psychnology 2004 Volume 2 Issue 1
  2. psychnology 2004 Volume 2 Issue 2
  3. psychnology 2004 Volume 2 Issue 3

psychnology 2004 Volume 2 Issue 1

Introduction to the special issue BIBPDF 4-6
  Liliana Ardissono; Anna Goy; Fabio Paterno
Adaptive Navigation Support: From Adaptive Hypermedia to the Adaptive Web and Beyond BIBAKPDF 7-23
  Peter Brusilovsky
Adaptive navigation support is a specific group of technologies that support user navigation in "virtual spaces" adapting to the goals, preferences and knowledge of the individual user. These technologies, originally developed in the field of adaptive hypermedia, are becoming increasingly important in several adaptive Web applications from Web-based adaptive hypermedia to adaptive virtual reality. This paper provides a brief introduction to adaptive navigation support, reviews major adaptive navigation support technologies, and presents a sequence of projects performed by our group to study adaptive navigation support in different contexts.
Keywords: Navigation support, user model, virtual environments, adaptive system, personalization.
Navigating 3D Virtual Environments by Following Embodied Agents: a Proposal and its Informal Evaluation on a Virtual Museum Application BIBAKPDF 24-42
  Luca Chittaro; Lucio Ieronutti; Roberto Ranon
Many 3D virtual environments (e.g., 3D Web sites) do not offer sufficient assistance to (especially novice) users in navigating the virtual environment, find objects/places of interests, and learn how to interact with them. This paper proposes the adoption of guided tours of virtual environments as an effective user aid and describes a novel tool that provides automatic code generation for adding such guided tours to 3D virtual environments developed using the VRML language. In the second part of the paper, we informally evaluate the proposed approach on a real-world application concerning a 3D computer science museum (a complement to a real-world exhibition focusing on the history of computer technology).
Keywords: Virtual Environments, Navigation Aids, Virtual Museums, Embodied Agents.
SAMIR: A Smart 3D Assistant on the Web BIBAKPDF 43-60
  Fabio Abbattista; Graziano Catucci; Gianni Semeraro; Fabio Zambetta
A current trend in modern HCI is represented by Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs), even designed to run on the Web. They are virtual 3D human-like front ends coupled with software agents that are able to engage in a conversation with a user and execute complex tasks, such as, for example, searching for some specific information or ordering some items from the catalogue of an online shop. This paper presents SAMIR system, a framework to build intelligent agents for the Web. SAMIR consists of a 3D face which is animated to exploit expressions which are perceived by the user; a custom version of the ALICE chatterbot to chat with the user; and finally an XCS classifier system to deal with the problem of keeping conversation and face expressions coherent with each other. Experimental results, taken from an online bookstorebased scenario, are presented at the end.
Keywords: Conversational interfaces, intelligent agents, facial animation.
Developing Affective Lexical Resources BIBAKPDF 61-83
  Alessandro Valitutti; Carlo Strapparava; Oliviero Stock
Affective computing is advancing as a field that allows a new form of human computer interaction, in addition to the use of natural language. There is a wide perception that the future of human-computer interaction is in themes such as entertainment, emotions, aesthetic pleasure, motivation, attention, engagement, etc. Studying the relation between natural language and affective information and dealing with its computational treatment is becoming crucial. In this paper we present a linguistic resource for a lexical representation of affective knowledge. This resource (named WORDNET-AFFECT) was developed starting from WORDNET, through the selection and labeling of the synsets representing affective concepts.
Keywords: Affective Computing, NLP, Lexical Resources, WORDNET.
Finding Geometrical Associations Between Meaningful Objects in the Web: A Geostatistical Approach BIBAKPDF 84-98
  Francesco Di Nocera; Corinne Capponi; Fabio Ferlazzo
The study reported in this paper was aimed at investigating the existence of schemata specifically involved in the cognitive organization of a web page. Particularly, the hypothesis was that the location of some web objects (namely, links to specific contents) might be expected by the users at specific spatial locations. Using a method providing geometrical information concerning the organization of web contents, we found that user's expectations could be linked to the activity of low- and high-level schemata allowing performance optimization. Potential benefits of the Cognitive GeoConcept procedure for supporting information architects' decisions are discussed.
Keywords: schemata, spatial representations, spatial point patterns, page layout, usability
Software Environments for End-User Development and Tailoring BIBAKPDF 99-122
  Maria Francesca Costabile; Daniela Fogli; Giuseppe Fresta; Piero Mussio; Antonio Piccinno
In the Information Society, end-users keep increasing very fast in number, as well as in their demand with respect to the activities they would like to perform with computer environments, without being obliged to become computer specialists. There is a strong request of providing end-users with powerful and flexible environments, tailorable to the culture, skills and needs of very diverse end-user population. In this paper, we discuss a framework for End-User Development (EUD) and present our methodology to design software environments that support the activities of a particular class of end-users, called domain-expert users, with the objective of easing the way these users work with computers. Such environments are called Software Shaping Workshops in analogy to artisan workshops, since they provide users with the tools, organized on a bench, that are necessary to accomplish their specific activities by properly shaping software artifacts. The methodology is discussed, outlining its implementation through a web-based prototype.
Keywords: End-User Development, Visual Interaction, Tailoring, Customization.
Methods and Tools for Designing and Developing Usable Multi-Platform Interactive Applications BIBAKPDF 123-139
  Cristina Chesta; Fabio Paterno; Carmen Santoro
The increasing availability of new types of interaction devices raises the need for new methods and tools to support the design and development of highly usable context-sensitive nomadic applications accessible through multiple platforms. This paper provides an overview and discusses a solution based on the use of multiple levels of abstractions, which has been studied within the framework of the European project CAMELEON. Moreover it addresses the problem of evaluating the usability of these tools by discussing the specific issues, the criteria and methodologies applied as well as some results obtained in an experimental activity on the subject.
Keywords: nomadic, multi-platform, context-aware, model-based.
User Interaction with an Automated Solver: The Case of a Mission Planner BIBAKPDF 140-162
  Gabriella Cortellessa; Amedeo Cesta; Angelo Oddi; Nicola Policella
An effective interaction with the user is a key aspect for the success of technological tools applied to both everyday and highly specialized tasks. This paper shows features of MEXAR, an intelligent system that solves a mission planning problem related to the MARS EXPRESS program of the European Space Agency. The paper describes the MEXAR interaction module developed to support human mission planners in a specific daily task, which consists in generating commands for downloading the on-board memory of the spacecraft. The interactive environment of MEXAR helps a user to analyze the current problem and takes planning decisions as a result of an interactive process enhanced by various elaborate facilities. Different interactive techniques have been integrated to address two different aspects: (a) developing trust on behalf of the user in the automated algorithms; (b) promoting a deep participation of the user during problem solving. An integral part of the tool development process has been a usability study on MEXAR'S Interaction Module, aimed at discovering possible problems in user-system interaction. This paper discusses how the enhancement of both transparency and usability of automated decision making tools is fundamental for users' acceptance of artificial support systems and their profitable deployment in real world applications.
Keywords: human-computer interaction, interactive problem solving, planning and scheduling problems, user involvement, space applications.

psychnology 2004 Volume 2 Issue 2

The Interactive Construction of Learning Foci in Simulation-Based Learning Environments: A Case Study of an Anaesthesia Course BIBAKPDF 168-188
  Hans Rystedt; Oskar Lindwall
The dynamic and interactive character of computer simulations is often thought to be advantageous in vocational education. In the present study, video-recorded data from a course in anaesthesia care are analysed in order to explore the conditions for students to understand and act in simulation-based case scenarios. The results show that the students orient themselves to the simulation in three different ways, thereby constituting three different learning foci. Sometimes, when students use resources from their education, the properties of pharmacological preparations are in focus. On other occasions routines at work organise their approach, whilst at other times, they focus on the specific characteristics of the simulation's user interface. In the discussion of the constitution of this hybrid activity, two aspects are presented as especially relevant: first, the students' previous experiences from their education and of nurses' work and, secondly, how the teacher guides the students' orientations toward different resources. Finally, we argue that the simulation could function as a unique learning environment since it provides opportunities for linking experiences from work with more theoretical forms of reasoning in distinctive ways.
Keywords: interactive learning environments; simulations; collaborative learning; interaction analysis.
Managing Intersubjectivity in Distributed Collaboration BIBAKPDF 189-204
  Hans Christian Arnseth; Sten Ludvigsen; Anders Morch; Barbara Wasson
A situated approach is employed to in order to study distributed collaborative learning. We present a case study of how one group of students collaborate through a groupware system called TeamWave Workplace. In addition, we provide an illustration of a case involving a particularly interesting form of use concerning this topic. The main aim of the article is to gain insights into some of the problems students' encounter in distributed communication, especially in regard to how participants establish a shared context for their activities. A particularly important issue in this regard is related to how the system is used in order to manage intersubjectivity. The system offer both opportunities and obstructions as regards communication, depending on how the participants use it for what purposes.
Keywords: Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Learning and Social Intreraction, Distributed Communication, Intersubjectivity
Designing Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Activities for Specific Contexts BIBAKPDF 205-228
  Johan Lundin
This paper explores the design of computer supported collaborative learning activities. There is a need for methods to develop learning activities suitable for various domains. The context in focus here is workplace learning, specifically collaborative learning among mobile and distributed colleagues. The design method proposed builds on input from qualitative studies, organized learning activities and the possibilities of new technology. Scenarios are used to be able to evaluate and innovate learning activities. In this paper the use of learning activities (generally accumulated from research in a non-work context) is combined with qualitative studies to inform design of IT-supported workplace learning. When applying the method to a case of introducing a specific collaborative learning activity (multimedia scenarios) to a context of mobile and distributed workers, it proves useful.
Keywords: CSCL, Workplace learning, Design Methods.
Visualization of Complex Systems - The Two-Shower Model BIBAKPDF 229-241
  Magnhild Viste; Hanne-Lovise Skartveit
This paper addresses ongoing research into visualization of system dynamics models to help the understanding of complex systems. The paper discusses a prototype under development named "The Two-Shower Model". This collaborative interactive learning environment presents learners with a seemingly simple task: to reach a pleasant temperature in two showers that share the same hot water resource. This is however an example of a complex nonlinear system that may be difficult to control. Both particpants must reach an understanding of how the system works in order to be able to control it together. The paper discusses how visualizations may assist the participants in that process.
Keywords: Visualization, Complex Systems, Collaboration, Interactive Learning Environments, Prototype Design.
Collaborative Strategic Planning On-line BIBAKPDF 242-254
  Kimmo Liinamaa; Jussi Nuutinen; Erkki Sutinen; Hannu Vanharanta
It is widely agreed that the rate of change in many industries is faster than ever before. Strategic decisions are, in addition to top management plans, made on a day-to-day basis closer to the firms markets. In order for the decisions made by individual employees to be strategically coherent it is necessary that the employees develop a shared understanding of some of the basic assumptions and concepts affecting their business environment. This paper presents a computer-based collaboration tool, which is used in the context of strategic planning to facilitate knowledge sharing, knowledge utilization, and learning.
Keywords: Strategic Planning, Strategy Process, Web-based Collaboration.

psychnology 2004 Volume 2 Issue 3

Playing Online Games: Flow Experience BIBAKPDF 259-281
  Alexander E. Voiskounsky; Olga V. Mitina; Anastasiya A. Avetisova
Playing MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons, or Multi-User Dimensions), text-only online gaming environments, may initiate flow experience. Online survey research was administered within the population of Russian MUDs players, using the specially designed questionnaire with 3 blocks of questions: demography and experience in playing MUDs; flow experience; interactive patterns. Replies of respondents (N = 347) fit a six factor model: F1 (Flow experience); F2 (Achievement); F3 (Activity/Passivity); F4 (Interaction); F5 (Thoughfulness/Spontaneity); F6 (Cognition). To analyse the data, structural equation modeling was done. All the correlations between the factors are significant (p < 0.05). The set of dimensions describing flow experience while playing MUDs was selected. Since players experience flow while MUDding, it was proposed that flow is one of the sources of MUDs' long-time attractiveness for players.
Keywords: play, online, flow, MUD, structural equation modeling.
Fundamentals of User Perception and Interaction: Environmental Psychology applied in a study of web pages BIBAKPDF 282-303
  Henrik Wimelius
This paper explores the possibility of using theories and concepts from the field of environmental psychology as a framework for understanding perception of- and interaction with web pages. A qualitative pilot experiment has been conducted in order to investigate potential similarities in how people interact with, and perceive web pages and real world environments. This study indicates that perception of web pages is very similar to perception of natural environments. Many key factors that have proven to be important in perception of natural environments, such as complexity, spatial configuration and mystery, also appear to be relevant determinants in perception of web pages. Further, it also seems likely that interaction with web pages, to some extent can be described using a model based upon a conceptual framework depicting habitats selection.
Keywords: environmental psychology, WWW, CHI, perception, interaction
Analysing interaction problems with cyclic interaction theory: Low-level interaction walkthrough BIBAKPDF 304-330
  Hokyoung Ryu; Andrew Monk
This paper aims to develop a brief interface evaluation method on cyclic interaction theory, allowing low-level interaction analysis, i.e., action-effect problems, effect-goal problems, and goal-action problems. It illustrates low-level interaction problems from everyday examples and, in turn, based on cyclic interaction theory a designer review method, the low-level interaction walkthrough, is introduced. The method is a modified version of cognitive walkthrough and the analysis focuses on the issue of direct concern to the practitioner who intends to identify low-level interaction problems in their design specification.
Keywords: Cyclic interaction theory, low-level interaction walkthrough, mode, goal reorganisation, goal-action matching.
A Psychological Cultural approach to VR experiences BIBAKPDF 331-342
  Carlos Ruggeroni
In this paper it is argued that virtual reality represents a locus where general psychological processes can be investigated thanks to the fact that it epitomizes a characteristic that is proper to every human endeavor, namely the construction of reality. This presupposition is taken from Cultural Psychology and it insistence on cultural artifacts as key elements in human development. A brief presentation of major concepts used in the field, like different categories of presence are presented in order to enhance the idea propose.
Keywords: virtual reality, cultural artifact, presence, psychological processes.