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Human-Computer Interaction 12

Editors:Thomas P. Moran
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 0737-0024
Links:Table of Contents
  1. HCI 1997 Volume 12 Issue 1/2
  2. HCI 1997 Volume 12 Issue 3
  3. HCI 1997 Volume 12 Issue 4

HCI 1997 Volume 12 Issue 1/2

Multimodal Interfaces

Introduction to This Special Issue on Multimodal Interfaces BIB 1-5
  Sharon Oviatt; Wolfgang Wahlster
Transforming Graphical Interfaces Into Auditory Interfaces for Blind Users BIBA 7-45
  Elizabeth D. Mynatt
Although graphical interfaces have provided a host of advantages to the majority of computer users, they have created a significant barrier to blind computer users. To meet the needs of these users, a methodology for transforming graphical interfaces into nonvisual interfaces has been developed. In this design, the salient components of graphical interfaces are transformed into auditory interfaces. Based on a hierarchical model of the graphical interface, the auditory interface utilizes auditory icons to convey interface objects. Users navigate the interface by traversing its hierarchical structure. This design results in a usable interface that meets the needs of blind users and provides many of the benefits of graphical interfaces.
Access to Mathematics for Visually Disabled Students Through Multimodal Interaction BIBA 47-92
  Robert D. Stevens; Alistair D. N. Edwards; Philip A. Harling
Mathematics relies on visual forms of communication and is thus largely inaccessible to people who cannot communicate in this manner because of visual disabilities. This article outlines the Mathtalk project, which addressed this problem by using computers to produce multimodal renderings of mathematical information. This example is unusual in that it is essential to use multiple modalities because of the nature and the difficulty of the application. In addition, the emphasis is on nonvisual (and hence novel) modalities.
   Crucial to designing a usable auditory interface to algebra notation is an understanding of the differences between visual and listening reading, particularly those aspects that make the former active and the latter passive. A discussion of these differences yields the twin themes of compensation for lack of external memory and provision of control over information flow. These themes were addressed by: the introduction of prosody to convey algebraic structure in synthetically spoken expressions; the provision of structure-based browsing functions; and the use of a prosody-based musical glance based on algebra earcons.
Multimodal Interactive Maps: Designing for Human Performance BIBA 93-129
  Sharon Oviatt
Dynamic interactive maps with powerful interface capabilities are beginning to emerge for a variety of geographical information systems, including ones situated on portables for travelers, students, business and service people, and others working in field settings. In part through the design of more expressive and flexible input capabilities, these map systems can provide new capabilities not supported by conventional interfaces of the past. In this research, interfaces supporting spoken, pen-based, and multimodal input were analyzed for their effectiveness in interacting with map systems. Input modality and map display format were varied as people completed realistic tasks with a simulated map system. The results identified a constellation of performance difficulties with speech-only map interactions, including elevated performance errors, lengthier task completion time, and more complex and disfluent input -- problems that declined substantially when people could interact multimodally. These difficulties also mirrored a strong user preference to interact multimodally. The error-proneness and unacceptability of speech-only input to maps was traced to people's difficulty articulating spatially oriented descriptions. Analyses also indicated that map displays can be structured to minimize performance errors and disfluencies effectively. Implications of this research are discussed for the design of high-performance multimodal interfaces for future map systems.
Toward an Information Visualization Workspace: Combining Multiple Means of Expression BIBA 131-185
  Steven F. Roth; Mei C. Chuah; Stephan Kerpedjiev; John A. Kolojejchick; Peter Lucas
New user interface challenges are arising because people need to explore and perform many diverse tasks involving large quantities of abstract information. Visualizing information is one approach to these challenges. But visualization must involve much more than just enabling people to "see" information. People must also manipulate it to focus on what is relevant and reorganize it to create new information. They must also communicate and share information in collaborative settings and act directly to perform their tasks based on this information. These goals suggest the need for information visualization workspaces with new interaction approaches. We present several systems -- Visage, SAGE, and selective dynamic manipulation (SDM) -- that comprise such a workspace and a suite of user interface techniques for creating and manipulating integrative visualizations. Our work in this area revealed the need for interfaces that enable people to communicate with systems in multiple complementary ways. We discuss four dimensions for analyzing user interfaces that reveal the combination of design approaches needed for visualizations to support information analysis tasks effectively. We discuss the results of our attempts to provide multiple forms of expression using direct manipulation and propose areas where multimodal techniques are likely to be more effective.
A Mechanism for Multimodal Presentation Planning Based on Agent Cooperation and Negotiation BIBA 187-226
  Yi Han; Ingrid Zukerman
A multimodal presentation planning mechanism must take into consideration the structure of the discourse and the constraints imposed by discourse relations. This requires that different processes that perform multimodal presentation planning be able to communicate with each other. In this article, we introduce a multiagent architecture based on the blackboard system that satisfies this requirement. In addition, we describe a constraint propagation mechanism that transfers plan constraints from one level of the presentation planning process to the next, and we discuss the cooperation and negotiation processes between modality-specific agents in a prototype system that implements the multiagent planning mechanism.

HCI 1997 Volume 12 Issue 3

Technology, Group Process, and Group Outcomes: Testing the Connections in Computer-Mediated and Face-to-Face Groups BIBA 227-266
  Susan G. Straus
This article examines the effect of communication media on group processes and the consequent effect of processes on group cohesiveness, satisfaction, and productivity using mediated regression analysis. Data are based on Straus and McGrath (1994), in which 72 three-person groups worked on idea generation, intellective, and judgment tasks in either computer-mediated (CM) or face-to-face (FTF) discussions. Straus and McGrath found that in comparison to FTF groups, CM groups were less productive across tasks and expressed lower satisfaction in the judgment task. This article adds to findings about group outcomes by showing that CM groups expressed lower cohesiveness than did FTF groups. Analysis of communication processes shows that CM groups had higher proportions of task communication and disagreement and greater equality of participation. In contrast to prior reports that people using electronic communication are depersonalized, CM groups did not engage in more attacking behavior and they exchanged higher rates of supportive communication than did FTF groups. Mediated regression analysis reveals that the group process accounted for the effect of communication mode on cohesiveness and satisfaction but not on productivity. Results suggest that media effects on outcomes, as well as on processes such as task focus and equality of participation, are due to the rates by which CM and FTF groups operate and not necessarily because of any inherently depersonalizing feature of electronic communication.
Graphical Argumentation and Design Cognition BIBA 267-300
  Simon J. Buckingham Shum; Allan MacLean; Victoria M. E. Bellotti; Nick V. Hammond
Many efforts have been made to exploit the properties of graphical notations to support argument construction and communication. In the context of design rationale capture, we are interested in graphical argumentation structures as cognitive tools to support individual and collaborative design in real time. This context of use requires a detailed understanding of how a new representational structure integrates into the cognitive and discursive flow of design, that is, whether it provides supportive or intrusive structure. This article presents a use-oriented analysis of a graphical argumentation notation known as QOC (Questions, Options, and Criteria). Through a series of empirical studies, we show that it provides most support when elaborating poorly understood design spaces, but is a distraction when evaluating well-constrained design spaces. This is explained in terms of the cognitive compatibility between argumentative reasoning and the demands of different modes of designing. We then provide an account based on the collaborative affordances of QOC in group design meetings, and extend this to discuss the evolution of QOC argumentation from short term working memory to long term group memory.

HCI 1997 Volume 12 Issue 4

Cognitive Architectures and Human-Computer Interaction

Introduction to This Special Issue on Cognitive Architectures and Human-Computer Interaction BIBA 301-309
  Wayne D. Gray; Richard M. Young; Susan S. Kirschenbaum
This special issue was assembled by editors and contributors who believe that cognitive architectures provide the most important new contribution to a theoretical basis for HCI (human-computer interaction) since the publication of The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction (Card, Moran, & Newell, 1983). In this introduction, we provide a brief overview of what cognitive architectures are and why we find them exciting. Then we introduce the four architectures represented by articles in this special issue.
The Role of Cognitive Architecture in Modeling the User: Soar's Learning Mechanism BIBA 311-343
  Andrew Howes; Richard M. Young
What is the role of a cognitive architecture in shaping a model built within it? Compared with a model written in a programming language, the cognitive architecture offers theoretical constraints. These constraints can be "soft," in that some ways of constructing a model are facilitated and others made more difficult, or they can be "hard," in that certain aspects of a model are enforced and others ruled out. We illustrate a variety of these possibilities. In the case of Soar, its learning mechanism is sufficiently constraining that it imposes hard constraints on models constructed within it. We describe how one of these hard constraints deriving from Soar's learning mechanism ensures that models constructed within Soar must learn a display-based skill and, other things being equal, must find display-based devices easier to learn than keyboard-based devices. We discuss the relation between architecture and model in terms of the degree to which a model is "compliant" with the constraints set by the architecture. Although doubts are sometimes expressed as to whether cognitive architectures have any empirical consequences for user modeling, our analysis shows that they do. Architectures play their part by imposing theoretical constraints on the models constructed within them, and the extent to which the influence of the architecture shows through in the model's behavior depends on the compliancy of the model.
A Comprehension-Based Model of Exploration BIBA 345-389
  Muneo Kitajima; Peter G. Polson
The linked model of comprehension-based action planning and instruction taking (LICAI) simulates performing by exploration tasks using applications hosted on systems with graphical user interfaces. The tasks are given to the user as written exercises containing no information about the correct action sequences. LICAI's comprehension and action-planning processes are based on Kintsch's construction-integration (C-I) theory for text comprehension. The model assumes that comprehending instructions is a strategic process; instruction texts must be elaborated using specialized strategies that guide goal generation. LICAI comprehends the instructions and generates goals that are then stored in memory. The action-planning processes are controlled by goals retrieved from memory. Representations of goals that can guide exploration are restricted by the C-I architecture. The model predicts that successful exploration requires linking of the goal representation with the label on the correct object. The model is evaluated by comparing its predictions with results from an experimental study of learning by exploration by Franzke (1994, 1995). We discuss the implications of LICAI for designing instruction materials and interfaces that facilitate exploration.
An Overview of the EPIC Architecture for Cognition and Performance With Application to Human-Computer Interaction BIBA 391-438
  David E. Kieras; David E. Meyer
EPIC (Executive Process-Interactive Control) is a cognitive architecture especially suited for modeling human multimodal and multiple-task performance. The EPIC architecture includes peripheral sensory-motor processors surrounding a production-rule cognitive processor and is being used to construct precise computational models for a variety of human-computer interaction situations. We briefly describe some of these models to demonstrate how EPIC clarifies basic properties of human performance and provides usefully precise accounts of performance speed.
ACT-R: A Theory of Higher Level Cognition and Its Relation to Visual Attention BIBA 439-462
  John R. Anderson; Michael Matessa; Christian Lebiere
The ACT-R system is a general system for modeling a wide range of higher level cognitive processes. Recently, it has been embellished with a theory of how its higher level processes interact with a visual interface. This includes a theory of how visual attention can move across the screen, encoding information into a form that can be processed by ACT-R. This system is applied to modeling several classic phenomena in the literature that depend on the speed and selectivity with which visual attention can move across a visual display. ACT-R is capable of interacting with the same computer screens that subjects do and, as such, is well suited to provide a model for tasks involving human-computer interaction. In this article, we discuss a demonstration of ACT-R's application to menu selection and show that the ACT-R theory makes unique predictions, without estimating any parameters, about the time to search a menu. These predictions are confirmed.