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IJHCS Tables of Contents: 464748495051525354555657585960616263646566

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 56

Editors:B. R. Gaines
Publisher:Elsevier Science Publishers
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 1
  2. IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 2
  3. IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 3
  4. IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 4
  5. IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 5
  6. IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 6

IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 1

Editorial: Awareness and the WWW BIB 1-5
  Olivier Liechti; Yasuyuki Sumi
Livemaps for collection awareness BIBA 7-23
  Doron Cohen; Michal Jacovi; Yoelle S. Maarek; Vladimir Soroka
With the increasing proliferation of chat applications on the web, the old vision of "adding people" to the web is becoming a reality. Along with collaboration tools, more and more sites offer people awareness mechanisms to let the site visitors know about each other. This reflects the dual nature of the web as a place for virtual meetings as well as an information repository. While standalone chat tools became the killer application of the Internet, site-related awareness applications did not quite catch on. In this work, we suggest possible reasons for this phenomenon and propose a new paradigm for awareness and social navigation. We identify three main obstacles to the existing site-related awareness applications: high sensitivity to the "critical mass" requirement, inflexible meeting place granularity and poor visitor visibility. To address these issues, we extend the well-known "document awareness" concept to a more general one that we call "collection awareness", which better reflects the graph structure of the web. We introduce a new tool for high-level awareness and collaboration, called Livemaps, which projects live information onto a web site map. We demonstrate how Livemaps addresses the obstacles we pointed out and describe a user study conducted on a "fan" web site for the "Friends" comedy series, so as to verify whether Livemaps actually improves social awareness.
Look who's visiting: supporting visitor awareness in the web BIBA 25-46
  Hans-W. Gellersen; Albrecht Schmidt
Individuals, groups and organizations host places in the World Wide Web to attract visitors, but once they have established a web presence they usually maintain little or no awareness of visiting activity. However, the standard web infrastructure supports the capture of detailed activity-related information. In the first part of this paper, we contribute a preliminary study conducted with expert web hosts in different domains, investigating the use of information on visiting activity as feedback for web operation. From this study, we infer general requirements for web awareness support, based on which we have designed two systems aimed to promote more awareness of web activity and visitors. The first is a system supporting ambient notification of web events, end-user configurability, and ambient display for overview and comparison of activity in a web place. The second system moves beyond awareness of web activity to provide glances into the visitors' sites, introducing reciprocity to the host-visitor relationship. Both systems have been prototyped and deployed in work environments for an evaluation in everyday use.
Supporting on-line resource discovery in the context of ongoing tasks with proactive software assistants BIBA 47-74
  Jay Budzik; Shannon Bradshaw; Xiaobin Fu; Kristian J. Hammond
We present ongoing work on systems aimed at improving a user's awareness of resources available to them on the Internet and in intranets. First, we briefly describe Watson, a system that proactively retrieves documents from on-line repositories that are potentially useful in the context of a task, allowing the user to quickly become aware of document resources available in on-line information repositories. Next, we describe I2I, an extension of Watson that builds communities of practice on the fly, based on the work that its users do, so that users with similar goals and interests can discover each other and communicate both synchronously and asynchronously. Both Watson and I2I operate given some knowledge of the user's current task, gleaned automatically from the behavior of users in software tools. As a result, the systems can provide users with useful resources in the context of the work that they are performing. We argue that the systems can foster a greater sense of awareness of the resources available, while minimizing the effort required to discover them.
Design, experiences and user preferences for a web-based awareness tool BIBA 75-107
  Alison Lee; Andreas Girgensohn
We describe our experiences with the design, implementation, deployment and evaluation of a Portholes tool which provides group and collaboration awareness through the Web. The research objective was to explore as to how such a system would improve communication and facilitate a shared understanding among distributed development groups. During the deployment of our Portholes system, we conducted a naturalistic study by soliciting user feedback and evolving the system in response. Many of the initial reactions of potential users indicated that our system projected the wrong image so that we designed a new version that provided explicit cues about being in public and who is looking back to suggest a social rather than information interface. We implemented the new design as a Java applet and evaluated design choices with a preference study. Our experiences with different Portholes versions and user reactions to them provide insights for designing awareness tools beyond Portholes systems. Our approach is for the studies to guide and to provide feedback for the design and technical development of our system.
Virtual team awareness and groupware support: an evaluation of the TeamSCOPE system BIBA 109-126
  Chyng-Yang Jang; Charles Steinfield; Ben Pfaff
This paper overviews a Web-based collaborative system called TeamSCOPE that has been designed to support awareness needs of globally distributed teams. Four types of awareness needs of virtual teams are defined and the awareness support features of TeamSCOPE are described. The usage patterns of eight globally distributed engineering design teams are outlined, and evaluation results are provided. Findings illustrate how group process interacts with technology to create design challenges in the support of virtual team awareness needs.
Supporting the awareness of shared interests and experiences in communities BIBA 127-146
  Yasuyuki Sumi; Kenji Mase
In this paper, we propose a notion of facilitating encounters and knowledge sharing among people having shared interests and experiences in museums, conferences, etc. In order to show our approach and its current state, this paper presents our project to build a communityware system situated in real-world contexts. The aims of the project are to build a tour guidance system personalized according to its user's individual contexts, and to facilitate knowledge communications among communities by matchmaking users having shared interests and providing real and/or virtual places for their meetings. In this paper, we first show PalmGuide, a hand-held tour guidance system. After that, we show two systems designed to increase the level of "community awareness". One is called Semantic Map, a visual interface for exploring community information, such as exhibits and people (focusing on exhibitors and visitors). The other is called AgentSalon, a display showing conversations between personal agents according to their users' profiles and interests.
Instant messaging with WebWho BIBA 147-171
  Ylva Hard Af Segerstad; Peter Ljungstrand
We present a study of how awareness of presence affects content of instant messaging sent between students using WebWho, an easily accessible web-based awareness tool. WebWho visualizes where people are located in a large university computer lab and allows students to virtually locate one another and communicate via an instant messaging system. As WebWho is there to be accessed through any web browser, it requires no programming skills or special software. It may also be used from outside the computer lab by students located elsewhere. The sender's user name is normally automatically added to the instant messages, but the messages can also be sent anonymously. We were interested in finding out if the sender's conscious hiding of his or her identity seemed to be reflected in the content of anonymous messages, and how these differed from those with identified senders. Awareness of presence seems to be one of several factors influencing message composition, both content and structural aspects. At this stage, we have primarily focused on examining how different factors affects the content of the messages. We cross-analysed the messages for content in relation to parameters such as sender location (collocated, distributed and distant) and sender status (anonymous vs. identified), in order to find out whether awareness of presence seems to be an influencing factor. Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is often claimed to be a sort of hybrid between spoken and written interaction [c.f. Ferrara, Brunner & Whittemore (1991) and and several others]. We compared the messages that were sent using the instant messaging tool in WebWho with data from other types of CMC (email, chat) and also with corpora of spoken language and traditionally written language. The aim of the study was primarily to investigate awareness of presence affects on instant messaging, and only secondarily to investigate spoken vs. written features of the texts. Results show that awareness of both physical and virtual presence affects the content of the messages, and that these factors affects the text differently. Sender status, the nature of the computer-mediated medium, and the written mode shape the messages as well. Results show that the students use the messaging system to support collaborative work and coordinate social activities, and extensively for playful behaviour.

IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 2

A comparison of the affordances of a digital desk and tablet for architectural image tasks BIBA 173-197
  Ame Elliott; Marti A. Hearst
The physical context of architectural design includes large workspaces, typically drafting tables covered with piles of images and sketches. We are investigating if and how a large computerized workspace can be integrated usefully into such a design environment. To this end, we compared a large computerized desktop (digital desk) to a standard desktop computer and a small tablet environment for two typical architecture design tasks: sketching and image sorting. For the sketching task, the participants' preferences were evenly divided between the digital desk and the tablet. For the image sorting task, the desk was the least preferred environment, and produced significantly higher sorting times and more mistakes. Investigation into the causes of this difference yielded several interesting findings, including: the height of the participant was significantly associated with their speed on the sorting task, the larger image size available on the desk compensated for its poorer resolution in subjective preferences, and the quality of the alignment of the pen was an important factor both for preference and scoring results in the sketching task. Highly responsive pen input devices seem critical for user satisfaction not only for sketching, but also for image sorting; the effects of large display spaces are difficult to isolate from the limitations of input device. This paper elaborates on these findings and considers the implications for the design of user interfaces for image manipulation, in particular interaction techniques appropriate to using pen-input with large display surfaces.
Verification and validation of the SACHEM conceptual model BIBA 199-223
  M. Le Goc; C. Frydman; L. Torres
We present a method for transforming a KADS conceptual model (informal) into an operational model (formal) based on high-level Petri nets. The KADS model we consider specifies the functional architecture of the knowledge-based system called SACHEM, designed for blast furnace control. The operationalizing process we propose allows the KADS model to be completed and validated. Upon execution of the operational model, the dynamics of the system can be simulated. Thus the proposed operationalizing process contributed to the validation and verification of the SACHEM conceptual model.
Preventing user errors by systematic analysis of deviations from the system task model BIBA 225-245
  Fabio Paterno; Carmen Santoro
Interactive safety-critical applications have specific requirements that cannot be completely captured by traditional evaluation techniques. In this paper, we discuss how to perform a systematic inspection-based analysis to improve both usability and safety aspects of an application. The analysis considers a system prototype and the related task model and aims to evaluate what could happen when interactions and behaviours occur differently from what the system design assumes. We also provide a description and discussion of an application of this method to a case study in the air traffic control domain.
Informing the evaluation and design of technology in intentional work environments through a focus on artefacts and implicit theories BIBA 247-265
  Ann M. Bisantz; Jennifer J. Ockerman
Observation and analysis of work and computer systems in context can provide valuable information for the evaluation, design and further development of computer systems; however, there are still questions regarding the analysis and utilization of information from field studies. In particular, from a design viewpoint, it is necessary to be able to move from the extensive observational data that is often collected during a field study to information that is relevant for design. In this paper, we discuss the use of theories and models of human-machine interaction to guide the analysis of information gathered during field studies, and illustrate the application of an artefact-based theory with the results from two different and independently conducted case studies. This approach was valuable in structuring information collected in flexible environments, in which models that rely on the normative procedures found in more causal environments may be less useful. In addition to shaping the interpretation of data from the two studies, the use of an artefact-based theory also proved useful in integrating results across the two field studies, to suggest more domain-independent design criteria.
Corrigendum: Graphic and numerical methods to assess navigation in hypertext BIB 267

IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 3

Understanding the materiality of writing from multiple sources BIBA 269-305
  Kenton P. O'Hara; Alex Taylor; William Newman; Abigail J. Sellen
Writing research has typically focussed on the text production elements of writing. Many everyday writing tasks, however, cannot be characterized simply in terms of text production since they often involve the use of source materials to support the composition process. As such, these tasks are better thought of as hybrid tasks. Such hybrid tasks have been given relatively little attention in the literature and what little work has been done has taken a purely cognitive approach that downplays the material context within which the task takes place. Following Haas' critique of mainstream writing research which advocated the need to consider the material tools and artefacts in theories of writing, this paper takes a similar approach in relation to the hybrid tasks of writing while reading from multiple sources. A study is presented that explores a range of everyday writing from multiple sources in their real-world contexts. The study highlights a number of important characteristics of the interaction with the material artefacts used during these tasks and the impact that these have on the underlying cognitive processes. The hope is that these will begin to offer some grounding on which future theoretical understanding of these hybrid tasks can build, as well as providing useful insights into the design of technologies to support these tasks.
Applying models of visual search to menu design BIBA 307-330
  Baili Liu; Gregory Francis; Gavriel Salvendy
The Guided Search (GS) model, a quantitative model of visual search, was used to develop menu designs in a four-step process. First, a GS simulation model was defined for a menu search task. Second, model parameters were estimated to provide the best fit between model predictions and experimental data. Third, an optimization algorithm was used to identify the menu design that minimized model predicted search times based on predefined search frequencies of different menu items. Fourth, the design was tested. The results indicate that the GS model has the potential to be part of a system for predicting or automating the design of menus.

IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 4

An introduction to clarity: a schematic functional language for managing the design of complex systems BIBA 331-374
  T. R. Addis; J. J. Townsend Addis
Clarity is a functional schematic programming language currently freely available to the community. It is a programming environment that allows a user to draw a program as a set of directed graphs. The term schematic is drawn from the traditions of engineering where the diagrams that represent electronic circuits or those of physical objects are often referred to as schematic drawings. A schema is a set of pictures or graphs that represent a program or working model. A schematic is taken as a system of tokens and structuring rules that expresses a program, model or concept; it is a graphical language. This paper introduces the principles behind design and issues to be considered when dealing with complex systems. The reasons why a "functional" representation provides a non-invasive approach to design and forms the basis of "good" design are described. In particular, the advantages of using diagrams is shown to be because the schema constructions make the structure of complex systems explicit as well as make a functional representation more intelligible than its sentential equivalent.
APECKS: using and evaluating a tool for ontology construction with internal and external KA support BIBA 375-422
  Jeni Tennison; Kieron O'Hara; Nigel Shadbolt
This paper describes Adaptive Presentation Environment for Collaboration Knowledge Structuring (APECKS), an experimental tool for collaborative ontology construction. APECKS takes a different line to most ontology servers, in that it is designed for use by domain experts, possibly in the absence of a knowledge engineer, and its aim is to foster and support debate about domain ontologies. To that end, it does not enforce ideals of consistency or correctness, and instead allows different conceptualizations of a domain to coexist. The system architecture and life cycle are introduced, and three extensive scenarios are outlined, showing how APECKS supports ontology construction, learning, ontology comparison and discussion. APECKS has also been used by several subjects during an evaluation experiment, and the results of this experiment are described. A particular factor about APECKS is that, as well as providing internal KA support, it is designed to interface with web-accessible KA tools, thereby allowing theoretically unlimited KA support for users. The prototype used WebGrid-II as external KA support, and the issues involved in integrating APECKS and WebGrid are discussed in detail.
Virtual team interaction styles: assessment and effects BIBA 423-443
  Richard E. Potter; Pierre A. Balthazard
The virtual team is an increasingly common strategic work unit of many organizations. The virtual team, via various computer-based media (e.g. email, groupware) and noncomputer-based media (e.g. telephone), can interact and collaborate though separated by distance and time. One approach to their study is determining whether factors that drive conventional team performance also exist in the virtual environment. Interaction style has been shown to have a great effect on conventional teams' ability to achieve solution quality and solution acceptance on collaborative decision tasks (Hirokawa, 1985; Watson & Michaelsen 1988; Hirokawa & Gouran, 1989; Cooke & Szumal, 1994). Group interaction styles affect communication and thus team performance by facilitating or hindering the exchange of information among group members. These styles reflect an aggregation of behavioral traits of individual team members, rooted in their individual personalities. The interaction style of conventional teams can be reliably assessed, and from that assessment, performance on collaborative decision tasks can be predicted. This study investigated whether or not virtual teams who collaborate via computer-mediated communication also exhibit similar interaction styles, and whether the styles have the same effects on their decision performance and process outcomes as they do with conventional teams. Members of 42 virtual teams completed an intellective decision first individually and then collaboratively. Post-task measures captured individual and team performance data (e.g. solution quality) as well as process perceptions (individual acceptance of the team solution). An additional post-task tool was able to accurately capture the teams' interaction style. Results show that the interaction styles of virtual teams affect both performance and process outcomes in ways that are directionally consistent with those exhibited by conventional face-to-face teams. Implications include recommending the methodology for virtual team management, and suggestions for future research are offered.
FAN : Finding Accurate iNductions BIBA 445-474
  Jose Ranilla; Antonio Bahamonde
In this paper we present a machine-learning algorithm that computes a small set of accurate and interpretable rules. The decisions of these rules can be straight-forwardly explained as the conclusions drawn by a case-based reasoner. Our system is named FAN, an acronym for Finding Accurate iNductions. It starts from a collection of training examples and produces propositional rules able to classify unseen cases following a minimum-distance criterion in their evaluation procedure. In this way, we combine the advantages of instance-based algorithms and the conciseness of rule (or decision-tree) inducers. The algorithm followed by FAN can be seen as the result of successive steps of pruning heuristics. The main tool employed is that of the impurity level, a measure of the classification quality of a rule, inspired by a similar measure used in IB3. Finally, a number of experiments were conducted with standard benchmark datasets of the UCI repository to test the performance of our system, successfully comparing FAN with a wide collection of machine-learning algorithms.

IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 5

Learner outcomes in an asynchronous distance education environment BIBA 475-494
  Alan D. Carswell; Viswanath Venkatesh
This research investigated student outcomes in a web-based distance learning environment characterized by asynchronous electronic communications between student and teacher. We employed two dominant theories -- the theory of planned behavior and innovation diffusion theory -- to study student reactions to web-based distance education. We hypothesized that student perceptions of the technology are positively related to learning outcomes and intentions to further use the technology, and are negatively related to using alternative, synchronous media in the learning experience. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered from 540 students via a web-based survey. Partial support was found for the hypotheses. Theoretical and practical implications for human-computer interaction, distance education and user acceptance are discussed.
KJ3 -- a tool assisting formal validation of knowledge-based systems*1 BIBA 495-524
  Chih-Hung Wu; Shie-Jue Lee
This paper presents the design and implementation of KJ3 (Knowledge Judgment, version 3) which is an assisting tool for formal validation of knowledge-based systems (KBSs). The KJ3 project is motivated by two main obstacles to knowledge validation, the lack of a uniform representation and a comprehensive validation procedure. KJ3 combines Petri Nets and theorem proving techniques to solve these difficulties. In KJ3, the Enhanced High-Level Petri Net (EHLPN) is employed as a meta representation scheme to describe different KBS formalisms in a uniform format. With EHLPN, there is only one type of problems, the reachability problems, to be solved for all validation tasks. The kernel of KJ3 is a hyper-linking-based theorem prover which serves as the inference engine for checking the correctness of the transformed reachability problems. Because of the versatility of EHLPN and the soundness and completeness of the hyper-linking proof procedure, KJ3 is a reliable and robust platform for formal validation. Users can apply KJ3 to validate different types of KBSs without concerning the inference process involved in the validation procedure. Other main features of KJ3 include a friendly user interface for describing and transforming KBSs and defining the validation tasks, a mechanism for explaining the validation results, and facilities for analysing the behaviour of KBSs and defining new types of KBSs and validation tasks.
A metadata filter for intranet portal organizational memory information systems BIBA 525-537
  Yong Gu Ji; Gavriel Salvendy
An intranet portal is proposed as an information infrastructure to support organizational learning. Specifically, an agent-like metadata filter for easy information/knowledge retrieval in the intranet portal is suggested and tested. The metadata filter preserves the context of digital objects and presents an uncluttered window by controlling the metadata elements. An experiment using 20 participants examined whether the metadata filter reduces search and retrieval performance time (the dependent variable). The main results indicate that the metadata filter significantly (36%) improved user's performance in identifying information. The results of the study suggest that the proposed metadata filer may be an effective interface tool to improve users' performances in identifying information in an intranet portal organizational memory information system.
An empirical study of on-line help design: features and principles BIBA 539-566
  Helen C. Purchase; Joshua Worrill
Designers of on-line help systems have two sets of resources at their disposal: the set of features implemented in currently available systems (which are rapidly becoming a defacto standard), and a set of theoretical principles suggested by researchers in the area. There is no published evidence that either these features or principles have been empirically tested for their suitability from the users' perspective. This paper reports on an empirical study which aimed to assess the usability of a set of on-line help features and principles, in the context of users performing real application tasks. The results reveal that the more general principles associated with understandability are considered the most relevant, and that while users may complain about the design of existing on-line help features, they tend to value them more than features with which they are unfamiliar. A follow-up study showed that only minor changes need to be made to the existing defacto standard for users' concerns to be addressed, without sacrificing the advantages of familiarity. The study addresses questions of context sensitivity, obtrusiveness and the importance of definitions, and highlights the usefulness of questioning emerging defacto standards that have not been based on empirical studies.

IJHCS 2002 Volume 56 Issue 6

Work domain analysis and sensors I: principles and simple example BIBA 569-596
  Dal Vernon C. Reising; Penelope M. Sanderson
In this paper we establish a foundation for understanding the instrumentation needs of complex dynamic systems if ecological interface design (EID)-based interfaces are to be robust in the face of instrumentation failures. EID-based interfaces often include configural displays which reveal the higher-order properties of complex systems. However, concerns have been expressed that such displays might be misleading when instrumentation is unreliable or unavailable. Rasmussen's abstraction hierarchy (AH) formalism can be extended to include representations of sensors near the functions or properties about which they provide information, resulting in what we call a "sensor-annotated abstraction hierarchy". Sensor-annotated AHs help the analyst determine the impact of different instrumentation engineering policies on higher-order system information by showing how the data provided from individual sensors propagates within and across levels of abstraction in the AH. The use of sensor-annotated AHs with a configural display is illustrated with a simple water reservoir example. We argue that if EID is to be effectively employed in the design of interfaces for complex systems, then the information needs of the human operator need to be considered at the earliest stages of system development while instrumentation requirements are being formulated. In this way, Rasmussen's AH promotes a formative approach to instrumentation engineering.
Work domain analysis and sensors II: Pasteurizer II case study BIBA 597-637
  Dal Vernon C. Reising; Penelope M. Sanderson
In this paper we use sensor-annotated abstraction hierarchies (Reising & Sanderson, 1996, 2002a , b) to show that unless appropriately instrumented, configural displays designed according to the principles of ecological interface design (EID) might be vulnerable to misinterpretation when sensors become unreliable or are unavailable. Building on foundations established in Reising and Sanderson (2002 a) we use a pasteurization process control example to show how sensor-annotated AHs help the analyst determine the impact of different instrumentation engineering policies on a configural display that is part of an ecological interface. Our analyses suggest that configural displays showing higher-order properties of a system are especially vulnerable under some conservative instrumentation configurations. However, sensor-annotated AHs can be used to indicate where corrective instrumentation might be placed. We argue that if EID is to be effectively employed in the design of displays for complex systems, then the information needs of the human operator need to be considered while instrumentation requirements are being formulated. Rasmussen's abstraction hierarchy -- and particularly its extension to the analysis of information captured by sensors and derived from sensors -- may therefore be a useful adjunct to up-stream instrumentation design.
Ontological methodology BIBA 639-664
  Roberto Poli
The interest in ontology may peter out unless three problems are addressed: What are the boundaries of ontology? What types are there of ontology? What is the structure of ontology? After distinguishing three main kinds of information (ontological, quasi-ontological and non-ontological) and three types of ontologies (descriptive, formal and formalized), the paper presents a few basic ontological sub-theories (theory of particulars, of levels of reality, of wholes, parts and boundaries, and the intensive-extensive opposition for determinations). The methodology of domain analysis is further addressed and the distinction between a domain's structure and the scheme of the canonical item of a domain is introduced.
A cooperative framework for integrating ontologies BIBA 665-720
  Jesualdo Tomas Fernandez-Breis; Rodrigo Martinez-Bejar
Nowadays, there are systems and frameworks that support Ontology construction processes. However, ontology integration processes have not sufficiently been specified to date. In this article, by making use of a cooperative philosophy, we describe a real framework for the integration of ontologies supplied by a predetermined set of (expert) users, who may be interconnected through a communication network. This framework is based on a set of well-defined assumptions that guarantee the consistency of the ontology derived from the ontology integration process. Moreover, in the approach presented here, every (expert) user may consult the so-derived ontology constructed until a given moment in order to refine his or her private ontology. In addition to this, the model proposed in this work allows the experts involved in the construction of the ontology to use their own terminology when querying the global ontology obtained until a given instant from their own co-operative work. The validation of the framework is also included in this work.