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International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 18

Editors:B. R. Gaines; D. R. Hill
Publisher:Academic Press
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 1
  2. IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 2
  3. IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 3
  4. IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 4
  5. IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 5
  6. IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 6

IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 1

An Analysis of Expert Thinking BIBA 1-47
  David Hawkins
Human expertise should be better understood before the users of expert systems specify the service needed and expected from such systems. An analysis of expert thinking has been developed to assist in this understanding. The analysis is discussed in the paper under three main headings:
   Specifications: examples are given of the services users obtain from human experts, in the particular domain of petroleum geology. These services indicate general qualities desirable in a human and, by analogy, in a system. The qualities are listed as specifications for expert system design.
   A theory of expert thinking: how human experts acquire, understand and use their knowledge (particularly with reference to petroleum geology). The theory identifies a number of human, knowledge-handling techniques which could be implemented in a system to meet most of the user's specifications.
   Human and system expertise: a comparison suggests that, properly designed and suitably applied, an expert system can help its users make well-informed decisions; failing this, the system may prove dangerously misleading and should not be accepted as a substitute for an accountable, human expert.
Fuzzy Decision Making with Multiple Objectives and Discrete Membership Functions BIBA 49-54
  Edward L. Hannan
A multiple objective decision making problem in which fuzzy sets are used to represent the decision maker's valuations of the objectives is addressed. A method presented by Yager is demonstrated to be inconsistent with a more general approach suggested by Baldwin & Guild. An alternative model which is consistent with the Baldwin & Guild model is presented. This model is shown to be consistent with the standard non-fuzzy approach when the associated preferences are no longer vague.
Modelling Man-Machine Interface in a Data Base Environment BIBA 55-70
  Israel Spiegler
A method for the conceptual representation of queries in a man-machine data base environment is presented. The conceptual model is also used to categorize the queries into distinguishable classes. This provides users with a framework for stating their requests, and gives data base professionals a tool for designing interface languages and data base structures.
An Experimental Study of Natural Language Programming BIBA 71-87
  Alan W. Biermann; Bruce W. Ballard; Anne H. Sigmon
An experiment is described which gives data related to the usefulness and efficiency of English as a programming language. The experiment was performed with the NLC system, described herein, and used twenty-three paid volunteers from a first course in programming. Subjects were asked to solve two problems, namely (1) solution of linear equations and (2) gradebook averaging. A total of 1581 English sentences were typed, 81% of which were processed correctly. The remaining 19% were rejected because of questionable user syntax or system inadequacies. In most cases, subjects were able to paraphrase a rejected input in terminology understandable by the system. The overall success rate at solving an entire problem within the 2 1/2 h time constraint of the experiment, was 73.9%. In short, the system was an effective problem solver for the selected classes of problems and users. Many system failures resulted from "bugs" or syntactic oversights which appear amenable to easy repair. None of the standard concerns about natural language programming related to vagueness, ambiguity, verbosity or correctness was a significant problem, although minor difficulties did arise occasionally.
Whither Device Independence in Interactive Graphics? BIBA 89-99
  Jan van den Bos
Most present approaches to input-output device independence in the area of interactive systems, in particular in computer graphics, are quite rigid and inflexible, or do not fully utilize the capabilities of the physical devices actually used. A different approach, based on input-output abstractions, is shown to combine a large amount of device independence with flexible adaptation to a varying input-output environment. A language construct for such abstractions, the input-output tool, is presented as an aid in this approach.

IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 2

The Role of Excursions in Interactive Systems BIBA 101-112
  Jared Darlington; Wolfgang Dzida; Siegfried Herda
It is recommended that man-machine dialogue systems be designed so as to make them more self-explanatory, and hence more user-friendly, by the inclusion of a dialogue form called an excursion tour. This is defined as an information-gathering sequence of operations that enables the user to learn the commands which change his data sets, and which are called direct way commands. The distinction between the excursion and the direct way forms of dialogue is justified in terms of cognitive psychological theory, and corresponds to the distinction made there between planning and performance, or between knowing and doing. The operation of the two dialogue forms and their interaction is represented by an extension of the TOTE model of human task performance. The term interactive deadlock, or unsolvable incongruence, is introduced to denote the situation in which either no command exists that will further an essential subgoal, or if it does exist the user has no way of discovering it within the system. In terms of the TOTE model, it is shown how such deadlocks or incongruences that are unsolvable on one level may be overcome by extending the user's knowledge with the help of excursions.
Human Factors Guidelines in Computer Graphics: A Case Study BIBA 113-133
  Elaine G. Davis; Robert W. Swezey
This paper presents, in the form of a case study, guidelines on relevant human factors considerations for use in designing a computer graphics system. Although the guidelines presented here are not considered to be exhaustive, and were developed to apply to a specific system, many of the issues addressed may be of considerable general interest in such situations. Both guidelines extracted from the literature and authors' design observations are presented for each of six principal system components addressed. These components are: the graphics display (color CRT monitor); the man-computer dialogue used for interactive communication (menu selection dialogue); the graphics tablet; an alphanumeric support display (black-and-white CRT monitor); an alphanumeric keyboard for inputing data into the support CRT; and the workspace within which these components are located. This study points out areas requiring further research and experimentation towards the development of man-computer interface guidelines.
What We Do Not Know about Man-Machine Systems BIBA 135-143
  Erik Hollnagel
The human part of man-machine systems is generally described in physicalistic terms, as if man was a machine. Although this is in good agreement with the tendency of behavioral science to emulate natural science, it is inherently wrong because it obscures where our knowledge is deficient. Physicalistic descriptions can only capture those aspects of man which submit to the metaphor of the machine, and must fail to account for the rest. This inadequacy of the physicalistic approach becomes gradually more clear, as the complexity of man-machine systems increases. Humans, unlike machines, are not designed explicitly as parts of man-machine systems, but have rather a plethora of capacities of which some are beneficial and some detrimental to the functioning of the system. Since we cannot simply add to the physicalistic descriptions, the alternative is to describe man on his own premises -- essentially a psychological description with full recognition of the characteristics of man -- and then later combine the physicalistic description of the machine with the psychological description of man. This approach makes it clear that there are a number of important things that we do not know about man-machine systems. For instance, how performance is shaped, how strategies are formed, how mistakes in decisions occur, how tasks can be meaningfully analyzed, etc. Only by detatching ourselves from the traditional physicalistic approach and realizing where the problems lie, can we hope to make significant progress in our knowledge of man-machine systems.
What, Where and Whence: Means for Improving Electronic Data Access BIBA 145-160
  F. L. Engel; J. J. Andriessen; H. J. R. Schmitz
With current electronic retrieval systems (e.g. Viewdata) casual users often have difficulties in finding the desired items, and so tend to "get lost" in the retrieval structure. This paper describes an experimental set-up which aims at avoiding that drawback by making the selection procedure less sequential, by visualizing the retrieval structure and by recording the successive choices made for possible later consultation by the user.
   For that purpose, the set-up contains a second display, provided with a touch input. It visualizes the relevant part of the retrieval network and continuously shows "WHERE" the user is in that structure, viz. where "WHAT", presented on the main display, is situated. The touch input enbales the user to indicate on the displayed structure what has to be presented next.
   The history facility, a consultable list of the user's earlier selections, helps him to remember "WHENCE" (i.e. from what place) in the structure he came.
   By offering the possibility to mark items in the history, an immediate return to an earlier marked items is ensured. This marking also enables certain items to be grouped for comparison afterwards.
   As examples of the possibilities of the system, two applications are described, the first concerned with education and the second with recreational information.
   First opinions about the system are favourable. Its features need to be evaluated thoroughly, however, for further progress in this field of man-machine communication.
Analogy and Axiomatics BIBA 161-173
  John Stelzer
The concept of an analogy can be viewed from two perspectives. One active, being the process of drawing an analogy. The other passive, being the relationship of one thing being an analogy for another. The focus in this paper is on the latter meaning, or the static view of analogy. To be investigated are the types of analogies there are, not where they come from. Examples of analogies abound: LISP is analogous to SLIP; logic is analogous to Boolean algebra; electricity is analogous to hydraulics; home brewing is analogous to bread baking. The scope of this paper is further restricted to a consideration of analogies between subject matters. The subject matter may be logic, Boolean algebra, electricity, brewing, baking or some other. It need not be the complete subject matter but only some sub-part.
Dynamics of Perception: Some New Models BIBA 175-197
  Maria Nowakowska
This paper shows some elements of a new theory of perception, which assumes event-representation of the perceived object, connected with the physiological properties of the eye, as well as the perceptual constructive work of the eye.

IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 3

Users are Individuals: Individualizing User Models BIBA 199-214
  Elaine Rich
It has long been recognized that in order to build a good system in which a person and a machine cooperate to perform a task it is important to take into account some significant characteristics of people. These characteristics are used to build some kind of a "user model". Traditionally, the model that is built is a model of a canonical (or typical) user. But often individual users vary so much that a model of a canonical user is insufficient. Instead, models of individual users are necessary. This article presents some examples of situations in which individual user models are important. It also presents some techniques that make the construction and use of such models possible. These techniques all reflect a desire to place most of the burden of constructing the models on the system, rather than on the user. This leads to the development of models that are collections of good guesses about the user. Thus some kind of probabilistic reasoning is necessary. And as the models are being used to guide the underlying system, they must also be monitored and updated as suggested by the interactions between the user and the system. The performance of one system that uses some of these techniques is discussed.
A Theoretical Basis for the Representation of On-Line Computer Systems to Naive Users BIBA 215-252
  A. P. Jagodzinski
Computer science has now recognized that in holistic systems design the designer must include not just the terminal, but also the user within the boundaries of the system. Users, particularly if they are computer naive, require a conceptual model of the computer system so that they can form a clear idea of what the system is doing and what it can do. This model is communicated to the user by the representation of the system which appears at his terminal. Existing techniques for the design of terminal dialogues do not include methods for representing conceptual models, so that new techniques are needed. If these are to be reliable they must be based in theory rather than just the intuitions of individual designers.
   This article examines current theory and practice in psychology, computer science and process control, and seeks a consensus for the design of representations suitable for describing the operations of on-line computer systems via their terminal interfaces.
Translation, Rotation and Superposition of Linear Quadtrees BIBA 253-263
  Irene Gargantini
In Gargantini (1982a) it has been shown that storing black nodes of a quadtree is sufficient to retrieve any basic property associated with quadtrees. To achieve this, each black node must be represented as a quaternary integer whose digits (from left to right) describe the path from the root to that node. The sorted sequence of quaternary integers representing a given region is called the linear quadtree associated with that region. Such a structure has been shown to save more than two-thirds of the memory locations used by regular quadtrees. In this paper we present procedures for translating and rotating a region and consider the superposition of binary images with different characteristics (such as different resolution parameter, different pixel size and/or different center). Translation, rotation, and superposition are shown to be O(N log N) operations; for translation N is the number of black pixels; for rotation N is the number of black nodes; for superposition N is the sum of black nodes or black pixels of the two images, depending on whether or not the two regions are centered on the same raster.
The QWERTY Keyboard: A Review BIBA 265-281
  Jan Noyes
The standard typewriter keyboard (nicknamed QWERTY) was designed over a century ago. During this time, QWERTY has become a controversial issue, because many individuals feel that the sequential keyboard market is being monopolized by a sub-optimum layout. Despite these feelings, in 1971 the International Standards Organization recognized QWERTY as the standard keyboard, and a year later Alden, Daniels & Kanarick (1972) concluded that QWERTY was "the de facto standard layout for communications and computer interface keyboards".
   This article reviews the origins of the QWERTY keyboard, and other sequential keyboards which have been developed since 1909. The reasoning behind the design of these other keyboards and the subsequent impact they made on the keyboard world are discussed. Various explanations are suggested as to why this previous research has not had any effect on the design of the QWERTY keyboard.
Evaluation of Different Modalities of Verbalization in a Sorting Task BIBA 283-306
  Jean Michel Hoc; Jacques Leplat
After having been our of fashion for some time, verbal reports have once again become established by certain authors as indicators of cognitive processes. In this perspective we have done an evaluation of different modalities of verbalization all related to instructions of a "thinking aloud" kind for a sorting task: (a) simultaneous verbalization (the subject is asked to verbalize what he says to himself while performing the task); and (b) subsequent verbalization (he is asked to verbalize what he said to himself at first without recall aids, afterwards in front of the record of his anterior behavior). The subjects performed three trials so that their activity becomes more-or-less routine. We have dealt with: (1) the compatibility between verbalization and the activity it refers to; and (2) the kind of verbal reports produced. It is shown that (a) simultaneous verbalization slows down the automation of the activity, introduces hitches and must be avoided out of problem-solving situations, (b) aided subsequent verbalization permits the automation, produces satisfactory and very precise verbal reports, as simultaneous verbalization does, and (c) unaided subsequent verbalization produces too much distance from the task and not very valid data. We conclude on the interest of aided subsequent verbalization.

IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 4

Opposites and Measures of Extremism in Concepts and Constructs BIBA 307-322
  Ronald R. Yager
We discuss the distinction between different types of opposites, i.e. negation and antonym, in terms of their representation by fuzzy subsets. The idea of a construct in terms of Kelly's theory of personal construct is discussed. A measure of the extremism of a group of elements with respect to concept and its negation, and with respect to a concept and its antonym is introduced.
A Module to Estimate Numerical Values of Hidden Variables for Expert Systems BIBA 323-335
  Nicholas V. Findler; John E. Brown; Ron Lo; Han Yong You
In the area of strategic decision-making, the objective often is to achieve one's own goals and to prevent the achievement of the adversaries' goal. To do so, the decision-maker needs to know, as precisely as possible, the values of the relevant variables at various times. Some of these variables, the open variables, are readily measurable at any time. Others, the hidden variables, can be measured only at certain times, either intermittently or periodically.
   We have implemented a module that can act as a decision-support tool for a variety of expert systems in need of estimates of hidden variable values at any desired time. The estimation is based on generalized production rules expressing stochastic, causal relations between open and hidden variables. The quality of the estimates improves through a multi-level learning process as both the number and the quality of the rules increase. The modularity of these causal relations make incremental expansion and conflict resolution natural and easy. Restricting the set and the domain of pattern formation rules to a reasonable size makes the system effective and efficient. Finally, the system can be easily employed for distributed database applications.
Hierarchical Set Definition by Q-Analysis, Part I. The Hierarchical Backcloth BIBA 337-359
  J. H. Johnson
Well defined sets are the prerequisite vocabulary for scientific inquiry, and often admit a hierarchical structure which naturally occurs in vernacular language. The conglomerate of natural, vernacular and technical languages is alled the hierarchical soup, a pre-logical primordial source containing the building blocks of subsequent structures. The soup is not an allowable set in the mathematical sense and, although well suited to creative inductive thinking, it is inadequate for the analytic sequel. Scientific investigation requires that an allowable hierarchical scheme be lifted out of the soup. The cone construction establishes a relationship between an allowable hierarchical scheme and the hierarchical soup. In this context a set and the semantic meaning of its name can be discriminated, these sometimes being inconsistent. The rules determining the definition of intermediate words, their relative hierarchical levels, their consistent use and non-partitional status can be clearly stated in terms of the cone construction. Given a hierarchical scheme, empirical relations determine simplices at various levels, and the hierarchical aggregation of simplicial complexes is investigated.
On the Retino-Cortical Mapping BIBA 361-389
  Stewart W. Wilson
Based on Hubel & Wiesel's physiological findings on the projection from retina to cortex, a schematic model of that stage of visual processing is constructed and its properties investigated. The projection or mapping appears to carry out an automatic "normalization of description" for the same object independent of retinal image size. This property suggests new concepts regarding (1) contrast sensitivity, (2) the nature and role of indirect vision, (3) the role of eye movements and (4) the recognition of patterns and the analysis of scenes.
Detour Routes to Usability: A Comparison of Alternative Approaches to Multipurpose Software Design BIBA 391-400
  P. Wright; G. Bason
This article explores a central issue in system design, namely whether the system should be designed to meet clients' specification of their problem, or whether that problem should be reinterpreted by the system designer in order to exploit characteristics and potential of the computer-based medium. Accepting such reinterpretation may require users to re-think their approach to their problem, i.e. to make conceptual detours. That such detours can sometimes prove highly expedient and acceptable to users is illustrated with reference to a comparison of two software packages designed for casual users. The packages shared the same application, the same user group and the same designer, but diverged in their underlying philosophy. This resulted in differences in command language, in user support and in the acceptability of the packages to the user group. Two conclusions are drawn: first that detour routes can sometimes provide a viable solution path to design problems, and secondly that there is a need to develop ways of evaluating the potential of alternative designs (whether involving detours or not) rather than continue striving for some optimum compatibility with users' initial conceptualizations.

Book Review

"Recent Advances in Personal Construct Technology," edited by Mildred L. G. Shaw BIB 401-403
  Adri van der Meer

IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 5

Generalized Boolean Methods of Information Retrieval BIBA 407-439
  Tadeusz Radecki
In most operational information retrieval systems the standard retrieval methods based on set theory and binary logic are used. These methods would be much more attractive if they could be extended to include the importance of various index terms in document representations and search request formulations, in addition to a weighting mechanism which could be applied to rank the retrieved documents. This observation has been widely recognized in the literature as such extended retrieval methods could provide the precision of a Boolean search and the advantages of a ranked output. However, a closer examination of all the reported work reveals that up to the present the only possible approach of sufficient consistency and rigorousness is that based on recently developed fuzzy set theory and fuzzy logic. As the concept of a fuzzy set is a generalization of the conventional notion of a set, the generalization of the information retrieval methods based on set theory and binary logic can be derived in a natural way. The present paper describes such generalized Boolean information retrieval methods. The presentation of each includes an outline of its advantages and disadvantages, and the relationships between each particular method and the corresponding standard information retrieval method based on set theory and binary logic are also discussed. It has been shown that these standard retrieval methods are particular cases of information retrieval methods based on the theory of fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic. The considerations concerning the information retrieval methods presented are illustrated by simple examples.
Reading Text from Visual Display Units (VDUs) BIBA 441-465
  Yvonne Wærn; Carl Rollenhagen
This article presents an analysis of the task facing people, who have to read text from VDUs. Psychological research related to different aspects of this task is reviewed. First, situational factors are considered. It is suggested that the VDU situation may lead to fatigue and stress, which may decrease performance. Then a task analysis is performed, where potential difficulties and advantages of the VDU presentation are pointed out. Psychological investigations of text processing are then reviewed, with particular consideration of research methodology and text processing theory. Finally, some conclusions for planning research in this area are presented.
Hierarchical Set Definition by Q-Analysis, Part II. Traffic on the Hierarchical Backcloth BIBA 467-487
  J. H. Johnson
Part I of this article (Johnson, 1983) discussed hierarchical set aggregation and its implications for aggregating simplicial complexes derived from relations between well defined sets. This continuation investigates the aggregation of patterns of numerical values (traffic) over the hierarchical backcloth. The traffic has a combinatorial structure called supertraffic which is represented by composite pattern polynomials. t-u-Forces and polynomial forces are defined and investigated, and the implications for hierarchical classification discussed.
Interactive Computer Programs for Fuzzy Linear Programming with Multiple Objectives BIBA 489-503
  Masatoshi Sakawa
In this article, we present interactive computer programs for solving fuzzy linear programming problems with multiple objectives. Through the use of five types of membership functions including non-linear functions, the fuzzy or imprecise goals of the decision maker are quantified. Although the formulated problem becomes a nonlinear programming problem, it can be reduced to a set of linear inequalities if some variable is fixed. Based on this idea, we propose a new method by combined use of bisection method and linear programming method. On the basis of the proposed method, FORTRAN programs that run in conversational mode are developed to implement man-machine interactive procedures. The commands in our programs and major prompt messages are also explained. An illustrative numerical example for the interactive processes is demonstrated together with the computer outputs.
Two Dimensions of Program Complexity BIBA 505-511
  B. D. Chaudhary; H. V. Sahasrabuddhe
Program comprehension is viewed as a two-stage process; the two stages broadly consists of formation and use of a mental representation of the program. Control and execution structures of the program are expected to play a dominant role in the first stage, i.e. formation of the mental representation. This article reports results of an experiment to study the effect of control and execution structures on program comprehension. Results point to certain limitation of existing complexity metrics.

IJMMS 1983 Volume 18 Issue 6

Learning Search Strategies through Discrimination BIBA 513-541
  Pat Langley
SAGE is an adaptive production system model of strategy learning. The system begins a task with weak, overly general operators and uses these to find a solution to some problem by trial and error. The program then attempts to resolve the problem, using its knowledge of the solution path to determine blame when an error occurs. Once the faulty operator has been found, the system employs a process of discrimination to generate more conservative versions of the rule containing additional conditions. Such variants are strengthened each time they are relearned, until they come to override their precursors. The program continues to learn until it can solve the problem without errors. SAGE has learned useful heuristics in the domains of the slide-jump puzzle, solving simple algebra equations and seriating blocks of different lengths.
Towards a Theory of the Comprehension of Computer Programs BIBA 543-554
  Ruven Brooks
A sufficiency theory is presented of the process by which a computer programmer attempts to comprehend a program. The theory is intended to explain four sources of variation in behavior on this task: the kind of computation the program performs, the intrinsic properties of the program text, such as language and documentation, the reason for which the documentation is needed, and differences among the individuals performing the task. The starting point for the theory is an analysis of the structure of the knowledge required when a program is comprehended which views the knowledge as being organized into distinct domains which bridge between the original problem and the final program. The program comprehension process is one of reconstructing knowledge about these domains and the relationship among them. This reconstruction process is theorized to be a top-down, hypothesis driven one in which an initially vague and general hypothesis is refined and elaborated based on information extracted from the program text and other documentation.
A Note on the Functional Estimation of Values of Hidden Variables -- An Extended Module for Expert Systems BIBA 555-565
  Nicholas V. Findler; Ron Lo
This article describes an extension of our work on the Generalized Production Rules System. In its original form, it could estimate at a given point of time or space the value of hidden variables -- variables that can be measured only intermittently or periodically. In contrast, open variables are readily measurable any time. The system establishes stochastic, causal relations, generalized production rules, between known values of hidden variables and certain mathematical properties of the open variables' behavior. These rules are then used to make the point estimates.
   We have now provided the system with the additional ability to estimate the functional behavior of the hidden variables. The system can serve as a domain-independent module to a knowledge-based expert system in need of such numerical estimates.
The Theory of Model Dimensions Applied to a Computer Solution of a Syllogism BIBA 567-582
  Ranulph Glanville; Peter Jackson
In this article we elaborate a working (computerized) implementation of a simplified version of the "Theory of Model Dimensions", which is exemplified in operation through a syllogism solution. The peculiarities of the program embodying this implementation are two: first it uses the very limited operations of the theory instead of conventional logic, or set theory: second, it produces an answer in passable English without having English, key words, etc. programmed in, but as a result only of the manipulations made according to the operations of theory on the initial input statements. Finally, an extension of the program, to solve the solutions of all of Carroll's syllogisms, is proposed, and a note is made concerning the generality of the program.
Cognitive Systems Engineering: New Wine in New Bottles BIBA 583-600
  Erik Hollnagel; David D. Woods
This paper presents an approach to the description and analysis of complex Man-Machine Systems (MMSs) called Cognitive Systems Engineering (CSE). In contrast to traditional approaches to the study of man-machine systems which mainly operate on the physical and physiological level, CSE operates on the level of cognitive functions. Instead of viewing an MMS as decomposable by mechanistic principles, CSE introduces the concept of a cognitive system: an adaptive system which functions using knowledge about itself and the environment in the planning and modification of actions. Operators are generally acknowledged to use a model of the system (machine) with which they work. Similarly, the machine has an image of the operator. The designer of an MMS must recognize this, and strive to obtain a match between the machine's image and the user characteristics on a cognitive level, rather than just on the level of physical functions. This article gives a presentation of what cognitive systems are, and of how CSE can contribute to the design of an MMS, from cognitive task analysis to final evaluation.