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ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 4

Editors:Dan R. Olsen, Jr.
Standard No:ISSN 1073-0516
Links:Table of Contents
  1. TOCHI 1997 Volume 4 Issue 1
  2. TOCHI 1997 Volume 4 Issue 2
  3. TOCHI 1997 Volume 4 Issue 3
  4. TOCHI 1997 Volume 4 Issue 4

TOCHI 1997 Volume 4 Issue 1

Special Issue on Speech as Data

Introduction to the Special Issue on Speech as Data BIBPDF 1
  Chris Schmandt; Nicole Yankelovich
SpeechSkimmer: A System for Interactively Skimming Recorded Speech BIBAKPDF 3-38
  Barry Arons
Listening to a speech recording is much more difficult than visually scanning a document because of the transient and temporal nature of audio. Audio recordings capture the richness of speech, yet it is difficult to directly browse the stored information. This article describes techniques for structuring, filtering, and presenting recorded speech, allowing a user to navigate and interactively find information in the audio domain. This article describes the SpeechSkimmer system for interactively skimming speech recordings. SpeechSkimmer uses speech-processing techniques to allow a user to hear recorded sounds quickly, and at several levels of detail. User interaction, through a manual input device, provides continuous real-time control of the speed and detail level of the audio presentation. SpeechSkimmer reduces the time needed to listen by incorporating time-compressed speech, pause shortening, automatic emphasis detection, and nonspeech audio feedback. This article also presents a multilevel structural approach to auditory skimming and user interface techniques for interacting with recorded speech. An observational usability test of SpeechSkimmer is discussed, as well as a redesign and reimplementation of the user interface based on the results of this usability test.
Keywords: Design, Experimentation, Human factors, Audio browsing, Interactive listening, Nonspeech audio, Speech as data, Speech skimming, Speech user interfaces, Time compression H.5.1 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, Multimedia information systems, Audio input/output, D.2.2 Software, Software engineering, Design tools and techniques, User interfaces, H.3.3 Information systems, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, H.5.2 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Evaluation/methodology, H.5.2 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Input devices and strategies, H.5.2 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Interaction styles
Hanging on the 'Wire: A Field Study of an Audio-Only Media Space BIBAKPDF 39-66
  Mark S. Ackerman; Debby Hindus; Scott D. Mainwaring; Brian Starr
The primary focus of this article is an analysis of an audio-only media space from a computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) perspective. To explore whether audio by itself is suitable for shared media systems, we studied a workgroup using an audio-only media space. This media space, called Thunderwire, combined high-quality audio with open connections to create a shared space for its users. The two-month field study provided a richly nuanced understanding of this audio space's social use. The system afforded rich sociable interactions. As well, users were able to create a useful, usable social space; however, through an analysis of the social norms that the participants formulated, we show that they had to take into account being in an audio-only environment. Within the field study, then, audio by itself was sufficient for a usable media space and a useful social space, but users were forced to adapt to many audio-only and system conditions. The article also considers audio's implications for privacy.
Keywords: Human factors, Audio, Audio spaces, CMC, Computer-mediated communication, Computer-supported cooperative work, CSCW, Electronic social spaces, Media spaces, Mediated communication, Norms, Privacy, Rich interactions, Social interactions, Social presence, Speech interactions, Telepresence H.5.1 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, Multimedia information systems, Audio input/output, H.1.2 Information systems, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, H.1.2 Information systems, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human information processing, H.4.3 Information systems, Information systems applications, Communications applications, H.5.1 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, Multimedia information systems, Evaluation/methodology, H.5.2 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Evaluation/methodology, H.5.2 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Interaction styles, H.5.3 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, Group and organization interfaces, J.4 Computer applications, Social and behavioral sciences

TOCHI 1997 Volume 4 Issue 2

Working-Memory Failure in Phone-Based Interaction BIBAKPDF 67-102
  Brian R. Huguenard; F. Javier Lerch; Brian W. Junker; Richard J. Patz; Robert E. Kass
This article investigates working-memory (WM) failure in phone-based interaction (PBI). We used a computational model of phone-based interaction (PBI USER) to generate predictions about the impact of three factors on WM failure: PBI features (i.e. menu structure), individual differences (i.e., WM capacity), and task characteristics (i.e., number of tasks). Our computational model stipulates that both the storage and the processing of information contribute to WM failure. In practical terms the model and the empirical results indicate that, contrary to guidelines for the design of phone-based interfaces, deep menu hierarchies (no more than three options per menu) do not reduce WM error rates in PBI. At a more theoretical level, the study shows that the use of a computational model in HCI research provides a systematic approach for explaining complex empirical results.
Keywords: Experimentation, Performance, Auditory menu, Cognitive model, Individual differences, User error, Working memory, H.1.2 Information systems, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human information processing, H.5.2 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Evaluation/methodology, H.5.2 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Theory and methods
Nanites: An Approach to Structure-Based Monitoring BIBAKPDF 103-136
  Kenneth J. Rodham; Dan R., Jr. Olsen
The focal point of many interactive systems is an information artifact being created and manipulated by one or more users through a user interface. The software components of such an interactive system perform their tasks relative to the data structures that represent the information artifact. System components interact with each other by changing these data and responding when relevant changes are made to them by other components. Perhaps the most difficult problem to be solved when building such data-centric systems is the monitoring problem. System components require the ability to watch for and respond to changes made to complex data structures. Previous monitoring approaches are geared toward monitoring single data items rather than entire data structures. This article describes a new monitoring approach called Nanites that is designed to simplify the task of monitoring complex data structures.
Keywords: Design, Human factors, Performance, CSCW, Multiuser interfaces, Nanites, User interface software, D.2.2 Software engineering, Tools and techniques, H.5.2 Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces
TeleNotes: Managing Lightweight Interactions in the Desktop BIBAKPDF 137-168
  Steve Whittaker; Jerry Swanson; Jakov Kucan; Candy Sidner
Communication theories and technology have tended to focus on extended, formal meetings and have neglected a prevalent and vital form of workplace communication -- namely, light-weight communication. Unlike formal, extended meetings, lightweight interaction is brief, informal, unplanned, and intermittent. We analyze naturalistic data from a study of workplace communication and derive five design criteria for lightweight interaction systems. These criteria require that systems for lightweight interaction support conversational tracking, rapid connection, the ability to leave a message, context management, and shared real-time objects. Using these criteria, we evaluate existing interpersonal communications technologies. We then describe an implementation of a system (TeleNotes) that is designed to support lightweight interaction by meeting these criteria. The interface metaphor allows communications to be based around desktop objects, resembling "sticky notes." These objects are also organized into "desktop piles" to support conversational threads and provide mechanisms for initiating real-time audio, video, and application sharing. We conducted informal user testing of several system prototypes. Based on our findings, outstanding issues concerning theory and systems design for communication systems are outlined -- in particular, with regard to the issue of managing conversations over time.
Keywords: Human factors, Audio, Awareness, Computer-media spaces, Conversation management, Impromptu communication, Informal communication, Interpersonal communications, Lightweight interaction, Mediated communication, Remote collaboration, Task management, Video, H.1.2 Information systems, Models and principles, User/machine systems, D.4.4 Software, Operating systems, Communications management, H.5.2 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, H.5.1 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, Multimedia information systems, I.3.6 Computing methodologies, Computer graphics, Methodology and techniques, Interaction techniques
Hands-On Practice in Learning to Use Software: A Comparison of Exercise Exploration, and Combined Formats BIBAKPDF 169-196
  Susan Wiedenbeck; Patti L. Zila
This research addresses two issues in the domain of computer training: (1) whether learners are able to use exploration-based practice methods effectively to learn to use software and (2) whether some minimal computing background is necessary to be successful with minimalist training and exploration practice. An empirical study was carried out to compare exploration, exercises, and a combined format consisting of an exercise followed by exploration. Subjects of both high and low computer experience were included in the study. It was thought that the combined format might lead to superior training outcomes because it would both structure learning through an exercise and allow learners to go beyond the simple procedures in the training manual through exploration. The results showed that the performance of the low-experience subjects at test did not differ based on the type of practice. However, high-experience subjects who were trained using exercises or the combined format did significantly better than those trained using exploration alone. The similarity of performance of subjects in the exercise and combined practice conditions suggests that the exercise component of the practice explains their success.
Keywords: Human factors, Computer training, Exercises, Exploration, Minimalist training, Practice methods, H.5.2 Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Training, help, and documentation

TOCHI 1997 Volume 4 Issue 3

Drawing Graphs to Convey Proximity: An Incremental Arrangement Method BIBAKPDF 197-229
  Jonathan D. Cohen
Graph drawings are increasingly finding their way into user interfaces to convey a variety of relationships. This article deals with rendering graphs to show proximity between vertices by making their configuration (screen) distances reflect their distances in the graph. An arrangement method is described that achieves good drawings at speeds suitable for user interaction on a desktop computer. The method is "incremental" in that it first arranges a small portion of the graph, then arranges successively larger fractions of the graph until a suitable arrangement for the entirety is achieved. The incremental approach not only offers speed improvements, but avoids many of the suboptimal solutions reached with other iterative approaches. Algorithms are described in pseudocode, and results are presented.
Keywords: Algorithms, Human factors, Force-directed, Graph drawing, Graph layout, MDS, Multidimensional scaling, H.5 Information systems, Information interfaces and presentation, I.3 Computing methodologies, Computer graphics
Predictive Engineering Models Based on the EPIC Architecture for a Multimodal High-Performance Human-Computer Interaction Task BIBAKPDF 230-275
  David E. Kieras; Scott D. Wood; David E. Meyer
Engineering models of human performance permit some aspects of usability of interface designs to be predicted from an analysis of the task, and thus they can replace to some extent expensive user-testing data. We successfully predicted human performance in telephone operator tasks with engineering models constructed in the EPIC (Executive Process-Interactive Control) architecture for human information processing, which is especially suited for modeling multimodal, complex tasks, and has demonstrated success in other task domains. Several models were constructed on an a priori basis to represent different hypotheses about how operators coordinate their activities to produce rapid task performance. The models predicted the total time with useful accuracy and clarified some important properties of the task. The best model was based directly on the GOMS analysis of the task and made simple assumptions about the operator's task strategy, suggesting that EPIC models are a feasible approach to predicting performance in multimodal high-performance tasks.
Keywords: Human factors, Cognitive models, Usability engineering, H.1.2 Information systems, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human information processing
Graphical Representation of Programs in a Demonstrational Visual Shell -- An Empirical Evaluation BIBAKPDF 276-308
  Francesmary Modugno; Albert T. Corbett; Brad A. Myers
An open question in the area of Programming by Demonstration (PBD) is how to best represent the inferred program. Without a way to view, edit, and share programs, PBD systems will never reach their full potential. We designed and implemented two graphical representation languages for a PBD desktop similar to the Apple Macintosh Finder. Although a user study showed that both languages enabled nonprogrammers to generate and comprehend programs, the study also revealed that the language that more closely reflected the desktop domain doubled users' abilities to accurately generate programs. Trends suggest that the same language was easier for users to comprehend. These findings suggest that it is possible for a PBD system to enable nonprogrammers to construct programs and that the form of the representation can impact the PBD system's effectiveness. A paper-and-pencil evaluation of the two versions of the PBD desktop prior to the study supported these finding and provided interesting feedback on the interaction between usability evaluations and user studies. In particular, the comparison of the paper-and-pencil evaluation with the empirical evaluation suggested that nonempirical evaluation techniques can provide guidance into how to interpret empirical data and, in particular, that PBD systems need to provide support for programming-strategy selection in order to be successful.
Keywords: Experimentation, Human factors, Programming by demonstration, Pursuit, D.1.2 Software, Programming techniques, Automatic programming, D.1.7 Software, Programming techniques, Visual programming, D.m Software, Miscellaneous, Software psychology

TOCHI 1997 Volume 4 Issue 4

Selection using a One-Eyed Cursor in a Fish Tank VR Environment BIBAKPDF 309-322
  Colin Ware; Kathy Lowther
This study investigates the use of a 2D cursor presented to one eye for target selection in Fish Tank VR and other stereo environments. It is argued that 2D selection of 3D objects should be less difficult than 3D selection. Vision research concerning binocular rivalry and the tendency we have to project images onto surfaces suggests that this mode of viewing will not seem particularly unnatural. A Fitts' Law experiment was done to directly compare target acquisition with a one-eyed 2D cursor and target acquisition using a 3D cursor. In both cases we used the same input device (Polhemus Fastrak) so that the device lag and gain parameters were exactly matched. The results show a large improvement in target acquisition time using the 2D cursor. The practical implications of this is that the 2D selection method using a one-eyed cursor in preferable to the 3D selection method. Theoretical implications relate to methods for extending Fitts' Law from the one-dimensional task for which it was designed to 2D and 3D tasks. We conclude that the existing approaches to this problem are not adequate.
Keywords: Human factors, Fitts' Law, Picking, Stereo vision, Three-dimensional selection, Virtual reality, I.3.6 Computer graphics, Methodology and techniques, Interaction techniques
Managing Level of Detail Through Peripheral Degradation: Effects on Search Performance with a Head-Mounted Display BIBAKPDF 323-346
  Benjamin Watson; Neff Walker; Larry F. Hodges; Aileen Worden
Two user studies were performed to evaluate the effect of level-of-detail (LOD) degradation in the periphery of head-mounted displays on visual search performance. In the first study, spatial detail was degraded by reducing resolution. In the second study, detail was degraded in the color domain by using grayscale in the periphery. In each study, 10 subjects were given a complex search task that required users to indicate whether or not a target object was present among distracters. Subjects used several different displays varying in the amount of detail presented. Frame rate, object location, subject input method, and order of display use were all controlled. The primary dependent measures were search time on correctly performed trials and the percentage of all trials correctly performed. Results indicated that peripheral LOD degradation can be used to reduce color or spatial visual complexity by almost half in some search tasks with out significantly reducing performance.
Keywords: Human factors, Experimentation, Detail management, High-detail inset, Level of detail, Object simplification, Peripheral degradation, Visual search, H.1.2 Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, H.5.2 Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Screen design, H.5.2 Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Theory and methods, I.3.7 Computer graphics, Three-dimensional graphics and realism, Virtual reality
Pavlov: An Interface Builder for Designing Animated Interfaces BIBAKPDF 347-386
  David Wolber
Conventional interface builders provide little support for interactive development of interfaces with application-specific graphics. Some Programming by Demonstration (PBD) systems do provide such support, but none provide full support for demonstrating interfaces, such as those in games, in which the graphics are animated. This article proposes a number of techniques for creating animated interfaces, all of which have been included in an exploratory system, Pavlov. Many of the techniques are based on the addition of timing controls to a form of PBD called stimulus-response demonstration. Others are based on an adaptation of a traditional animation time-line that integrates end-user interaction with animation. The article also evaluates Pavlov with (1) a comparison to other PBD systems in terms of the behaviors that can be specified interactively and (2) a report on an informal user study comparing development in Pavlov to development in a conventional interface builder.
Keywords: Design, Human factors, Animation, Programming by demonstration, User interface design environments (UIDEs), D.2.2 Software engineering, Tools and techniques, User interfaces, H.5.2 Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, I.2 Artificial intelligence, Applications and expert systems, Games