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ACM Transactions on Information Systems 9

Editors:Robert B. Allen
Standard No:ISSN 1046-8188; HF S548.125 A33
Links:Table of Contents
  1. TOIS 1991 Volume 9 Issue 1
  2. TOIS 1991 Volume 9 Issue 2
  3. TOIS 1991 Volume 9 Issue 3
  4. TOIS 1991 Volume 9 Issue 4

TOIS 1991 Volume 9 Issue 1

Optimal Placement of High-Probability Randomly Retrieved Blocks on CLV Optical Discs BIBAKPDF 1-30
  Daniel Alexander Ford; Stavros Christodoulakis
Optimal data placement on a CLV (Constant Linear Velocity) format optical disc has as an objective the minimization of the expected access cost of data retrieval from the disc when the probabilities of access of data items may be different. The problem of optimal data placement for optical discs is both more important and more difficult than the corresponding problem on magnetic disks. A good data placement on optical discs is more important because data sets on optical discs such as WORM and CD ROM cannot be modified or moved once they are placed on the disc. Currently, even rewritable optical discs are best suited for applications that are archival in nature. The problem of optimal data placement on CLV format optical discs is more difficult, mainly because the useful storage space is not uniformly distributed across the disc surface (along a radius). This leads to a complicated positional performance trade-off not present for magnetic disks.
   We present a model that encompasses all the important aspects of the placement problem on CLV format optical discs. The model takes into account the nonuniform distribution of useful storage, the dependency of the rotational delay on disc position, a parameterized seek cost function for optical discs, and the varying access probabilities of data items. We show that the optimal placement of high-probability blocks satisfies a unimodality property. Based on this observation, we solve the optimal placement problem. We then study the impact of the relative weights of the problem parameters and show that the optimal data placement may be very different from the optimal data placement on magnetic disks. We also validate our model and analysis and give an algorithm for computing the placement of disc sectors.
Keywords: Memory structures, Design styles, Mass storage, Operating systems, Storage management, Secondary storage devices, Database management, Physical design, Access methods, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Clustering, Design, Management, Performance, CD-ROM, CLV, Constant linear velocity, Data placement, MCAV, MCLV, Optical discs, Optical disks, Physical database design, Retrieval performance
A Distributed Object-Oriented Database System Supporting Shared and Private Databases BIBAKPDF 31-51
  Won Kim; Nat Ballou; Jorge F. Garza; Darrell Woelk
ORION-2 is a commercially available, federated, object-oriented database management system designed and implemented at MCC. One major architectural innovation in ORION-2 is the coexistence of a shared database and a number of private databases. The shared database is accessible to all authorized users of the system, while each private database is accessible to only the user who owns it. A distributed database system with a shared database and private databases for individual users is a natural architecture for data-intensive application environments on a network of workstations, notably computer-aided design and engineering systems. This paper discusses the benefits and limitations of such a system and explores the impact of such an architecture on the semantics and implementation of some of the key functions of a database system, notably queries, database schema, and versions. Although the issues are discussed in the context of an object-oriented data model, the results (at least significant portions thereof) are applicable to database systems supporting other data models.
Keywords: Database management, Systems, Distributed systems, Design, Experimentation, Client-server architecture, Federated databases, Object-oriented databases
Exploiting Parallelism in Pattern Matching: An Information Retrieval Application BIBAKPDF 52-74
  Victor Wing-Kit Mak; Kuo Chu Lee; Ophir Frieder
We propose a document-searching architecture based on high-speed hardware pattern matching to increase the throughput of an information retrieval system. We also propose a new parallel VLSI pattern-matching algorithm called the Data Parallel Pattern Matching (DPPM) algorithm, which serially broadcasts and compares the pattern to a block of data in parallel. The DPPM algorithm utilizes the high degree of integration of VLSI technology to attain very high-speed processing through parallelism. Performance of the DPPM has been evaluated both analytically and by simulation. Based on the simulation statistics and timing analysis on the hardware design, a search rate of multiple gigabytes per second is achievable using 2-µm CMOS technology. The potential performance of the proposed document-searching architecture is also analyzed using the simulation statistics of the DPPM algorithm.
Keywords: Arithmetic and logic structures, Design styles, Parallel, Integrated circuits, Types and design styles, Algorithms implemented in hardware, VLSI, Processor architectures, Multiple data stream architecture, SIMD, Computer systems organization, Performance of systems, Design studies, Modeling techniques, Data, Files, Sorting/searching, Analysis of algorithms and problem complexity, Nonnumerical algorithms and problems, Pattern matching, Sorting and searching, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Search process, Selection process, Algorithms, Design, Performance, DPPM, Pattern matcher
Integrating Expert Systems with Group Decision Support Systems BIBAKPDF 75-95
  Milam W. Aiken; Olivia R. Liu Sheng; Douglas R. Vogel
Expert systems are powerful tools that serve as adjuncts to decision making and have found wide applicability in a variety of areas. Integrating expert systems with group decision support systems has the potential to enhance the quality and efficiency of group communication, negotiation, and collaborative work. This paper examines possible synergies between the two technologies and provides a survey of current partially-integrated systems. Finally, a prototype design of a highly-integrated system is described with directions for further research.
Keywords: Information systems applications, Communications applications, Artificial intelligence, Applications and expert systems, Expert systems, Group decision support systems, Artificial intelligence, Expert systems, Group decision support systems, Knowledge-based systems

TOIS 1991 Volume 9 Issue 2


Computer-Human Interaction and ACM TOIS BIB 97
  Bob Allen
A Morphological Analysis of the Design Space of Input Devices BIBAKPDF 99-122
  Stuart K. Card; Jock D. Mackinlay; George G. Robertson
The market now contains a bewildering variety of input devices for communication from humans to computers. This paper discusses a means to systematize these devices through morphological design space analysis, in which different input device designs are taken as points in a parametrically described design space. The design space is characterized by finding methods to generate and test design points. In a previous paper, we discussed a method for generating the space of input device designs using primitive and compositional movement operators. This allowed us to propose a taxonomy of input devices. In this paper, we summarize the generation method and explore the use of device footprint and Fitts's law as a test. We then use calculations to reason about the design space. Calculations are used to show why the mouse is a more effective device than the headmouse and where in the design space there is likely to be a more effective device than the mouse.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Computer applications, Computer-aided engineering, Computer-aided design, Design, Human factors, Design knowledge systematization, Design rationale, Design space, Input devices, Morphological analysis, Semantics
The Role of Critiquing in Cooperative Problem Solving BIBAKPDF 123-151
  Gerhard Fischer; Andreas C. Lemke; Thomas Mastaglio; Anders I. Morch
Cooperative problem-solving systems help users design solutions themselves as opposed to having solutions designed for them. Critiquing -- presenting a reasoned opinion about a user's product or action -- is a major activity of a cooperative problem-solving system. Critics make the constructed artifact "talk back" to the user. Conditions under which critics are more appropriate than autonomous expert systems are discussed. Critics should be embedded in integrated design environments along with other components, such as an argumentative hypertext system, a specification component, and a catalog. Critics support learning as a by-product of problem solving. The major subprocesses of critiquing are goal acquisition, product analysis, critiquing strategies, adaptation capability, explanation and argumentation, and advisory capability. The generality of the critiquing approach is demonstrated by discussing critiquing systems developed in our group and elsewhere. Limitations of many current critics include their inability to learn about specific user goals and their intervention strategies.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Computer applications, Computer-aided engineering, Computer-aided design, Computers and education, Computer uses in education, Design, Human factors, Cooperative problem-solving systems, Critics, Critiquing, Design environments, High-functionality computer systems, Intelligent support systems
The Use of Eye Movements in Human-Computer Interaction Techniques: What You Look At is What You Get BIBAKPDF 152-169
  Robert J. K. Jacob
In seeking hitherto-unused methods by which users and computers can communicate, we investigate the usefulness of eye movements as a fast and convenient auxiliary user-to-computer communication mode. The barrier to exploiting this medium has not been eye-tracking technology but the study of interaction techniques that incorporate eye movements into the user-computer dialogue in a natural and unobtrusive way. This paper discusses some of the human factors and technical considerations that arise in trying to use eye movements as an input medium, describes our approach and the first eye movement-based interaction techniques that we have devised and implemented in our laboratory, and reports our experiences and observations on them.
Keywords: Software engineering, Tools and techniques, User interfaces, Models and principles, User/machine systems, Human factors, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Input devices and strategies, Interaction styles, User interface management system, Design, Human factors, Eye movements, Eye tracking, Human-computer interaction, State transition diagram, UIMS, Input
VideoDraw: A Video Interface for Collaborative Drawing BIBAKPDF 170-184
  John C. Tang; Scott L. Minneman
This paper describes VideoDraw, a shared drawing tool, and the process by which it is being designed and developed. VideoDraw is a video-based prototype tool that provides a shared "virtual sketchbook" among two or more collaborators. It not only allows the collaborators to see each others' drawings, but also conveys the accompanying hand gestures and the process of creating and using those drawings. Its design stems from studying how people collaborate using shared drawing spaces. Design implications raised by those studies were embodied in a prototype, which was subsequently observed in use situations. Further research studying the use of VideoDraw (in comparison with other collaborative media) will lead to a better understanding of collaborative drawing activity and inform the continued technical development of tools to support collaborative drawing.
Keywords: Computer-communication networks, Distributed systems, Distributed applications, Information systems applications, Communications applications, Teleconferencing, Computer graphics, Graphics systems, Distributed/network graphics, Design, Collaborative systems, Gestural interfaces, Shared drawing, User interface, Video technology, Work practice analysis

TOIS 1991 Volume 9 Issue 3

Editorial BIB 185
  W. Bruce Croft
Evaluation of an Inference Network-Based Retrieval Model BIBAKPDF 187-222
  Howard Turtle; W. Bruce Croft
The use of inference networks to support document retrieval is introduced. A network-based retrieval model is described and compared to conventional probabilistic and Boolean models. The performance of a retrieval system based on the inference network model is evaluated and compared to performance with conventional retrieval models.
Keywords: Information storage and retrieval, General, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Retrieval models, Information storage and retrieval, Miscellaneous, Experimentation, Performance, Theory, Document retrieval, Inference networks, Network retrieval models
A Probabilistic Learning Approach for Document Indexing BIBAKPDF 223-248
  Norbert Fuhr; Chris Buckley
We describe a method for probabilistic document indexing using relevance feedback data that has been collected from a set of queries. Our approach is based on three new concepts: (1) Abstraction from specific terms and documents, which overcomes the restriction of limited relevance information for parameter estimation. (2) Flexibility of the representation, which allows the integration of new text analysis and knowledge-based methods in our approach as well as the consideration of document structures or different types of terms. (3) Probabilistic learning or classification methods for the estimation of the indexing weights making better use of the available relevance information. Our approach can be applied under restrictions that hold for real applications. We give experimental results for five test collections which show improvements over other methods.
Keywords: Numerical analysis, Approximation, Least squares approximation, Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Indexing methods, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Retrieval models, Artificial intelligence, Learning, Parameter learning, Experimentation, Theory, Complex document representation, Linear indexing functions, Linear retrieval functions, Probablistic indexing, Probabilistic retrieval, Relevance descriptions
Search Improvement via Automatic Query Reformulation BIBAKPDF 249-280
  Susan Gauch; John B. Smith
Users of online retrieval systems experience many difficulties, particularly with search tactics. User studies have indicated that searchers use vocabulary incorrectly and do not take full advantage of iteration to improve their queries. To address these problems, an expert system for online search assistance was developed. This prototype augments the searching capabilities of novice users by providing automatic query reformulation to improve the search results, and automatic ranking of the retrieved passages to speed the identification of relevant information. Users' search performance using the expert system was compared with their search performance on their own, and their search performance using an online thesaurus. The following conclusions were reached: (1) the expert system significantly reduced the number of queries necessary to find relevant passages compared with the user searching alone or with the thesaurus. (2) The expert system produced marginally significant improvements in precision compared with the user searching on their own. There was no significant difference in the recall achieved by the three system configurations. (3) Overall, the expert system ranked relevant passages above irrelevant passages.
Keywords: Models and principles, User/machine system, Human factors, Information storage and retrieval, Information search and retrieval, Search process, Artificial intelligence, Applications and expert systems, Human factors, Expert systems, Full-text information retrieval, Online search assistance, Query reformulation, Textbases
Order-Preserving Minimal Perfect Hash Functions and Information Retrieval BIBAKPDF 281-308
  Edward A. Fox; Qi Fan Chen; Amjad M. Daoud; Lenwood S. Heath
Rapid access to information is essential for a wide variety of retrieval systems and applications. Hashing has long been used when the fastest possible direct search is desired, but is generally not appropriate when sequential or range searches are also required. This paper describes a hashing method, developed for collections that are relatively static, that supports both direct and sequential access. The algorithms described give hash functions that are optimal in terms of time and hash table space utilization, and that preserve any a priori ordering desired. Furthermore, the resulting order-preserving minimal perfect hash functions (OPMPHFs) can be found using time and space that are linear in the number of keys involved; this is close to optimal.
Keywords: Data, Data storage representations, Hash table representations, Databased management, Physical design, Access methods, Information storage and retrieval, Content analysis and indexing, Indexing methods, Information storage and retrieval, Information storage, File organization, Algorithms, Experimentation, Dictionary structure, Indexing, Inverted file structures, Minimal perfect hashing, Perfect hashing, Random graph

TOIS 1991 Volume 9 Issue 4

Computer Analysis of User Interfaces Based on Repetition in Transcripts of User Sessions BIBAKPDF 309-335
  Antonio C. Siochi; Roger W. Ehrich
It is generally acknowledged that the production of quality user interfaces requires a thorough understanding of the user and that this involves evaluating the interface by observing the user working with the system, or by performing human factors experiments. Such methods traditionally involve the use of videotape, protocol analysis, critical incident analysis, etc. These methods require time consuming analyses and may be invasive. In addition, the data obtained through such methods represent a relatively small portion of the use of a system. An alternative approach is to record all user input and system output (i.e., log the user session). Such transcripts can be collected automatically and noninvasively over a long period of time. Unfortunately this produces voluminous amounts of data. There is therefore a need for tools and techniques that allow an evaluator to identify potential performance and usability problems from such data. It is hypothesized that repetition of user actions is an important indicator of potential user interface problems.
   This research reports on the use of the repetition indicator as a means of studying user session transcripts in the evaluation of user interfaces. The paper discusses the interactive tool constructed, the results of an extensive application of the technique in the evaluation of a large image-processing system, and extensions and refinements to the technique. Evidence suggests that the hypothesis is justified and that such a technique is convincingly useful.
Keywords: Software engineering, Tools and techniques, User interfaces, Information interfaces and presentation, User interfaces, Evaluation/methodology, Human factors, Measurement, Maximal repeating patterns, Repeated usage patterns, Transcript analysis, Usability, User interface evaluation, User interface management systems
Dynamic Partitioning of Signature Files BIBAKPDF 336-369
  P. Zezula; F. Rabitti; P. Tiberio
The signature file access method has proved to be a convenient indexing technique, in particular for text data. Because it can deal with unformatted data, many application domains have shown interest in signature file techniques, e.g., office information systems, statistical and logic databases. We argue that multimedia databases should also take advantage of this method, provided convenient storage structures for organizing signature files are available.
   Our main concern here is the dynamic organization of signatures based on a partitioning paradigm called Quick Filter. A signature file is partitioned by a hashing function and the partitions are organized by linear hashing. Thorough performance evaluation of the new scheme is provided, and it is compared with single-level and multilevel storage structures.
   Results show that quick filter is economical in space and very convenient for applications dealing with large files of dynamic data, and where user queries result in signatures with high weights. These characteristics are particularly interesting for multimedia databases, where integrated access to attributes, text and images must be provided.
Keywords: Data, Files, Organization / structure, Database management, Physical design, Access methods, Information storage and retrieval, Information storage, File organization, Information systems applications, Office automation, Design, Performance, Access methods, Dynamic data, Hashing, Information retrieval, Multimedia data, Performance evaluation, Signature file partitioning

Practice and Experience

Inter-Organization Networks, Computer Integration, and Shifts in Interdependence: The Case of the Semiconductor Industry BIBAKPDF 370-398
  Paul Hart; Deborah Estrin
Inter-organization computer networks (IONs) provide significant opportunities for improving coordination between firms engaged in mutually dependent activities. A field study of the use and impact of IONs in the semiconductor industry is presented in this paper. Eighty-two interviews were conducted in twelve firms (seven semiconductor producers and five merchant mask shops) providing data on current as well as anticipated ION use. We found that greater efficiencies are possible when IONs are used as substitutes for conventional media. But more effective ION use is achievable when internal computer integration within participating firms is implemented. The implication of this otherwise straightforward observation is that firms using computer networks only as a substitute for conventional methods of exchange will not achieve the degree of inter-organization coordination IONs can support. However, while IONs improve coordination and reduce some production and transaction costs, they simultaneously increase certain costs associated with establishing and maintaining contracts with customers. These costs are new dependencies. Dependencies emerge from using IONs to access computer resources, and information generated by those resources, located in other firms. In this way IONs increase interorganization coordination and vulnerability simultaneously. The long term implication of ION adoption is that their use shifts the nature of interdependence between participating firms.
Keywords: Integrated circuits, Types and design styles, Gate arrays, Standard cells, Computer-communication networks, Network operations, Network management, Computer system implementation, Miscellaneous, Information systems applications, Communications applications, Electronic mail, Computer applications, Computers in other systems, Consumer products, Computers and society, Organizational impacts, Management of computing and information systems, Project and people management, Systems development, Management, Performance, Computer integration, Inter-organization computer networks, Inter-organization relationships
PROXHY: A Process-Oriented Extensible Hypertext Architecture BIBAKPDF 399-419
  Charles J. Kacmar; John J. Leggett
This paper describes the design and prototypical implementation of an architecture for hypertext systems which is based on the process and object-oriented models of computation. Hypertext services are provided to applications through object-based distributed processes which interact using interprocess communication facilities. By merging the process, object-oriented, and hypertext models, hypertext data and functionality can be separated from applications and distributed across a network. This architecture allows links to cross application boundaries and diverse applications to be integrated under a common hypertext model. The paper describes the architecture and application requirements for operating in this environment. PROXHY, a prototypical implementation of the architecture, is also discussed.
Keywords: Computer-communication networks, Distributed systems, Distributed applications, Programming techniques, Object-oriented programming, Operating systems, Organization and design, Distributed systems, Interactive system, Database management, Systems, Distributed systems, Information storage and retrieval, Systems and software, Information interfaces and presentation, Multimedia information systems, Hypertext navigation and maps, Text processing, Document preparation, Hypertext/hypermedia, Design, Management, Hypermedia system architecture