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authors Tyler, Sherman William
year 1986
title SAUCI. Self-Adaptive User Computer Interfaces
source Carnegie Mellon University,Pittsburgh
summary Different approaches to the design of the human-computer interface have been taken in the past. These can be organized into four broad categories: tack-on; intuitive/empirical; formal; and conversational. There are several important interface design criteria that have never been adequately attained in any of these approaches. One is modularity, that is, maintaining a clear separation between the interface and its target system. A second criterion is self-adaptation, or the ability of the interface to modify its own behavior to suit a given individual user. Two further criteria relate to the interface's potential to guide users in performing typical high-level tasks on the target system and to provide intelligent advice on the use of that system. This research was focused on developing an integrated technique for achieving these four design criteria. To that end, an abstract architecture called SAUCI, or the Self-Adaptive User-Computer Interface, was proposed, embodying a knowledge-based, object-oriented approach to interface design. The foundation of this approach rests upon information encoded within sets of objects. This information includes separate knowledge bases describing the individual users, the commands of the target system, and the high-level tasks appropriate for that system. The behavior of the interface is controlled by various methods which call upon the knowledge bases in a rule-governed manner to decide what interface features should be present at each phase of the user's dialogue with the target system. To test the feasibility of the proposed architecture, a working interface was implemented on a Xerox 1108 computer in the LOOPS language, with a UNIX operating system running on a separate minicomputer as the target system. An empirical evaluation of this prototype revealed clear advantages over the standard interface. Closer examination pointed to each of the factors of modularity, task guidance, and user-tailored assistance as playing a significant role in these effects. A discussion of additional applications of this architecture and of areas for future development is offered as further evidence of the value of this approach as a general framework for human-computer interface design.  
series thesis:PhD
references Content-type: text/plain
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