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Recent Work in Model-Based User Interfaces

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1 Recent Work in Model-Based User Interfaces
Jeffrey Nichols Lecture #13 05-830: Advanced User Interface Software

2 Last time… Model-based User Interfaces
Automatic generation of the user interface so the programmer won’t do a bad job. Dialog boxes are relatively easy to generate The full application interface is hard to generate Abstract descriptions of the interface can be longer and harder to generate than implementing the interface itself. Interface builders turned out to be easier…

3 But work continued… Focus Changed A Couple Projects of Interest:
Task models were leveraged more Design assistant aspect emphasized A Couple Projects of Interest: Trident Mecano & Mobi-D FUSE AIDE

4 TRIDENT An interface design assistant Interesting features:
Vanderdonckt, J., Knowledge-Based Systems for Automated User Interface Generation: the TRIDENT Experience, Technical Report RP , Facultes Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Institut d’Informatique, Namur, 1995. An interface design assistant Interesting features: Knowledge-based approach (i.e. expert system) Choosing Widgets Doing Layout Use of Task Models Decides where separate windows are needed

5 Choosing Widgets Used a decision tree
Chose abstract interaction objects (AIO) Similar to Brad’s Interactor Model Lots of parameters Continuous? Capacity Etc.

6 Choosing Layout Uses Right/Bottom Strategy
Next component is placed to the right or below the current component Decision made by heuristics or designer

7 Right/Bottom Strategy

8 Windows from Task Models
Basically used for constructing wizard-like interfaces What information should be on the first screen, etc.

9 What are task models, anyway?
Description of the process a user takes to reach a goal in a specific domain Typically have hierarchical structure Introduced by GOMS Number of different task modeling languages GOMS UAN ConcurTaskTrees

10 ConcurTaskTrees Developed by Fabio Paterno et al. for the design of user interfaces Goals Graphical for easy interpretation Concurrent model for representing UI tasks Different task types Represent all tasks, including those performed by the system

11 Task Building Process Three phases Temporal Relationships
Hierarchically decompose the tasks Identify the temporal relationships among tasks at same level Identify what objects are manipulated and what actions can be performed on them, and assign these to the tasks as appropriate. Temporal Relationships T1 [] T2 - Choice T1 ||| T2 - Interleaving T1 |[]| T2 - Synchronization T1 >> T2 - Enabling T1 []>> T2 - Enabling with Information Passing T1 [> T2 - Deactivation T1* - Iteration T1(n) - Finite Iteration [T1] - Optional T – Recursion

12 Example Note: First example is ambiguous

13 Another Example

14 Building/Editing Task Models
Tools are available ConcurTaskTrees Environment or Google for “ConcurTaskTrees”

15 Recent Systems XIML – eXtensible Interface Markup Language XWeb
Developed by the makers of Mecano/Mobi-D and Trident Kitchen-sink language for modeling any part of the interface design process XWeb Now known as ICE – Interactive Computing Everywhere ICrafter A system for integrating user interfaces from multiple devices Personal Universal Controller My research…

16 XIML eXtensible Interface Markup Language
Designed by RedWhale Software Intended to support the full lifecycle of interface building

17 XIML Requirements Central Repository of Data
For one user interface or many Comprehensive Lifecycle Support Abstract and Concrete Elements Relational Support Underlying Technology XIML must be independent of particular tools

18 Models in XIML An XIML document can contain any type of model Task
Domain User Presentation Dialog

19 Example Use for XIML Multi-platform interface development

20 Status of XIML Used by RedWhale Software to drive their interface consultant business They have developed many tools move interaction data to/from XIML Leverage data in XIML to better understand various interfaces Automate parts of the interface design process

21 Model-Based Interfaces for Control
XWeb ICrafter PUC

22 XWeb Work by Dan Olsen and group at BYU Premise:
“Pervasive computing cannot succeed if every device must be accompanied by its own interactive software and hardware…What is needed is a universal interactive service protocol to which any compliant interactive client can connect and access any service.” The web comes close to solving this problem, but is interactively insufficient.

23 XWeb Protocols Based upon the architecture of the web
XTP Interaction Protocol Server-side data has a tree structure Structured Data in XML URLs for location of objects xweb://automate.home/lights/livingroom/ xweb://automate.home/lights/familyroom/-1

24 XWeb & XTP CHANGE message (similar to GET in HTTP)
Sequence of editing operations to apply to a sub-tree Set an attribute’s value Delete an attribute Change some child object to a new value Insert a new child object Move a subtree to a new location Copy a subtree to a new location

25 Platform Independent Interfaces
Two models are specified DataView – The attributes of the service XView – A mapping of the attributes into high-level “interactors” Interactors are somewhat like abstract interaction objects Atomic Numeric Time Date Enumeration Text Links Aggregation Group List

26 XWeb Example DataView

27 XWeb Example XView

28 XWeb Example Interface

29 Other XWeb Details Has simple approach for adjusting to different screen sizes Shrink portions of the interface Add additional columns of widgets Also capable of generating speech interfaces Based on a tree traversal approach like Universal Speech Interfaces

30 ICrafter Part of the Interactive Workspaces research project at Stanford Main objective: “to allow users of interactive workspaces to flexibly interact with services” Contribution An intelligent infrastructure to find services, aggregate them into a single interface, and generate an interface for the aggregate service. In practice, much of the interface generation is done by hand though automatic generation is supported.

31 ICrafter Architecture

32 How is aggregation accomplished?
High-level service interfaces (programmatic) Data Producer Data Consumer The Interface Manager has pattern generators Recognize patterns in the services used Generate interfaces for these patterns This means that unique functionality will not be available in the aggregate interface

33 Automatic Generation in ICrafter

34 Manual Generation in ICrafter

35 Personal Universal Controller
My work with Brad Problem: Appliance interfaces are too complex and too idiosyncratic. Solution: Separate the interface from the appliance and use a device with a richer interface to control the appliance: PDA, mobile phone, etc.

36 Idea Control existing appliances Generate multi-modal interfaces
Specifications Control Feedback Control existing appliances Generate multi-modal interfaces

37 - Interface Generators Architecture
- Appliance Adaptors - Comm. Protocol - Specification Lang. - Interface Generators Architecture XML-based

38 Language Design Approach Create reference interfaces
AIWA Shelf Stereo AT&T Telephone/Answering Machine Test interfaces with subjects Users twice as fast and made half the errors with reference interfaces as compared to manufacturers’ interfaces Analyze interfaces for functional information Be careful of saying “same manufacturer’s appliances”

39 Language Elements State Variables and Commands Label Information
Represent functions of appliance State variables have types Boolean, Enumeration, Integer, String, etc. Variables sufficient for most functions but not all “seek” button on a Radio Label Information One label not suitable everywhere The optimal label length changes with screen size Speech interfaces may benefit from pronunciation and text-to-speech information

40 Language Elements, cont.
Group Tree Specify organization of functions We use n-ary tree with variables or commands at leaves Need a place for things like “no specific layout information” related work or new high-level spec slide

41 Language Elements, cont.
Dependency Information Formulas that specify when a variable or command is active in terms of other state variables Equals, Greater Than, Less Than Linked with logical operators (AND, OR) For example, <and> <equals state=“PowerState”>true</equals> <equals state=“RadioBand”>AM</equals> </and>

42 Interface Generators Generators for Two Modalities Graphical Speech
Implemented for PocketPC in Java 1.1 Uses dependency information to generate panel structure of interface Speech Implemented using Universal Speech Interface (USI) techniques [Rosenfeld 2001] Uses dependency information to disambiguate shortcut words (e.g. “play”) and resolve pre-conditions for a requested function (e.g. “play CD”)

43 Graphical Interface Generator
Focuses on panel structure of user interface Small groups of controls have basic layouts Complexity comes from structure of groups Structure can be inferred from dependency info! decomposed

44 Inferring Structure Find sets of variables that are “mutually exclusive” Every variable in a set will never be active at the same time as a variable in another set Create structure with sets, using overlapping panels

45 Choosing Panel Types a) b) c) full screen tabbed partial screen

46 Making the Interface Concrete
Finish conceptual layout Choose controls (decision tree) Choose row layouts (one column, two column, etc.) Allocate space Examine panel contents and choose sizes Instantiate and place controls

47 Generating Speech Interfaces
Automatically build USI tree from dependencies Allows verbal navigation of functional groups Automatically generate grammar for parser Phrases for query and control “What is playmode?” “Set playmode to play” “play” Automatically generate language model and pronunciation for recognizer

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