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A Comparative Framework for End User Development

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1 A Comparative Framework for End User Development
Alistair Sutcliffe (Nikolay Mehandjiev, Darren Lee) Department Of Computation UMIST Manchester, UK

2 Objectives to identify the contribution from different strands of EUD research; to expose research issues and indicate a future research agenda; to act as a critical evaluation tool for EUD environments and systems;

3 Approach A literature survey across the spectrum of disciplines associated with End-User Development. Requirements Engineering HCI & Cognitive Science User Communities e.g. Bioinformatics Software Engineering Artificial Intelligence Information Systems Psychology of programming CSCW Critically evaluate research and industrial state of the art, create a review paper

4 Framework Dimensions 3 Dimensions Representation
The nature of the representations used in the programming task between computer and end-user.

5 Framework 3 Dimensions Representation Scope
The nature of the representations used in the programming task between computer and end-user. Scope The breadth of EUD problems an environment can support.

6 Framework 3 Dimensions Representation Scope System Initiative
The nature of the representations used in the programming task between computer and end-user. Scope The breadth of EUD problems an environment can support. System Initiative The degree to which the user is required to directly specify software.

7 (Abstract Vs Concrete)
Representation (Abstract Vs Concrete) Medium for exchange of information between user and machine. Natural or designed language- text, icons, graphics Non-linguistic representations- graphics, interactive microwolrds, TUIs, physical artefacts, augmented reality Linguistic representations= abstract syntax + lexicon, text, symbolic, iconic, natural language Modality of communication, audio, speech, visual, haptic Domain and representation interact. e.g. Mathematics Research. Expressed via a language. Irrespective of sensory channels. Language (and attributes) +sensory channel = modality (Bernsen) Non-Linguistic models Iconic/Visual Programming has syntax and semantics therefore a language. Interesting Question Visual Programming arguing visual is inherently natural (concrete) because it visual!, claim that the lack of language (in the textual sense) also makes it more concrete. Origin Of Abstraction Generalisation – to generalise need to be abstract. False metaphors- Forcing thinking about domain in terms of objects when more natural in terms of flows. Nature of Domain- Highly abstract in real world.

8 (Task or Domain Specific Vs General Purpose)
Scope (Task or Domain Specific Vs General Purpose) Problem coverage of an EUD tool. General purpose Turing-complete, any task in any domain. Architecture in the sense of Fischer’s DODEs. Modular environment with programmability. Specific Task - Domain Horizontal domains- e.g. finance, training, CAL systems Vertical domains- e.g. ecommerce, bioinformatics, medicine Information systems tasks, support for tasks in the real world Dimension interaction inevitably occurs. Notably General Purpose and Abstract. Problem coverage Programming as problem solving. The task the end-user is using the EUD tool to support. Views of GP Turing complete – powerful as mainstream languages a matter of skill and effort on part of programmer. Views of Task and Domain For a task is user: searching for information OR searching for Biochemical information.

9 Scope and domains End user Software system Information systems Sensors
& devices Modelled world Controlled world Real world

10 System Initiative (Active Vs Passive) degree of user responsibility for specifying the solution Passive User driven- language or composable artefacts Possibly supported by a critiquing system Active The machine tracks user behaviour and infers a software solution- assumes an existing artefact System intervenes to help design –partial initiative Machine generates solution from natural language instructions or observes RW and learns- frontiers of AI Passive Therefore DODEs and derivatives are passive. PBE - Macro recorders. Active Automatic programming/ PBE – inference Still the question of declarative programming paradigm at its purist Nik argues that it is possibly active.

11 Other issues Social Context of EUD
-Collaborative EUD and EUD of CSCW systems -Autocratic Vs Democratic and Individual Vs Group EUD. - Communities of EUD developers, markets for components, scripts, etc 2. Communication Model - Sensory channel (Modality)- audio, visual, haptic - Modality + Representation = EUD Paradigm - Usability, User Cognition and Cognitive Dimensions Machine Model - Transparency and Execution Vs Interpretation. - Integration with Software Engineering Paradigms- OO, Agents, etc - Software reuse .legacy integration [This is an additional slide, recommended by Nik to back up the other work we are doing]

12 Psychological issues Expressability and complexity
Learning or display based cognition Intuitiveness, affordances, and transparency User cost, effort and errors

13 Develop or Adapt ? Increased Learning and effort Tailoring, customisation, personalisation- low effort, limited scope Configuration, design by composition- more effort, improved scope but limited by components Instruction led design- high effort, good scope Communicate requirements + machine designs- low effort, good scope

14 DODEs An architecture for reducing the conceptual distance between the problem-domain and solution artefact. Progamming as construction and design. Views programming as argumentative process between system and user. Critiquing systems support this activity. Model world, editors, interpreter, solution templates, tutors, critics DODEs can evolve as the end-user becomes more skilled or the domain or task changes.

15 AgentSheets Extends the DODEs concept by as a general purpose environment + language. Introduces true programmability through graphical if-then- else rules and simple message passing. Architecture and domain independent tool for simulation and building executable programmes. Build interactive graphical micro world Once a set of agents are implemented it becomes a domain specific tool. Abstraction can be controllable by the end-user. The user can work with predefined agents representing concrete metaphors or drop down to the more abstract to define new agents as needed.

16 TAMBIS Bioscience databases use multiple query languages from SQL to natural language. Ontology, thesaurus, domain specific lexicon. TAMBIS provides a visual ontology in which queries are built up through navigation of a 2D space representing the biochemistry domain. TAMBIS infers this navigation into the query language program for each of the databases. Visual ontology is produced from textual DL called GRAIL TAMBIS uses concrete representations straight from the domain. The scope is highly task and domain specific. The system takes the users requirements and specifies the software that will be executed. Therefore active initiative.

17 Using The Framework DODEs “Domain-Orientated Design Environments”. Fischer Univ of Colorado. AgentSheets. Repenning Univ of Colorado. TAMBIS “Transparent Access to Multiple Bioinformatics Information”. Goble et al Univ Of Manchester TAMBIS- Baker Gobel et al. IMG at Manchester working with school of biological science. Task and domain specific EUD tool.

18 Position In Framework

19 Position In Framework DODEs Domain Specific Passive Concrete

20 Position In Framework AgentSheets General Passive Concrete/abstract

21 Position In Framework TAMBIS Task and Domain Specific Semi-Active

22 Conclusion Framework based on common themes across research areas.
Permits the comparison of tools and theories. It will help to identify trends and areas for future work.

23 Challenges Merging paradigms- NL with interactive worlds, inference to help development User freedom, expression and assistance-where is the trade off ? Device sensor integration, solution power and learnability trade offs Sharable composable development worlds EUD or design support environments ?

24 Challenges II End user requirements languages- integration of symbolic programming and clarification dialogues (NL research with SE/HCI) Abstraction trade offs- general or domain specific EUD environments Escaping from the expert knowledge bottleneck- learning or intelligent acquisition envs Evolutionary computing and EUD- users set parameters for generated solutions Socio-technical solutions- design for user motivation and reward

25 Future work Review framework and research issues
Use the framework in a critical review of existing EUD tools and theories. Conduct an industrial survey to identify successful commercial applications of EUD tools and techniques.

26 Position In Framework Java General Purpose Passive Abstract

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