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ItemIndexing to situated interactionsPaay, Jeni ( 2006-02)Computing is increasingly pervading the activities of our everyday lives: at work, at home, and out on the town. When designing these pervasive systems there is a need to better understand and incorporate the context of use and yet there are limited empirical investigations into what constitutes this context. The user’s physical and social situation is an important part of their context when operating in an urban environment and thus needs to be understood and included in the interaction design of context-aware pervasive computing. This thesis has combined ideas from human computer interaction (HCI) and architecture to investigate indexicality in interface design as an instrument for incorporating physical and social context of the built environment into context-aware pervasive computing. Indexicality in interface design is a new approach to designing HCI for pervasive computing that relies on knowledge of current context to implicitly communicate between system and user. It reduces the amount of information that needs to be explicitly displayed in the interface while maintaining the usefulness and understandability of the communication.
ItemAn investigation of interactivity and flow: student behaviour during online instructionPEARCE, JON MALCOLM ( 2004-12)This thesis combines ideas from human-computer interaction, education and psychology to explore the interactions of students in an online learning environment. The motivation for the work was to understand better how to engage students in a highly enjoyable experience of online learning. The thesis describes three experiments. The first experiment was an exploratory study investigating the influence of learner interactions in an online physics learning task. Students worked through an online learning experience that offered high and low levels of interactivity. The aim was to explore their interactions and choices in an environment in which they could elect to move from the highly interactive mode to the less interactive mode at any time. Web logs were used to track their interactions and question probes gathered data on their emotions, learning goals and strategies. The analysis revealed a number of different patterns of interaction. Statistical analysis showed that most, but not all, preferred to follow an interactive path through the material. Students who used the interactive materials showed improved learning gains in transfer-style questions compared to those in the less interactive mode. Several issues were identified as important to consider in a follow-up study: emotions, affect, challenge, and the degree of control that the learner perceives.
ItemThe case for mobile trajectory – a practical 'theory' for mobile workGRAHAM, CONNOR CLIVE ( 2009)This thesis progressively evolves and presents a practical 'theory' for mobile work – mobile trajectory – through three case studies conducted using fieldwork. The three cases presented here examine tram travellers finding their way around a city centre (Case A), health care workers looking after people with mental illness in a residential setting (Case B) and mobile clinicians caring for young people with mental illness in a community setting (Case C). My concern is to develop a 'theory' for mobile work that is both practical and theoretical,; at once supporting the practical action of completing field and analytic work while abstracting away from the ordinary affairs of society. The contribution of this ‘theory’ is to synthesise ideas from the domain of studies of ICTs mobile work to support description, rhetoric, inference and application for mobile work. This 'theory' has particular COMPONENTS, FEATURES, PROPERTIES, CONCERNS and ASSOCIATED NOTIONS. A mobile trajectory has a CORE TRAJECTORY that involves particular work: the CORE WORK. There are ALIGNED TRAJECTORIES that feed the CORE TRAJECTORY. These are part of the CORE TRAJECTORY. The FEATURES of mobile trajectory are CYCLES, TRANSITIONS, TRAVERSALS, STREAMS, SCHEMES, POSSIBILITIES, HISTORICITY and SHAPE. The PROPERTIES are PHYSICALITY, LOCALITY, INSTRUMENTALITY, SYNCHRONICITY, INTER- DEPENDENCY, PREDICTABILITY and PALPABILITY. Important CONCERNS are RECONCILIATION CONCERNS, ALIGNMNENT CONCERNS, RECIPROCAL CONCERNS and CONTINGENCY CONCERNS. Key ASSOCIATED NOTIONS are SOCIAL SPHERES with particular WORLDS and SUB-WORLDS comprising MEMBERS with particular ROLES and INVOLVEMENT. SOCIAL SPHERES have particular BOUNDARIES, RESOURCES and MEDIA and shared KNOWLEDGE and PRACTICES. MEDIA and RESOURCES have particular AVAILABILITY and MUTABILITY. MEMBERS have particular BIOGRAPHIES, TIES and OBLIGATIONS and AWARENESS of others. Through the case material presented I demonstrate how this 'theory' supports the work of describing and discussing mobile work for the purpose of conceptualising, selecting, recommending and critically evaluating everyday Information and Communication Technologies. At the end of the thesis I compare mobile trajectory to three alternative approaches and two alternative theories with regard to supporting the same kind of work.
ItemToward semantic interoperability for software systemsLister, Kendall ( 2008)“In an ill-structured domain you cannot, by definition, have a pre-compiled schema in your mind for every circumstance and context you may find ... you must be able to flexibly select and arrange knowledge sources to most efficaciously pursue the needs of a given situation.”  In order to interact and collaborate effectively, agents, whether human or software, must be able to communicate through common understandings and compatible conceptualisations. Ontological differences that occur either from pre-existing assumptions or as side-effects of the process of specification are a fundamental obstacle that must be overcome before communication can occur. Similarly, the integration of information from heterogeneous sources is an unsolved problem. Efforts have been made to assist integration, through both methods and mechanisms, but automated integration remains an unachieved goal. Communication and information integration are problems of meaning and interaction, or semantic interoperability. This thesis contributes to the study of semantic interoperability by identifying, developing and evaluating three approaches to the integration of information. These approaches have in common that they are lightweight in nature, pragmatic in philosophy and general in application. The first work presented is an effort to integrate a massive, formal ontology and knowledge-base with semi-structured, informal heterogeneous information sources via a heuristic-driven, adaptable information agent. The goal of the work was to demonstrate a process by which task-specific knowledge can be identified and incorporated into the massive knowledge-base in such a way that it can be generally re-used. The practical outcome of this effort was a framework that illustrates a feasible approach to providing the massive knowledge-base with an ontologically-sound mechanism for automatically generating task-specific information agents to dynamically retrieve information from semi-structured information sources without requiring machine-readable meta-data. The second work presented is based on reviving a previously published and neglected algorithm for inferring semantic correspondences between fields of tables from heterogeneous information sources. An adapted form of the algorithm is presented and evaluated on relatively simple and consistent data collected from web services in order to verify the original results, and then on poorly-structured and messy data collected from web sites in order to explore the limits of the algorithm. The results are presented via standard measures and are accompanied by detailed discussions on the nature of the data encountered and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the algorithm and the ways in which it complements other approaches that have been proposed. Acknowledging the cost and difficulty of integrating semantically incompatible software systems and information sources, the third work presented is a proposal and a working prototype for a web site to facilitate the resolving of semantic incompatibilities between software systems prior to deployment, based on the commonly-accepted software engineering principle that the cost of correcting faults increases exponentially as projects progress from phase to phase, with post-deployment corrections being significantly more costly than those performed earlier in a project’s life. The barriers to collaboration in software development are identified and steps taken to overcome them. The system presented draws on the recent collaborative successes of social and collaborative on-line projects such as SourceForge, Del.icio.us, digg and Wikipedia and a variety of techniques for ontology reconciliation to provide an environment in which data definitions can be shared, browsed and compared, with recommendations automatically presented to encourage developers to adopt data definitions compatible with previously developed systems. In addition to the experimental works presented, this thesis contributes reflections on the origins of semantic incompatibility with a particular focus on interaction between software systems, and between software systems and their users, as well as detailed analysis of the existing body of research into methods and techniques for overcoming these problems.