Three-Dimensional Interactive Connection Diagrams for Knowledge Engineering

Jones, Sara (1993). Three-Dimensional Interactive Connection Diagrams for Knowledge Engineering. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

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Abstract

This thesis describes research into human factors aspects of the use of 3-dimensional node and link diagrams, called Interactive Connection Diagrams (leDs), in the human-computer interface of tools for knowledge engineering. This research was carried out in two main stages: the first concentrated on perceptual aspects of 3-d ICDs, and the second on more general aspects of their use in realistic situations. A final section looked briefly at the possibility of formally specifying 3-d ICD representations.

The main aim of the first stage was to investigate whether users were able to make effective judgements about the relative depths of components in 3-d ICDs. Controlled experiments were carried out to determine the extent to which such judgements were supported by the use of a particular approach to creating the illusion of depth. The results of these experiments showed that users were able to make reasonably effective judgements about the relative depths of components in 3-d ICDs. 3-d ICDs produced using the approach of interest were therefore argued to be suitable for use in the second stage of the study.

In the second stage, case studies were used to investigate the utility in more realistic knowledge engineering situations of tools supporting 3-d ICDs, and the usability of depth-related features of a prototype tool which permits 3-d leDs to be viewed and edited. On the basis of the findings of these studies it is claimed that tools supporting 3-d ICDs will, in some situations, be more useful than those which employ only more conventional 2-d versions. It was found that depth-related features of the prototype tool were usable but should be improved upon in future implementations.

The third and final section of work involved a preliminary investigation into the formal specification of the 3-d ICD representations of the kind used in the second set of studies. A scheme for specifying the range of 3-d leO languages currently supported by the prototype tool was developed, and each of the particular 3-d ICD languages used in the case studies were specified.

Implications of the results of this work are discussed and a number of suggestions regarding directions for future work are made. The overall conclusion is that 3-d ICDs have considerable potential as a medium in which to represent knowledge structures for use in knowledge engineering.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Computer Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/20156

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