From participatory design to participating problem solving: Enhancing system adaptability through user modelling [Book Review]

AI and Society 7 (3):238-247 (1993)
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Abstract

The issue on the role of users in knowledge-based systems can be investigated from two aspects: the design aspect and the functionality aspect. Participatory design is an important approach for the first aspect while system adaptability supported by user modelling is crucial to the second aspect. In the article, we discuss the second aspect. We view a knowledge-based computer system as the partner of users' problem-solving process, and we argue that the system functionality can be enhanced by adapting the behaviour of the system to fit the needs of users with different profiles. We emphasise that the notion of user modelling is crucial to realise such kind of flexibility. User modelling will be beneficial to the user, not only through adaptive interfaces, but also through the enhanced system adaptability. In a knowledge-based system, by incorporating user models, searching can be reduced to a smaller portion in the knowledge-base, thus enhancing system functionality. In other words, user modelling is incorporated to realise flexible inference control to achieve system adaptability. An example is provided, and a general conceptual model is sketched. We conclude this paper by emphasising that the design aspect and functionality aspect are complementary. Achieving enhanced functionality through joint efforts of computers and human users indicates a kind of participatory execution of computerised problem-solving or participatory problem-solving

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References found in this work

User Modeling via Stereotypes.Elaine Rich - 1979 - Cognitive Science 3 (4):329-354.
Reflections on participatory design.Karamjit S. Gill - 1989 - AI and Society 3 (4):297-314.

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