Formally-based tools and techniques for human-computer dialogues
With ever cheaper and more powerful technology. the proliferation of computer systems, and higher expectations of their users, the user interface is now seen as a crucial part of any interactive system. As the designers and users of interactive software have found, though, it can be both difficult and costly to create good interactive software. It is therefore appropriate to look at ways of "engineering" the interface as well as the application. which we choose to do by using the software engineering techniques of specification and prototyping. Formally specifying the user interface allows the designer to reason about its properties in the light of the many guidelines on the subject. Early availability of prototypes of the user interface allows the designer to experiment with alternative options and to elicit feedback from potential users. This thesis presents tools and techniques (collectively called SPI) for specifying and prototyping the dialogues between an interactive system and its users. They are based on a formal specification and rapid prototyping method and notation called me too. and were originally designed as an extension to me too. They have also been implemented under UNIX*. thus enabling a transition from the formal specification to its implementation. *UNIX is a trademark of AT&T Bell Laboratories.