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Title: Context-based activity design for analysis and specification of interactive systems
Author: Zainol, Zuraini
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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Context provides computing environments with the ability to adapt the information they provide by implicitly deriving the user's requirements from the context that surrounds the user at any situation. While considerable work has been carried out on the application of context, the meaning of context is often misinterpreted and poorly defined. Most of the attempts to use context have centred on the physical elements of the environment, users, or devices. However, only a little work has put emphasis on the context of the interaction itself. Accordingly, it is believed that it is necessary to incorporate context in the interaction design process as it becomes more important in interactive systems. This thesis proposes a method for designing interactive systems, where the dynamic changes in contexts and normative activities are captured and specified in the form of a formal language, called Context-based Activity Specified Language (CASL). The Context-based Activity Design (CoB AD) method is aimed at enabling a systematic design that assists or guides researchers and system designers in the field of interactive systems design to put emphasis on the context of the system use and its interaction. This method is built on three key components, namely the Context Ontology Model (COM), context reasoning mechanisms and specification of information fields. It also consists of the Context State Transition (CST) model that represents the transitions of activity states, where the ordering of activity states is often dependent on the context reasoning rules. One possible way to resolve such a conflict in context reasoning is to incorporate the concepts of norms and information fields, borrowed from Organisational Semiotics. This offers a novel method for designing interactive systems that is capable of modelling information fields as a set of norms. This generates different sets of outcomes depending on the different set of norms applied, which is useful for designing interactive systems. A series of conflict resolution strategies is proposed in this study, which mainly differ in the type and preference context that are used to resolve potential conflicts in the overlapping information fields . The CoB AD method is demonstrated by applying it into three different scenarios: (1) the activity design in a smart home, (2) the citizen lifecycle design and (3) the workaround design in a healthcare design work process. The method of treating conflicting norms in multiple information fields is presented in detail. Finally, the conclusions, contributions and future work identified from this study are expected to benefit researchers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available