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Title: Computational synthesis for scientific experimentation
Author: Leung, Siu-wai
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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A method of conditional rewriting and stepwise refinement of an abstract experiment protocol is specified using grammars, with optional feature structures. Specific rewrite rule conditions including selective mappings between feature structures of protocols determine whether and how protocol rewriting is performed. Following simple grammars, the setups of the exemplified experiments were synthesised, including websites as materials, experiment procedures as methods, and cognitive tests as protocol modules.  Two synthesised cognitive science experiments on causal perception and design preference were conducted to test the effects of rhetorical (temporal and causal) and modal (tabular and graphical) presentation of information. In the causal perception experiment, the test subjects could not differentiate the effects of temporal and causal rhetorics in presenting aviation accident information. However, their ratings on causality based on the covariation between potential causes and consequences gave evidence for a better agreement with the power PC theory of causal perception (compared to the others assessed and still under disputes) in aviation accident reporting (a different test scenario). In the design preference experiment, more people prefer graphical to tabular presentation. Despite the high preference for graphical presentation, the given tabular presentation was generally rated to be easier than graphical presentation to interpret, especially for those who score below average in the visualisation and analogy-making tests. This piece of evidence helps generate a hypothesis relating design preferences to specific cognitive abilities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available