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Title: Hypermedia-based performance support systems for the web
Author: Huneiti, Ammar M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 0111
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2004
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The work reported in this thesis is an attempt to apply integrated knowledge-based and adaptive hypermedia technologies in the area of electronic performance support. Moreover, this work is a contribution in the direction of "structured" hypermedia authoring of technical documentation. It tackles the main challenges associated with the systematic development of Web-based technical documentation which include the design, authoring, and implementation, and the creation of supporting CASE tools. The main contribution of this research is a systematic methodology for the development of hypermedia-based Performance Support Systems (PSSs) for the Web which adheres to the main characteristics of advanced PSSs. These characteristics are outlined in a conceptual model that complies with state-of-the-art technologies and current practices in the field of user performance support. First, the thesis suggests a conceptual model for advanced PSSs. These are characterised as mainly consisting of two loosely coupled components that are designed and accessed in a task-based and user-centred manner. The first component is a freely browsed technical documentation of the application domain. The second component is the expert advisor that provides assistance for more specific, complex, and difficult to learn tasks. The integrated technologies utilised in advanced PSSs include Web-based hypermedia and knowledge-based systems. Second, the thesis concentrates on the first component of advanced PSSs i.e. technical documentation. It suggests a usage-based data model for the design of technical documentation. The proposed model abstracts the intended purpose of the documentation, the tasks supported by the documentation, and the functional characteristics of documents. These abstractions are integrated in a usage-based semantic network where rules and valid relationships are identified. This design framework can then be used by authors in order to organise, generate, and maintain the technical documentation i.e. authoring. In addition, this model is also used to support a strategy for the adaptive retrieval of hypermedia documents. Third, the thesis suggests a model-driven hypermedia authoring approach for Web- based technical documentation. This approach utilises the usage-based data model for the design of technical documentation (described above). In addition, it complies with the principled guidelines of structured authoring. Finally, the thesis focuses on "intelligent" PSSs. It promotes the provision of intelligent performance support through the utilisation and integration of technologies used in developing knowledge-based diagnostic Expert Systems (ES) and adaptive hypermedia systems. This integration is implemented through the use of hypermedia which allows supporting content to be synchronized with the diagnostic ES inference process. The integrated adaptive diagnostic ES supports the user by providing what-to-do and how-to-do type of information tailored (adapted) to the user's knowledge of the subject domain. The special organisation of displays in an HTML-based user interface allows users, while employing the ES for fault diagnosis, to request detailed information about a certain diagnosis procedure, and then return to the ES to continue from where they left off. The solutions proposed in this thesis are demonstrated through the development of a prototype PSS for an all-terrain fork-lift truck. The performance support is provided through (i) a technical manual, (ii) a diagnostic ES for locating and correcting braking system faults, and (iii) an adaptive information retrieval utility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available