Monday, November 27, 2006

PAWS Meeting 2006-11-27

1. Ion Juvina's presentation

Title: "Model-based Highlighting to Support Selective Reading on the Web"

Ion Juvina, a post-doctoral fellow at CMU, Psychology Department, ACT-R Group, gave a talk about his dissertation work. He talked about a series of studies on Web goal-oriented behavior he and his colleagues run. In each of them the task users faced was to find goal-relevant information on a series of real Web sites.

In the first study they identified spatial abilities as the best predictor of performance. They controlled for many confounding factors, e.g. working memory capacity, text comrehension and processing speed. They also found spatial abilities to negatively correlate with amount of navigation needed (revisits, back button usage, etc.). They proposed some changes to CoLiDeS model. They found the new model (CoLiDeS+) to perform better, but not significantly.

The second study involved presenting voice suggestions to users (generated by the model), e.g. "Click link X". They found it significantly improving performance of non-spatial users.

The third study involved visual annotation of links the model recognized as goal-relevant. They found that these suggestions helped to increase performance.

The fourth study attempted to test the above ideas on visually impaired users. Again, they found spatial abilities to be a significant predictor of performance. They didn't find any effect of suggestions.

2. Michael's CoPE functionalities update

Additionally to all absolutely stunning features the system had before, now everyone can:

- get system's help with adding authors of a paper
- search papers

PAWS Meeting 2006-11-20

  1. Sharon presented the following papers from ELeran 2006 related to student advising. Both papers were from the same group at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
    1. Intelligent On-line Advising with Expert System Shell
      This paper discusses the reason for having an automated advising system and what the system needs to offer. Partly it describes the requirement related to specific design of the study program at Cal State. The system uses an expert system shell to provide advice to the students. It allows conversation with students leading to an advice. The system has been weakly evaluated over one semester by only asking the students to play with it.
    2. Student Advising SystemThis paper describes the process which is required to provide an advice to a student for taking a course. It describes what factors needs to be considered such as pre-requisites, co-requisites, indirect-requisite, importance of the course, ... . The current version of the system described in this papers requires manual work of the students.

      We discussed implementing some of the ideas discussed in this paper in CourseAgent. Specially since currently CourseAgent lacks the consideration of the requirements. Peter mentioned the idea of providing personalized requirements for the students based on their preferences and for example planned courses

  2. Danielle presented a paper from IADIS International Conference on WWW/Internet 2005 titled An Integrative Model on Web User Experience.

    The paper describes a methodology for measuring the effectiveness of interactive systems such as adaptive systems based on "Technology Acceptance Model". It also provides an example of evaluation of an interactive system.

    Sergey suggested that given the data collected over the last semesters through the questionnaires, Danielle can try some of the ideas suggested in this paper.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

PAWS Meeting 2006-11-06

InfoVis '06

Peter introduced InfoVis '06 conference. While we consider using the toolkits and resources announced there, we can think about,

1) How to make visualization adaptive and use in our context?
2) We have lots of approaches but same set of users. How can we apply visualization in this environment?

Bayesian Nets

Tomek presented two papers on Bayesian networks.

1. "Distributed Bayesian Networks for User Modeling". Roberto Tedesco,
Peter Dolog, Wolfgang Nejdl, and Heidrun Allert

2. "Intelligent Bayesian agent as a facilitator in e-Learning". Maomi
Ueno and Toshio Okamoto

Basically BN can be used as modeling tools in that it is transparent and easier to be generalized. The first article talked about BN based user models, which exist over several distributed Web based adaptive eLearning applications and can be merged into a global user profile.
The second paper introduced an approach which provides students with motivational messages, so that the drop out rate of them greatly decreased. It also adopted BN and the performance was better than other similar ones such as decision trees. This paper was quite controversial in that there was too high advance in drop out rate (what if giving random messages?) A possibility of confirmation bias was pointed out and the variables, learning time/access time might have been weak as evidences to support the conclusion.

Social Navigation for ELearn Schedule

Rosta introduced a system for community based searching, navigation, and scheduling. It was built upon the corpus from CACM and the accessible URL is as follows.