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Evaluation of a Contextual Assistant Interface Using Cognitive Models

By Belkacem Chikhaoui and Hélène Pigot


Abstract—Cognitive models allow predicting some aspects of utility and usability of human machine interfaces, and also simulating the interaction with these interfaces. The action of predicting is based on a task analysis which analyses what a user is required to do in terms of actions and cognitive processes to achieve a task. Task analysis facilitates the understanding of the functionalities of the system to be modeled. Cognitive models are part of the analytical approaches that do not make necessarily appeal to the user during the interface development process. This paper presents a study about the evaluation of a human machine interaction (HMI) with an interface of a contextual assistant, using ACT-R and GOMS cognitive models. It shows how these techniques may be applied in HMI evaluation, design and research, emphasizing on the task analysis in one side, and on the time execution of tasks in the other side. In order to validate and support our results, an experimental study of user performance, during the interaction with the contextual assistant interface is conducted at the DOMUS laboratory. The results of our models show that both models GOMS and ACT-R give good to very good predictions of user performance at the task level as well as the object level, our results are very close to those obtained in the experimental study. Keywords—HMI, interface evaluation, cognitive modeling, user modeling, user performance. I

Year: 2011
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