Model-Based User Interfaces and the Web

An Ontological Representation of the Internet (Credit: Bill Cheswick, Lumeta Corp.)

An Ontological Representation of the Internet (Credit: Bill Cheswick, Lumeta Corp.)

Interesting ideas coming from the Model-Based UI XG W3C Incubator Group with their Final Report of 04 May 2010 proposing model driven approaches to Web interface creation, and Web application Interaction. Within the Web Ergonomics domain I’m particularly interested in the sections on user modelling [1] via the use of an ontology [2]. Now while I think this particular approach shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the ways in which ontologies are used within the semantic Web and Description Logic communities; mainly because they seem to want to try and model an individual user as opposed to a generic type of user. I still think the ideas may be useful in that enabling simple data to be added by individuals, such as psychologists, and then a reasoned representation, with a greater expressibility derived from these ‘fragments’. This maybe just what we need to start moving deep cognitive understandings of the Web Ergonomics of users into a form that can help us simulate and apply this knowledge to instances of Web Interactivity, sort of a CogTool on steroids.

As yet, I’ve no idea how these simulation concepts could or should be linked – but we may want to look at the ongoing work in medical bio-ontological systems to see if there are some lessons (both good and bad) that we can learn from.

  1. Dominik Heckmann, & Antonio Krueger (2003). A User Modeling Markup Language (UserML) for Ubiquitous Computing LNCS User Modeling 2003, 1 (1) : 10.1007/3-540-44963-9_55
  2. Dominik Heckmann, Tim Schwartz, Boris Brandherm, Michael Schmitz, & Margeritta von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (2005). Gumo – The General User Model Ontology User Modeling 2005, 1 (1), 428-432 : 10.1007/11527886_58

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