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Conference Paper 9 (CP9)

Authors: Calvary, G., Coutaz, J., and Thevenin, D.
Title: Supporting Context Changes for Plastic User Interfaces: a Process and a Mechanism
Conference: IHM-HCI 2001, September 10-14, 2001, Lille (F)
Reference: Proceedings of IHM-HCI 2001, A. Blandford, J. Vanderdonckt, P. Gray Eds., BCS conference series, Springer Publ., pp. 349-363.

Mobility coupled with the development of a wide variety of access devices has engendered new requirements for HCI such as the ability of user interfaces to adapt to different contexts of use. We define a context of use as the set of values of variables that characterise the computational device(s) used for interacting with the system as well as the physical and social environment where the interaction takes place. A user interface is plastic if it is able to adapt to context changes while preserving usability. In this paper, we present a process and a software mechanism that support context changes for plastic user interfaces. We propose to structure adaptation as a three-step process: recognition of the situation, computation of a reaction to cope with the situation, and execution of the reaction. Reactions are specified in an evolution model which, in turn, is executed by a context supervisor. This supervisor is notified of context changes by a software probe that automatically detects deviations from the current situation. When notified, the supervisor executes the evolution model, and, when possible, adapts the user interface to the new context of use.

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Last updated: January 23rd, 2003