AAI THEORY V2 – MEASURING USABILITY

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 6.February 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

An overview of the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about the tenth chapter dealing with Measuring Usability

MEASURING  USABILITY

As has been delineated in the post “Usability and Usefulness”   statements  about the quality of the usability of some assisting actor are based on some  kinds of measurement: mapping some target (here the interactions of an executive actor with some assistive actor) into some predefined norm (e.g. ‘number of errors’, ‘time needed for completion’, …).   These remarks are here embedded in a larger perspective following   Dumas and  Fox (2008).

Overview of Usability Testing following the article of Dumas & Fox (2008), with some new AAI specific terminology
Overview of Usability Testing following the article of Dumas & Fox (2008), with some new AAI specific terminology

From the three main types of usability testing with regard to the position in the life-cycle of a system we focus here primarily on the usability testing as part of the analysis phase where the developers want to get direct feedback for the concepts embedded in an actor story. Depending from this feedback the actor story and its related models can become modified and this can result in a modified exploratory mock-up  for a new test. The challenge is not to be ‘complete’ in finding ‘disturbing’ factors during an interaction but to increase the probability to detect possible disturbing factors by facing the symbolically represented concepts of the actor story with a sample of real world actors. Experiments  point to the number of 5-10 test persons which seem to be sufficient to detect the most severe disturbing factors of the concepts.

Usability testing procedure according to Lauesen (2005), adapted to the AAI paradigm
Usability testing procedure according to Lauesen (2005), adapted to the AAI paradigm

A good description of usability testing can be found in the book Lauesen (2005), especially chapters 1 +13.  According to this one can infer the following basic schema for a usability test:

  1. One needs 5 – 10 test persons whose input-output profile (AAR) comes close to the profile (TAR) required by the actor story.
  2. One needs a  mock-up of the assistive actor; this mock-up  should  correspond ‘sufficiently well’ with the input-output profile (TAR) required by the  actor story. In the simplest case one has a ‘paper model’, whose sheets can be changed on demand.
  3. One needs a facilitator who is receiving the test person, introduces the test person into the task (orally and/ or by a short document (less than a page)), then accompanies the test without interacting further with the test person until the end of the test.  The end is either reached by completing the task or by reaching the end of a predefined duration time.
  4. After the test person has finished the test   a debriefing happens by interrogating the test person about his/ her subjective feelings about the test. Because interviews are always very fuzzy and not very reliable one should keep this interrogation simple, short, and associated with concrete points. One strategy could be to ask the test person first about the general feeling: Was it ‘very good’, ‘good’, ‘OK’, ‘undefined’, ‘not OK’, ‘bad’, ‘very bad’ (+3 … 0 … -3). If the stated feeling is announced then one can ask back which kinds of circumstances caused these feelings.
  5. During the test at least two observers are observing the behavior of the test person. The observer are using as their ‘norm’ the actor story which tells what ‘should happen in the ideal case’. If a test person is deviating from the actor story this will be noted as a ‘deviation of kind X’, and this counts as an error. Because an actor story in the mathematical format represents a graph it is simple to quantify the behavior of the test person with regard to how many nodes of a solution path have been positively passed. This gives a count for the percentage of how much has been done. Thus the observer can deliver data about at least the ‘percentage of task completion’, ‘the number (and kind) of errors by deviations’, and ‘the processing time’. The advantage of having the actor story as a  norm is that all observers will use the same ‘observation categories’.
  6. From the debriefing one gets data about the ‘good/ bad’ feelings on a scale, and some hints what could have caused the reported feelings.

STANDARDS – CIF (Common Industry Format)

There are many standards around describing different aspects of usability testing. Although standards can help in practice  from the point of research standards are not only good, they can hinder creative alternative approaches. Nevertheless I myself are looking to standards to check for some possible ‘references’.  One standard I am using very often is the  “Common Industry Format (CIF)”  for usability reporting. It is  an ISO standard (ISO/IEC 25062:2006) since  2006. CIF describes a method for reporting the findings of usability tests that collect quantitative measurements of user performance. CIF does not describe how to carry out a usability test, but it does require that the test include measurements of the application’s effectiveness and efficiency as well as a measure of the users’ satisfaction. These are the three elements that define the concept of usability.

Applied to the AAI paradigm these terms are fitting well.

Effectiveness in CIF  is targeting  the accuracy and completeness with which users achieve their goal. Because the actor story in AAI his represented as a graph where the individual paths represents a way to approach a defined goal one can measure directly the accuracy by comparing the ‘observed path’ in a test and the ‘intended ideal path’ in the actor story. In the same way one can compute the completeness by comparing the observed path and the intended ideal path of the actor story.

Efficiency in CIF covers the resources expended to achieve the goals. A simple and direct measure is the measuring of the time needed.

Users’ satisfaction in CIF means ‘freedom from discomfort’ and ‘positive attitudes towards the use of the product‘. These are ‘subjective feelings’ which cannot directly be observed. Only ‘indirect’ measures are possible based on interrogations (or interactions with certain tasks) which inherently are fuzzy and not very reliable.  One possibility how to interrogate is mentioned above.

Because the term usability in CIF is defined by the before mentioned terms of effectiveness, efficiency as well as  users’ satisfaction, which in turn can be measured in many different ways the meaning of ‘usability’ is still a bit vague.

DYNAMIC ACTORS – CHANGING CONTEXTS

With regard to the AAI paradigm one has further to mention that the possibility of adaptive, learning systems embedded in dynamic, changing  environments requires for a new type of usability testing. Because learning actors change by every exercise one should run a test several times to observe how the dynamic learning rates of an actor are developing in time. In such a dynamic framework  a system would only be  ‘badly usable‘ when the learning curves of the actors can not approach a certain threshold after a defined ‘typical learning time’. And,  moreover, there could be additional effects occurring only in a long-term usage and observation, which can not be measured in a single test.

REFERENCES

  • ISO/IEC 25062:2006(E)
  • Joseph S. Dumas and Jean E. Fox. Usability testing: Current practice
    and future directions. chapter 57, pp.1129 – 1149,  in J.A. Jacko and A. Sears, editors, The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook. Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies, and Emerging Applications. 2nd edition, 2008
  • S. Lauesen. User Interface Design. A software Engineering Perspective.
    Pearson – Addison Wesley, London et al., 2005

AAI THEORY V2 – USABILITY AND USEFULNESS

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 4.February 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

REMARK (5.May 2019)

This text  has to be reviewed again on account of the new aspect of gaming as  discussed in the post Engineering and Society.

CONTEXT

An overview of the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about the sixth chapter dealing with usability and usefulness.

USABILITY AND USEFULNESS

In the AAI paradigm the concept of usability is seen as a sub-topic of the more broader concept of usefulness. Furthermore Usefulness  as well as usability are understood as measurements comparing some target with some presupposed norm.

Example: If someone wants to buy a product A whose prize fits well with the available budget and this product A shows only  an average usability then the product is probably ‘more useful’ for the buyer than another product B which does not fit with the budget although it  has a better usability. A conflict can  arise if the weaker value of the usability of product A causes during the usage of product A ‘bad effects’ onto the user of product A which in turn produce additional negative costs which enhance the original ‘nice price’ to a degree where the product A becomes finally  ‘more costly’ than product B.

Therefore  the concept usefulness will be  defined independently from the concept usability and depends completely  from the person or company who is searching for the solution of a problem. The concept of usability depends directly on the real structure of an  actor, a biological one or a non-biological one. Thus independent of the definition of the actual usefulness the given structure of an actor implies certain capabilities with regard to input, output as well as to  internal   processing. Therefore if an X seems to be highly useful for someone and to get X  needs a certain actor story to become realized with certain actors then it can matter whether this process includes a ‘good usability’ for the participating actors or not.

In the AAI paradigm both concepts usefulness as well as usability will be analyzed to provide a  chance to check the contributions of both concepts  in some predefined duration of usage. This allows the analysis of the sustainability of the wanted usefulness restricted to  usability as a parameter. There can be even more parameters   included in the evaluation of the actor story  to enhance the scope of   sustainability. Depending from the definition of the concept of resilience one can interpret the concept of sustainability used in this AAI paradigm as compatible with the resilience concept too.

MEASUREMENT

To speak about ‘usefulness’, ‘usability’, ‘sustainability’ (or ‘resilience’) requires some kind of a scale of values with an   ordering relation R allowing to state about  some values x,y   whether R(x,y) or R(y,x) or EQUAL(x,y). The values used in the scale have to be generated by some defined process P which is understood as a measurement process M which basically compares some target X with some predefined norm N and gives as a result a pair (v,N) telling a number v associated with the applied norm N. Written: M : X x N —> V x N.

A measurement procedure M must be transparent and repeatable in the sense that the repeated application of the measurement procedure M will generate the same results than before. Associated with the measurement procedure there can exist many additional parameters like ‘location’, ‘time’, ‘temperature’, ‘humidity’,  ‘used technologies’, etc.

Because there exist targets X which are not static it can be a problem when and how often one has to measure these targets to get some reliable value. And this problem becomes even worse if the target includes adaptive systems which are changing constantly like in the case of  biological systems.

All biological systems have some degree of learnability. Thus if a human actor is acting as part of an actor story  the human actor will learn every time he is working through the process. Thus making errors during his first run of the process does not imply that he will repeat these errors the next time. Usually one can observe a learning curve associated with n-many runs which show — mostly — a decrease in errors, a decrease in processing time, and — in general — a change of all parameters, which can be measured. Thus a certain actor story can receive a good usability value after a defined number of usages.  But there are other possible subjective parameters like satisfaction, being excited, being interested and the like which can change in the opposite direction, because to become well adapted to  the process can be boring which in turn can lead to less concentrations with many different negative consequences.

 

 

 

 

AAI THEORY V2 – AS AND REAL WORLD MODELING

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 2.February 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about  the special topic how the actor story (AS) can be used for a modeling of the real world (RW).

AS AND REAL WORLD MODELING

In the preceding post you find a rough description how an actor story can be generated challenged by a problem P. Here I shall address the question, how this procedure can be used to model certain aspects of the real world and not some abstract ideas only.

There are two main elements of the actor story which can be related to the real world: (i)  The start state of the actor story and the list of possible change expressions.

FACTS

A start state is a finite set of facts which in turn are — in the case of the mathematical language — constituted by names of objects associated with properties or relations. Primarily   the possible meaning of these expressions is  located in the cognitive structures of the actors. These cognitive structures are as such not empirical entities and are partially available in a state called consciousness. If some element of meaning is conscious and simultaneously part of the inter-subjective space between different actors in a way that all participating actors can perceive these elements, then these elements are called empirical by everyday experience, if these facts can be decided between the participants of the situation.  If there exist further explicit measurement procedures associating an inter-subjective property with inter-subjective measurement data then these elements are called genuine empirical data.

Thus the collection of facts constituting a state of an actor story can be realized as a set of empirical facts, at least in the format of empirical by everyday experience.

CHANGES

While a state represents only static facts, one needs an additional element to be able to model the dynamic aspect of the real world. This is realized by change expressions X. 

The general idea of a change is that at least one fact f of an actual state (= NOW), is changed either by complete disappearance or by changing some of its properties or by the creation of a new fact f1. An object called ‘B1’ with the property being ‘red’ — written as ‘RED(B1)’ — perhaps changes its property from being ‘red’ to become ‘blue’ — written as ‘BLUE(B1)’ –. Then the set of facts of the actual state S0= {RED(B1)} will change to a successor state S1={BLUE(B1)}. In this case the old fact ‘RED(B1)’ has been deleted and the new fact ‘BLUE(B1)’ has been created.  Another example:  the object ‘B1’ has also a ‘weight’ measured in kg which changes too. Then the actual state was S0={RED(B1), WEIGHT(B1,kg,2.4)} and this state changed to the successor state S1= {BLUE(B1), WEIGHT(B1,kg,3.4)}.

The possible cause of a change can be either an object or the ‘whole state‘ representing the world.

The mapping from a given state s into a successor state s’ by subtracting facts f- and joining facts f+ is here called an action: S –> S-(f-) u (f+) or action(s) = s’ = s-(f-) u (f+) with s , s’ in S

Because an action has an actor as a carrier one can write action: S x A –>  S-(f-) u (f+) or action_a(s) = s’.

The defining properties of such an action are given in the sets of facts to be deleted — written as ‘d:{f-}’ — and the sets of facts to be created — written ‘c:{f+}’ –.

A full change expression amounts then to the following format: <s,s’, obj-name, action-name, d:{…}, c:{…}>.

But this is not yet the whole story.  A change can be deterministic or indeterministic.

The deterministic change is cause by a deterministic actor or by a deterministic world.

The indeterministic change can have several formats:e.g.  classical probability or quantum-like probability or the an actor as cause, whose behavior is not completely deterministic.

Additionally there can be interactions between different objects which can cause a change and these changes   happen in parallel, simultaneously. Depending from the assumed environment (= world) and some laws describing the behavior of this world it can happen, that different local actions can hinder each other or change the effect of the changes.

Independent of the different kinds of changes it can be required that all used change-expressions should be of that kind that one can state that they are   empirical by everyday experience.

TIME

And there is even more to tell. A change has in everyday life a duration measured with certain time units generated by a technical device called a clock.

To improve the empirical precision of change expressions one has to add the duration of the change between the actual state s and the final state s’ showing all the deletes (f-) and creates (f+) which are caused by this change-expression. This can only be done if a standard clock is included in the facts represented by the actual time stamp of this clock. Thus with regard to such a standard time one can realize a change with duration (t,t’)  exactly in coherence with the standard time. A special case is given when a change-expression describes the effects of its actions in a distributed  manner by giving more than one time point (t,t1, …, tn) and associating different deletes and creates with different points of time.  Those distributed effects can make an actor story rather complex and difficult to understand by human brains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AAI THEORY V2 –GENERATING AN AS

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 1.February 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

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CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about  the special topic how to generate an actor story.

GENERATING AN AS

Outine of the process how to generate an AS
Outline of the process how to generate an AS

Until now it has been described which final format an actor story (AS) should have. Three different modes (textual, pictorial, mathematical) have been distinguished. The epistemology of these expressions has been outlined to shed some light on the underlying cognitive processes enabling such a story.

Now I describe a possible process  which has the capacity to generate an AS.

As the introductory figure shows  it is assumed here that there is a collection of citizens and experts which offer their individual knowledge, experiences, and skills to ‘put them on the table’ challenged by a given problem P.

This knowledge is in the beginning not structured. The first step in the direction of an AS is to analyze the different contributions in a way which shows distinguishable elements with properties and relations. Such a set of first ‘objects’ and ‘relations’ characterizes a set of facts which define a ‘situation’ or a ‘state’ as a collection of ‘facts’. Such a situation/ state can also be understood as a first simple ‘model‘ as response to a given problem. A model is as such ‘static‘; it describes what ‘is’ at a certain point of ‘time’.

In a next step the group has to identify possible ‘changes‘ which can be associated with t least one fact. There can be many possible changes which can need different durations  to come into effect. Furthermore they can be ‘alternatively’ or in ‘parallel’. Combining a situation (model) with possible changes allows the application of the actual situation which generates a  — or many — ‘successors’ to the actual situation. A process starts which we call usually ‘simulation‘.

If one allows the interaction between real actors with the simulation by mapping a real actor to one of the actors ‘inside the simulation’ one is turning the simulation into an ‘interactive simulation‘ which represents basically a ‘computer game‘ (short: ‘egame‘).

One can use interactive simulations e.g. to (i) learn about the dynamics of a model, to (ii) test the assumptions of a model, to (iii) test the knowledge and skills of the real actors.

Making new experiences with a (interactive) simulation allows a continuous improvement of the model and its change rules.

Additionally one can include more citizens and experts into this  process, using available knowledge from databases and libraries etc.

 

 

 

AAI THEORY V2 – AS –VIRTUAL MEANING AND AS

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 29.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

Last Change: 1.February 2019 (Corrections)

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CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about the special topic of the virtual meaning and the actor story.

VIRTUAL MEANING AND ACTOR STORY

  1. In a textual actor story (TAS) using the symbolic expressions L0 of some everyday language one can describe a state with a finite set of facts which should be decidable ‘in principle’ when related to the supposed external empirical environment of the problem P. Thus the constraint of ‘operational decidability‘ with regard to an empirical external environment imposes some constraint of the kinds of symbolic expressions which can be used. If there is more than only one state (which is the usual case) then one has to provide a list of ‘possible changes‘. Each change is described with  a symbolic expression L0x. The content of a change is at least one fact which will change between the ‘given’ state and the ‘succeeding’ state. Thus the virtual meaning of an actor must enable the actor to distinguish between a ‘given state’ q_now  and a possible ‘succeeding state’ q_next. There can be more than one possible change with regard to a given state q_now. Thus a textual actor story (TAS) is a set of states connected by changes, all represented as finite collections of symbolic expressions.
  2. In a pictorial actor story (PAS) using the graphical  expressions Lg of some everyday pictorial langue one can describe a state with a finite set of facts realized as pictures of objects, properties as well as relations between these objects.  The graphs of the objects can be enhanced by graphs including symbolic expressions L0  of some everyday language.  Again it should be   decidable ‘in principle’ whether these pictorial facts can be  related to the suppose external empirical environment of the problem P. Thus the constraint of ‘operational decidability’ with regard to an empirical external environment imposes some constraint of the kinds of symbolic expressions which can be used. If there is more than only one state (which is the usual case) then one has to provide a list of ‘possible changes’. Each change is described with  an   expression Lgx. The content of a change is at least one fact which will change between the ‘given’ state and an ‘succeeding’ state. Thus the virtual meaning of an actor must enable the actor to distinguish between a ‘given state’ q_now  and a possible ‘succeeding state’ q_next. There can be more than one possible change with regard to a given state q_now. Thus a pictorial actor story (TAS) is a set of states connected by changes, all represented as finite collections of graphical  expressions.
  3. In the case of a mathematical actor story (MAS) one has to distinguish two cases: (i) a complete formal description or (ii) a graphical presentation enhanced with symbolic expressions.
  4. In case (i) it is similar to the textual mode but replacing the symbolic expressions L0 of  some everyday   langue with the symbolic expressions Lm of some mathematical language. In this book we are using predicate logic syntax with a new semantics. In case (ii) one describes the  actor story as a mathematical directed graph. The nodes (vertices) of the graph are understood as ‘states’ and the arrows connecting the nodes are  understood as changes. A node representing a state can be attached to a finite set   of facts, where a fact is a symbolic expression Lm  representing  objects, properties as well as relations between these objects.   Again it should be   decidable ‘in principle’ whether these facts  can be  related to the suppose external empirical environment of the problem P. Thus the constraint of ‘operational decidability’ with regard to an empirical external environment imposes some constraint of the kinds of symbolic expressions which can be used. If there is more than only one state (which is the usual case) then one has to use arrows which are labeled by symbolic change expressions Lmx.    The content of a change is at least one fact which will change between the ‘given’ state and an ‘succeeding’ state. Thus the virtual meaning of an actor must enable the actor to distinguish between a ‘given state’ q_now  and a possible ‘succeeding state’ q_next. There can be more than one possible change with regard to a given state q_now.
  5. If the complete actor story is given, then there is no need for the additional change expressions LX because one can infer the changes from the  pairs of the succeeding states directly. But if one wants to ‘generate’ an actor story beginning with the start state then one needs the list of change expressions.

AAI THEORY V2 – AS – MEANING: REAL AND VIRTUAL

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 29.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

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CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about  the special topic of the meaning of (symbolic) expressions.

MEANING: REAL AND VIRTUAL

  1. In semiotic terminology  the ‘meaning‘ of a symbolic expression corresponds to the image of the mapping from symbolic expressions (L) into something else (non-L). This mapping is located in that system which is using this mapping. We can call this system a ‘semiotic system‘.
  2. For the generation of an actor story we assume that the AAI experts as well as all the other actors collaborating with the AAI actors are input-output systems with changeable internal states (IS) as well as a behavior function (phi), written as phi: I x IS —> IS x O.
  3. These actors are embedded in an empirical environment (ENV) which is continuously changing.
  4. Parts of the environment can interact with the actors by inducing physical state-changes in parts of the actors (Stimuli (S), Input, (I)) as well as receiving physical responses from the actors (Responses (R), output (O)) which change parts of the environmental states.
  5. Interpreting these actors as ‘semiotic systems’ implies that the actors can receive as input symbolic expressions (L) as well as non-symbolic events and they can output symbolic expressions (L) as well as some non-symbolic events (non-L). Furthermore the mapping from symbolic expressions into something else is assumed to happen ‘inside‘ the system.
  6. From a 3rd-person view one can distinguish the empirical environment external to the actor as well as the empirical states ‘inside’ the system (typically investigated by Physiology with many sub-disciplines).
  7. The internal states on the cellular level have a small subset called ‘brain’ (less than 1% of all cellular elements).  A  subset of the brain cells is enabling what in a 1st person view is called ‘consciousness‘.  The ‘content’ of the consciousness consists of ‘phenomena‘ which are not ’empirical’ in the usual sense of ’empirical’.  Using the consciousness as point of reference everything else of the actor which is not part of the conscious is ‘not conscious‘ or ‘unconscious‘. The ‘unconsciousness‘ is then the set of all non-conscious states of the actor (which means in the biological case of human sapiens more than 99% of all body states).
  8. As empirical sciences have revealed there exist functional relations between empirical states of the external environment (S_emp) and the set of externally caused internal  unconscious input states of the actor (IS_emp_uc).
  9. The internally caused unconscious input states (IS_emp_uc) are further processed and mapped in a variety of internal unconscious states (IS_emp_uc_abstr), which are more ‘general’ as the original input states. Thus subsets of internally cause unconscious  internal states IS_emp_uc  can be elements of the more abstract internal states IS_emp_uc_abstr.
  10. These internal unconscious states are part of ‘networks‘ and parts of different kinds of ‘hierarchies‘.
  11. There are many different kinds of internal operations working on these internal structures including the input states.
  12. Parts of the internal structures can function as ‘meaning‘ (M) for other parts of internal structures which function as ‘symbolic expressions‘ (L). Symbolic expressions together with the meaning constituting elements can be used from an actor (seen as a semiotic system) as a ‘symbolic language‘ whose observable part are the ‘symbols’ (written, spoken, gestures, …) and whose non-observable part is the mapping relation (encoding) from symbols into the internal meaning elements.
  13. The primary meaning of a language is therefore a ‘virtual world of states inside the actor‘ compared to the ‘external empirical world‘. Parts of the virtual meaning world can correspond to parts of the empirical world outside. To control such an important relationship one needs commonly defined empirical measurement procedures (MP) which are producing external empirical events which can be repeatedly perceived by a population of actors, which can compare these processes and events with their 1st person conscious phenomena (PH). If it is possible for an actor (an observer) to identify those phenomena which correspond to the external measurement events than it is possible (in principle) to define that subset of Phenomena (PH_emp) which are phenomena but are correlated with events in the external empirical world.  Usually those phenomena which correspond to empirical events external PH_emp are a true subset of the set of all possible Phenomena, written as PH_emp ⊂ PH.
  14. While the empirical phenomena PH_emp are ‘concrete‘ phenomena are the non-empirical phenomena PH_abs = PH-PH_emp ‘abstract‘ in the sense that an empirical phenomenon p_emp can be an element of a non-empirical phenomenon p_abs if p_emp is not new.
  15. While the virtual meaning of a symbolic language is realized by abstract structures which can be ‘cited’ in the consciousness as p_abs,  the empirical meaning   instead occurs as concrete structures which can be ‘cited’ by the consciousness.
  16. All meaning elements can occur as part of a virtual spatial structure (VR) and as part of a virtual timely structure (VT).
  17. There is no 1-to-1 mapping from the spatial and timely structures of the external empirical world into the virtual internal world of meanings.
  18. If it is possible to correlate virtual meaning structures with external empirical structures we call this ’empirical soundness’ or ’empirical truth’.

AAI THEORY V2 – Actor Story (AS)

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 28.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

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CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about  the generation of the actor story (AS).

ACTOR STORY

To get from the problem P to an improved configuration S measured by some expectation  E needs a process characterized by a set of necessary states Q which are connected by necessary changes X. Such a process can be described with the aid of  an actor story AS.

  1. The target of an actor story (AS) is a full specification of all identified necessary tasks T which lead from a start state q* to a goal state q+, including all possible and necessary changes X between the different states M.
  2. A state is here considered as a finite set of facts (F) which are structured as an expression from some language L distinguishing names of objects (like  ‘D1’, ‘Un1’, …) as well as properties of objects (like ‘being open’, ‘being green’, …) or relations between objects (like ‘the user stands before the door’). There can also e a ‘negation’ like ‘the door is not open’. Thus a collection of facts like ‘There is a door D1’ and ‘The door D1 is open’ can represent a state.
  3. Changes from one state q to another successor state q’ are described by the object whose action deletes previous facts or creates new facts.
  4. In this approach at least three different modes of an actor story will be distinguished:
    1. A textual mode generating a Textual Actor Story (TAS): In a textual mode a text in some everyday language (e.g. in English) describes the states and changes in plain English. Because in the case of a written text the meaning of the symbols is hidden in the heads of the writers it can be of help to parallelize the written text with the pictorial mode.
    2. A pictorial mode generating a Pictorial Actor Story (PAS). In a pictorial mode the drawings represent the main objects with their properties and relations in an explicit visual way (like a Comic Strip). The drawings can be enhanced by fragments of texts.
    3. A mathematical mode generating a Mathematical Actor Story (MAS): this can be done either (i) by  a pictorial graph with nodes and edges as arrows associated with formal expressions or (ii)  by a complete formal structure without any pictorial elements.
    4. For every mode it has to be shown how an AAI expert can generate an actor story out of the virtual cognitive world of his brain and how it is possible to decide the empirical soundness of the actor story.

 

AAI THEORY V2 –EPISTEMOLOGY OF THE AAI-EXPERTS

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 26.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about the fourth chapter dealing with the epistemology of actors within an AAI analysis process.

EPISTEMOLOGY AND THE EMPIRICAL SCIENCES

Epistemology is a sub-discipline of general philosophy. While a special discipline in empirical science is defined by a certain sub-set of the real world RW  by empirical measurement methods generating empirical data which can be interpreted by a formalized theory,  philosophy  is not restricted to a sub-field of the real world. This is important because an empirical discipline has no methods to define itself.  Chemistry e.g. can define by which kinds of measurement it is gaining empirical data   and it can offer different kinds of formal theories to interpret these data including inferences to forecast certain reactions given certain configurations of matters, but chemistry is not able  to explain the way how a chemist is thinking, how the language works which a chemist is using etc. Thus empirical science presupposes a general framework of bodies, sensors, brains, languages etc. to be able to do a very specialized  — but as such highly important — job. One can define ‘philosophy’ then as that kind of activity which tries to clarify all these  conditions which are necessary to do science as well as how cognition works in the general case.

Given this one can imagine that philosophy is in principle a nearly ‘infinite’ task. To get not lost in this conceptual infinity it is recommended to start with concrete processes of communications which are oriented to generate those kinds of texts which can be shown as ‘related to parts of the empirical world’ in a decidable way. This kind of texts   is here called ’empirically sound’ or ’empirically true’. It is to suppose that there will be texts for which it seems to be clear that they are empirically sound, others will appear ‘fuzzy’ for such a criterion, others even will appear without any direct relation to empirical soundness.

In empirical sciences one is using so-called empirical measurement procedures as benchmarks to decided whether one has empirical data or not, and it is commonly assumed that every ‘normal observer’ can use these data as every other ‘normal observer’. But because individual, single data have nearly no meaning on their own one needs relations, sets of relations (models) and even more complete theories, to integrate the data in a context, which allows some interpretation and some inferences for forecasting. But these relations, models, or theories can not directly be inferred from the real world. They have to be created by the observers as ‘working hypotheses’ which can fit with the data or not. And these constructions are grounded in  highly complex cognitive processes which follow their own built-in rules and which are mostly not conscious. ‘Cognitive processes’ in biological systems, especially in human person, are completely generated by a brain and constitute therefore a ‘virtual world’ on their own.  This cognitive virtual world  is not the result of a 1-to-1 mapping from the real world into the brain states.  This becomes important in that moment where the brain is mapping this virtual cognitive world into some symbolic language L. While the symbols of a language (sounds or written signs or …) as such have no meaning the brain enables a ‘coding’, a ‘mapping’ from symbolic expressions into different states of the brain. In the light’ of such encodings the symbolic expressions have some meaning.  Besides the fact that different observers can have different encodings it is always an open question whether the encoded meaning of the virtual cognitive space has something to do with some part of the empirical reality. Empirical data generated by empirical measurement procedures can help to coordinate the virtual cognitive states of different observers with each other, but this coordination is not an automatic process. Empirically sound language expressions are difficult to get and therefore of a high value for the survival of mankind. To generate empirically sound formal theories is even more demanding and until today there exists no commonly accepted concept of the right format of an empirically sound theory. In an era which calls itself  ‘scientific’ this is a very strange fact.

EPISTEMOLOGY OF THE AAI-EXPERTS

Applying these general considerations to the AAI experts trying to construct an actor story to describe at least one possible path from a start state to a goal state, one can pick up the different languages the AAI experts are using and asking back under which conditions these languages have some ‘meaning’ and under which   conditions these meanings can be called ’empirically sound’?

In this book three different ‘modes’ of an actor story will be distinguished:

  1. A textual mode using some ordinary everyday language, thus using spoken language (stored in an audio file) or written language as a text.
  2. A pictorial mode using a ‘language of pictures’, possibly enhanced by fragments of texts.
  3. A mathematical mode using graphical presentations of ‘graphs’ enhanced by symbolic expressions (text) and symbolic expressions only.

For every mode it has to be shown how an AAI expert can generate an actor story out of the virtual cognitive world of his brain and how it is possible to decided the empirical soundness of the actor story.

 

 

AAI THEORY V2 –TOP-DOWN OR BOTTOM-UP?

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 26.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

Last Change: 27.February 2019

CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about  two different strategies how to proceed in the AAI analysis.

TOP-DOWN OR BOTTOM-UP?

The elaboration of an actor story AS   happens generally during a process driven by some actors, which communicate with each other and the environment. This can be done in various ways. Here we consider two main cases:

  1. Top-down: There exists a group of experts EXPs which will analyze a possible solution, will test these, and then will propose these as a solution for others. During this process they mainly communicate only with the  stakeholder of the problem (and probably with experts from other departments).
  2. Bottom-up: There exists a group of experts EXPs too but additionally there exists a group of customers CTMs which are also the stakeholder of the process and which will be guided by the experts to use their own experience to find a possible solution.

In reality  there can be many forms of collaboration which are mixing these two idealized cases. The top-down paradigm is very common although it produces many problems, especially in communal projects. A bottom-up process including the topic of ‘participation’ in communities and cities is today highly demanded, but not well specified and not a common practice.

In this book  the  bottom-up paradigm will be discussed explicitly.  This requires that the AAI experts collaborate from the beginning with a group of common users from the application domain. To do this they will (i) extract the knowledge which is distributed in the different users, then (ii) they will start some modeling from these different facts to (iii) enable some basic simulations. These simple simulations (iv) will be enhanced to   interactive simulations which allow serious gaming either (iv.a) to test the model or to enable the users (iv.b) to learn the space of possible states. The test case will (v) generate some data which can be used to evaluate the model with regard to pre-defined goals. Depending from these findings (vi) one can try to improve the model further.

EXAMPLE

The mayor of a city has the identified problem P that there exists a certain road which has a to high load of traffic. He wants to find a new configuration S which minimizes this problem without creating a new problem P’.

He decides to attack this problem not by delegating it to a group of experts only but to a group of experts collaborating with all the citizens which think to be affected by this problem and a possible solution. Thus the mayor opts for a bottom-up approach. This poses the challenge to find a procedure which enables the inclusion of the citizens in the overall process.

 

 

AAI THEORY V2 – DEFINING THE CONTEXT

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 24.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about the second chapter where you have to define the context of the problem, which should be analyzed.

DEFINING THE CONTEXT OF PROBLEM P

  1. A defined problem P identifies at least one property associated with  a configuration which has a lower level x than a value y inferred by an accepted standard E.
  2. The property P is always part of some environment ENV which interacts with the problem P.
  3. To approach an improved configuration S measured by  some standard E starting with a  problem P one  needs a process characterized by a set of necessary states Q which are connected by necessary changes X.
  4. Such a process can be described by an actor story AS.
  5. All properties which belong to the whole actor story and therefore have to be satisfied by every state q of the actor story  are called  non-functional process requirements (NFPRs). If required properties are are associate with only one state but for the whole state, then these requirements are called non-functional state requirements (NFSRs).
  6. An actor story can include many different sequences, where every sequence is called a path PTH.  A finite set of paths can represent a task T which has to be fulfilled. Within the environment of the defined problem P it mus be possible to identify at least one task T to be realized from some start state to some goal state. The realization of a task T is assumed to be ‘driven’ by input-output-systems which are called actors A.
  7. Additionally it mus be possible to identify at least one executing actor A_exec doing a  task and at least one actor assisting A_ass the executing actor to fulfill the task.
  8. A state q represents all needed actors as part of the associated environment ENV. Therefore a  state q can be analyzed as a network of elements interacting with each other. But this is only one possible structure for an analysis besides others.
  9. For the   analysis of a possible solution one can distinguish at least two overall strategies:
    1. Top-down: There exists a group of experts EXPs which will analyze a possible solution, will test these, and then will propose these as a solution for others.
    2. Bottom-up: There exists a group of experts EXPs too but additionally there exists a group of customers CTMs which will be guided by the experts to use their own experience to find a possible solution.

EXAMPLE

The mayor of a city has identified as a  problem the relationship between the actual population number POP,    the amount of actual available  living space LSP0, and the  amount of recommended living space LSPr by some standard E.  The population of his city is steadily interacting with populations in the environment: citizens are moving into the environment MIGR- and citizens from the environment are arriving MIGR+. The population,  the city as well as the environment can be characterized by a set of parameters <P1, …, Pn> called a configuration which represents a certain state q at a certain point of time t. To convert the actual configuration called a start state q0 to a new configuration S called a goal state q+ with better values requires the application of a defined set of changes Xs which change the start state q0 stepwise into a sequence of states qi which finally will end up in the desired goal state q+. A description of all these states necessary for the conversion of the start state q0 into the goal state q+ is called here an actor story AS. Because a democratic elected  mayor of the city wants to be ‘liked’ by his citizens he will require that this conversion process should end up in a goal state which is ‘not harmful’ for his citizens, which should support a ‘secure’ and ‘safety’ environment, ‘good transportation’ and things like that. This illustrates non-functional state requirements (NFSRs). Because the mayor wants also not to much trouble during the conversion process he will also require some limits for the whole conversion process, this is for the whole actor story. This illustrates non-functional process requirements (NFPRs). To realize the intended conversion process the mayor needs several executing actors which are doing the job and several other assistive actors helping the executing actors. To be able to use the available time and resources ‘effectively’ the executing actors need defined tasks which have to be realized to come from one state to the next. Often there are more than one sequences of states possible either alternatively or in parallel. A certain state at a certain point of time t can be viewed as a network where all participating actors are in many ways connected with each other, interacting in several ways and thereby influencing each other. This realizes different kinds of communications with different kinds of contents and allows the exchange of material and can imply the change of the environment. Until today the mayors of cities use as their preferred strategy to realize conversion processes selected small teams of experts doing their job in a top-down manner leaving the citizens more or less untouched, at least without a serious participation in the whole process. From now on it is possible and desirable to twist the strategy from top-down to bottom up. This implies that the selected experts enable a broad communication with potentially all citizens which are touched by a conversion and including  the knowledge, experience, skills, visions etc. of these citizens  by applying new methods possible in the new digital age.

 

 

AAI THEORY V2 – DEFINING THE PROBLEM

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 23.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de 

CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about the first chapter where you have to define the problem, which should be analyzed.

DEFINING THE PROBLEM

  1. Generally it is assumed that the AAI theory is embedded in a general systems engineering approach starting with the clarification of a problem.
  2. Two cases will be distinguished:
    1. A stakeholder is associated with a certain domain of affairs with some prominent aspect/ parameter P and the stakeholder wants to clarify whether P poses some ‘problem’ in this domain. This presupposes some explained ‘expectations’ E how it should be and some ‘findings’ x pointing to the fact that P is ‘sufficiently different’ from some y>x. If the stakeholder judges that this difference is ‘important’, than P matching x will be classified as a problem, which will be documented in a ‘problem document D_p’. One can  interpret this   analysis as a ‘measurement M’ written as M(P,E) = x and x<y.
    2. Given a problem document D_p a stakeholder organizes an analysis to find a ‘solution’ which transfers the old ‘problem P’ into a ‘configuration S’ which at least should ‘minimize the problem P’. Thus there must exist some ‘measurements’ of the given problem P with regard to certain ‘expectations E’ functioning as a ‘norm’ as M(P,E)=x and some measurements of the new configuration S with regard to the same expectations E as M(S,E)=y and a metric which allows the judgment y > x.
  3. From this follows that already in the beginning of the analysis of a possible solution one has to refer to some measurement process M with an accepted standard E, otherwise there exists no problem P and no possible solution.

EXAMPLE

The mayor of a city wants to know whether the finances of his city x are in a good state compared to some well accepted standards E. Already the definition of  a ‘good state’ of the finances can pose a problem.  Let us assume that such a standard E exists and the standard tells the mayor that a ‘good state’ for his finances would ideally equal y or all values ‘above y’. If the measurement M(x, E) would generate a result like x < y, then this would indicate in the ‘light of the standard E’ that his city has a problem P. Knowing this the mayor perhaps is interested to analyze this problem P by organizing a process which gives him as a result a configuration S which generates after a measurement M(S,E) the further result that x = y or even x > y. Thus this new configuration S would be an attractive state which should be a valuable goal state for his city.

ADVANCED AAI-THEORY – V2. A Philosophy Based Approach

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 23.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

Change: 6.February 2019 (Reformulating the ‘CONTEXT’ paragraph)

Change: 27.February 2019 (changing the order of the table of contents)

Change: 20.April 2019 (New section ‘The Big Picture…’)

Change: 3.-4.May 2019 (New section ‘Engineering and Society…’ and ‘Simulation and Gaming…)

Change: 5.May 2019 (Bringing the ‘bottom-up’ case in the background; it  is now included in the normal AAI analysis)

CONTEXT

In a previous post I started the re-formulation of the general framework of  the AAI theory.  I decided to organize the text now in a more flexible way: One main post for the overview of all topics and then for every topic an individual post with possibly more detailed extensions. This will generate a tree-like structure with the root-post at level 0 and from this following the links you will reach the posts of level 1, then level 2 and so forth. The posts from level 0 and level 1 will be highly informal; the posts from level 2 and higher will increasingly become more specialized and associated with references to scientific literature. This block is inspired by many hundreds of scientific papers and books.

THE NEW AAI FRAMEWORK IN A NUTSHELL

  1. THE BIG PICTURE: HCI – HMI – AAI in History – Engineering – Society – Philosophy
  2. A PHILOSOPHICAL FRAMEWORK
  3. ENGINEERING AND SOCIETY: The Role of Preferences
  4. ACTOR-ACTOR INTERACTION ANALYSIS – A rough Outline of the Blueprint
  5. USABILITY AND USEFULNESS
  6. TASK INDUCED ACTOR REQUIREMENTS (TAR)
  7. ACTOR INDUCED ACTOR REQUIREMENTS (AAR)
  8. ASSISTING ACTOR MOCKUPS
  9. MEASURING USABILITY
  10. SIMULATION AND GAMING
  11. ACTOR MODELS (AMs)
    1. THE ORACLE MODEL (OM)
    2. MODELS USING  Machine Learning (MLM)
    3. MODELS USING  Cognitive Modeling (CMM)
    4. MODELS as System Tutors (STM)
    5. MODELS as Consultants (CNM)
    6. MODELS as Purely Personal Assistant (PPAM)
  12. SIMULATION BASED  MEASURING
    1. AUTOMATIC VERIFICATION
    2. MEASURING USEFULNESS
    3. MEASURING SUSTAINABILITY (RESILIENCE)
  13. CASE STUDIES
  14. REFERENCES

ADVANCED AAI-THEORY

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 21.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

Here You can find a new version of this post

CONTEXT

The last official update of the AAI theory dates back to Oct-2, 2018. Since that time many new thoughts have been detected and have been configured for further extensions and improvements. Here I try to give an overview of all the actual known aspects of the expanded AAI theory as a possible guide for the further elaborations of the main text.

CLARIFYING THE PROBLEM

  1. Generally it is assumed that the AAI theory is embedded in a general systems engineering approach starting with the clarification of a problem.
  2. Two cases will be distinguished:
    1. A stakeholder is associated with a certain domain of affairs with some prominent aspect/ parameter P and the stakeholder wants to clarify whether P poses some ‘problem’ in this domain. This presupposes some explained ‘expectations’ E how it should be and some ‘findings’ x pointing to the fact that P is ‘sufficiently different’ from some y>x. If the stakeholder judges that this difference is ‘important’, than P matching x will be classified as a problem, which will be documented in a ‘problem document D_p’. One interpret this this analysis as a ‘measurement M’ written as M(P,E) = x and x<y.
    2. Given a problem document D_p a stakeholder invites some experts to find a ‘solution’ which transfers the old ‘problem P’ into a ‘configuration S’ which at least should ‘minimize the problem P’. Thus there must exist some ‘measurements’ of the given problem P with regard to certain ‘expectations E’ functioning as a ‘norm’ as M(P,E)=x and some measurements of the new configuration S with regard to the same expectations E as M(S,E)=y and a metric which allows the judgment y > x.
  3. From this follows that already in the beginning of the analysis of a possible solution one has to refer to some measurement process M, otherwise there exists no problem P.

CHECK OF FRAMING CONDITIONS

  1. The definition of a problem P presupposes a domain of affairs which has to be characterized in at least two respects:
    1. A minimal description of an environment ENV of the problem P and
    2. a list of so-called non-functional requirements (NFRs).
  2. Within the environment it mus be possible to identify at least one task T to be realized from some start state to some end state.
  3. Additionally it mus be possible to identify at least one executing actor A_exec doing this task and at least one actor assisting A_ass the executing actor to fulfill the task.
  4. For the  following analysis of a possible solution one can distinguish two strategies:
    1. Top-down: There exists a group of experts EXPs which will analyze a possible solution, will test these, and then will propose these as a solution for others.
    2. Bottom-up: There exists a group of experts EXPs too but additionally there exists a group of customers CTMs which will be guided by the experts to use their own experience to find a possible solution.

ACTOR STORY (AS)

  1. The goal of an actor story (AS) is a full specification of all identified necessary tasks T which lead from a start state q* to a goal state q+, including all possible and necessary changes between the different states M.
  2. A state is here considered as a finite set of facts (F) which are structured as an expression from some language L distinguishing names of objects (LIKE ‘d1’, ‘u1’, …) as well as properties of objects (like ‘being open’, ‘being green’, …) or relations between objects (like ‘the user stands before the door’). There can also e a ‘negation’ like ‘the door is not open’. Thus a collection of facts like ‘There is a door D1’ and ‘The door D1 is open’ can represent a state.
  3. Changes from one state q to another successor state q’ are described by the object whose action deletes previous facts or creates new facts.
  4. In this approach at least three different modes of an actor story will be distinguished:
    1. A pictorial mode generating a Pictorial Actor Story (PAS). In a pictorial mode the drawings represent the main objects with their properties and relations in an explicit visual way (like a Comic Strip).
    2. A textual mode generating a Textual Actor Story (TAS): In a textual mode a text in some everyday language (e.g. in English) describes the states and changes in plain English. Because in the case of a written text the meaning of the symbols is hidden in the heads of the writers it can be of help to parallelize the written text with the pictorial mode.
    3. A mathematical mode generating a Mathematical Actor Story (MAS): n the mathematical mode the pictorial and the textual modes are translated into sets of formal expressions forming a graph whose nodes are sets of facts and whose edges are labeled with change-expressions.

TASK INDUCED ACTOR-REQUIREMENTS (TAR)

If an actor story AS is completed, then one can infer from this story all the requirements which are directed at the executing as well as the assistive actors of the story. These requirements are targeting the needed input- as well as output-behavior of the actors from a 3rd person point of view (e.g. what kinds of perception are required, what kinds of motor reactions, etc.).

ACTOR INDUCED ACTOR-REQUIREMENTS (AAR)

Depending from the kinds of actors planned for the real work (biological systems, animals or humans; machines, different kinds of robots), one has to analyze the required internal structures of the actors needed to enable the required perceptions and responses. This has to be done in a 1st person point of view.

ACTOR MODELS (AMs)

Based on the AARs one has to construct explicit actor models which are fulfilling the requirements.

USABILITY TESTING (UTST)

Using the actor as a ‘norm’ for the measurement one has to organized an ‘usability test’ in he way, that a real executing test actor having the required profiles has to use a real assisting actor in the context of the specified actor story. Place in a start state of the actor story the executing test actor has to show that and how he will reach the defined goal state of the actor story. For this he has to use a real assistive actor which usually is an experimental device (a mock-up), which allows the test of the story.

Because an executive actor is usually a ‘learning actor’ one has to repeat the usability test n-times to see, whether the learning curve approaches a minimum. Additionally to such objective tests one should also organize an interview to get some judgments about the subjective states of the test persons.

SIMULATION

With an increasing complexity of an actor story AS it becomes important to built a simulator (SIM) which can take as input the start state of the actor story together with all possible changes. Then the simulator can compute — beginning with the start state — all possible successor states. In the interactive mode participating actors will explicitly be asked to interact with the simulator.

Having a simulator one can use a simulator as part of an usability test to mimic the behavior of an assistive actor. This mode can also be used for training new executive actors.

A TOP-DOWN ACTOR STORY

The elaboration of an actor story will usually be realized in a top-down style: some AAI experts will develop the actor story based on their experience and will only ask for some test persons if they have elaborated everything so far that they can define some tests.

A BOTTOM-UP ACTOR STORY

In a bottom-up style the AAI experts collaborate from the beginning with a group of common users from the application domain. To do this they will (i) extract the knowledge which is distributed in the different users, then (ii) they will start some modeling from these different facts to (iii) enable some basic simulations. This simple simulation (iv) will be enhanced to an interactive simulation which allows serious gaming either (iv.a) to test the model or to enable the users (iv.b) to learn the space of possible states. The test case will (v) generate some data which can be used to evaluate the model with regard to pre-defined goals. Depending from these findings (vi) one can try to improve the model further.

THE COGNITIVE SPACE

To be able to construct executive as well as assistive actors which are close to the way how human persons do communicate one has to set up actor models which are as close as possible with the human style of cognition. This requires the analysis of phenomenal experience as well as the psychological behavior as well as the analysis of a needed neuron-physiological structures.

STATE DYNAMICS

To model in an actor story the possible changes from one given state to another one (or to many successor states) one needs eventually besides explicit deterministic changes different kinds of random rules together with adaptive ones or decision-based behavior depending from a whole network of changing parameters.

LIBRARIES AS ACTORS. WHAT ABOUT THE CITIZENS?

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458, 19.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

In this blog a new approach to the old topic of ‘Human-Machine Interaction (HMI)’ is developed turning the old Human-Machine dyad into the many-to-many relation of ‘Actor-Actor Interaction (AAI)’. And, moreover, in this new AAI approach the classical ‘top-down’ approach of engineering is expanded with a truly ‘bottom-up’ approach locating the center of development in the distributed knowledge of a population of users assisted by the AAI experts.

PROBLEM

From this perspective it is interesting to see how on an international level the citizens of a community/ city are not at the center of research, but again the city and its substructures – here public libraries – are called ‘actors’ while the citizens as such are only an anonymous matter of driving these structures to serve the international ‘buzz word’ of a ‘smart city’ empowered by the ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’.

This perspective is published in a paper from Shannon Mersand et al. (2019) which reviews all the main papers available focusing on the role of public libraries in cities. It seems – I could not check by myself the search space — that the paper gives a good overview of this topic in 48 cited papers.

The main idea underlined by the authors is that public libraries are already so-called ‘anchor institutions’ in a community which either already include or could be extended as “spaces for innovation, collaboration and hands on learning that are open to adults and younger children as well”. (p.3312) Or, another formulation “that libraries are consciously working to become a third space; a place for learning in multiple domains and that provides resources in the form of both materials and active learning opportunities”. (p.3312)

The paper is rich on details but for the context of the AAI paradigm I am interested only on the general perspective how the roles of the actors are described which are identified as responsible for the process of problem solving.

The in-official problem of cities is how to organize the city to respond to the needs of its citizens. There are some ‘official institutions’ which ‘officially’ have to fulfill this job. In democratic societies these institutions are ‘elected’. Ideally these official institutions are the experts which try to solve the problem for the citizens, which are the main stakeholder! To help in this job of organizing the ‘best fitting city-layout’ there exists usually at any point of time a bunch of infrastructures. The modern ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’ is only one of many possible infrastructures.

To proceed in doing the job of organizing the ‘best fitting city-layout’ there are generally two main strategies: ‘top-down’ as usual in most cities or ‘bottom-‘ in nearly no cities.

In the top-down approach the experts organize the processes of the cities more or less on their own. They do not really include the expertise of their citizens, not their knowledge, not their desires and visions. The infrastructures are provided from a birds perspective and an abstract systems thinking.

The case of the public libraries is matching this top-down paradigm. At the end of their paper the authors classify public libraries not only as some ‘infrastructure’ but “… recognize the potential of public libraries … and to consider them as a key actor in the governance of the smart community”. (p.3312) The term ‘actor’ is very strong. This turns an institution into an actor with some autonomy of deciding what to do. The users of the library, the citizens, the primary stakeholder of the city, are not seen as actors, they are – here – the material to ‘feed’ – to use a picture — the actor library which in turn has to serve the governance of the ‘smart community’.

DISCUSSION

Yes, this comment can be understood as a bit ‘harsh’ because one can read the text of the authors a bit different in the sense that the citizens are not only some matter to ‘feed’ the actor library but to see the public library as an ‘environment’ for the citizens which find in the libraries many possibilities to learn and empower themselves. In this different reading the citizens are clearly seen as actors too.

This different reading is possible, but within an overall ‘top-down’ approach the citizens as actors are not really included as actors but only as passive receivers of infrastructure offers; in a top-down approach the main focus are the infrastructures, and from all the infrastructures the ‘smart’ structures are most prominent, the internet of things.

If one remembers two previous papers of Mila Gascó (2016) and Mila Gascó-Hernandez (2018) then this is a bit astonishing because in these earlier papers she has analyzed that the ‘failure’ of the smart technology strategy in Barcelona was due to the fact that the city government (the experts in our framework) did not include sufficiently enough the citizens as actors!

From the point of view of the AAI paradigm this ‘hiding of the citizens as main actors’ is only due to the inadequate methodology of a top-down approach where a truly bottom-up approach is needed.

In the Oct-2, 2018 version of the AAI theory the bottom-up approach is not yet included. It has been worked out in the context of the new research project about ‘City Planning and eGaming‘  which in turn has been inspired by Mila Gascó-Hernandez!

REFERENCES

  • S.Mersand, M. Gasco-Hernandez, H. Udoh, and J.R. Gil-Garcia. “Public libraries as anchor institutions in smart communities: Current practices and future development”, Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, pages 3305 – 3314, 2019. URL https: //hdl.handle.net/10125/59766 .

  • Mila Gascó, “What makes a city smart? lessons from Barcelona”. 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), pages 2983–2989, Jan 2016. D O I : 10.1109/HICSS.2016.373.

  • Mila Gascó-Hernandez, “Building a smart city: Lessons from Barcelona.”, Commun. ACM, 61(4):50–57, March 2018. ISSN 0001-0782. D O I : 10.1145/3117800. URL http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3117800 .

Python Program Example: Simple Population Simulation

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458, 30.Dec 2018
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

In a preceding post I have described a simple way to install the python software as part of a integrated development environment. In this post I show a simple program to simulate the increase/ decrease of a population with nearly no parameters. It can be used as a starting point for further discussions and developments.

HOW TO MAKE IT

Of one has installed (in case of windows) the winpython software as described above and one has selected the ‘spyder.exe’ module from the folder of the winpython software) either directly (by double clicking) or one clicks the icon on the task bar (which one has placed there before), then one has the spyder working environment on the screen.

spyder software screen appearance
spyder software screen appearance

In the left subscreen one can now edit the program (by copy th source code below and paste it into the window) and then one can test the software by clicking on the green run button (alternatively: pressing F5).

Then the python console will be activated in the sub-window in the lower right corner. One has to enter the required values. After the input the console window will show the numbers as well as the graph.

THE PROGRAM SOURCE CODE

#!/usr/bin/env python3
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
“””
Created on Wed Jan 2 19:34:43 2019

@author: gerd doeben-henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de
“””

##################################
# pop1()
###################################
#
# IDEA
#
# Simple program to compute the increase/ decrease of a population with
# the parameters population number (p), birth-rate (br), death-rate (dr),
# mirgration Plus (migrPlus), and migration Minus (migrMinus)
#

#######################################
# Used modules

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

#########################################
# Defining a function pop1()

def pop1(p,br,dr,migrPlus,migrMinus):

p=p+(p*br)-(p*dr)+migrPlus-migrMinus

return p

###################################
# Asking for input values
#
# input() creates a strng which has to be converted into an int()

baseYear = int(input(‘Basisjahr als Zahl ? ‘))

p = int(input(‘Bevölkerung als Zahl ‘))

br = float(input(‘Geburtenrate in % ‘))

dr = float(input(‘Sterberate in % ‘))

migrPlus = int(input(‘Zuwanderung Zahl ‘))
migrMinus = int(input(‘Abwanderung Zahl ‘))

n = int(input(‘Wieviele Jahre voraus ? ‘))

############################################
# processing the data
#
# creating a range called ‘run’ for the years to compute

run = np.arange(1, n+1, 1)

####################################
# pop is a ‘list’ to collect the pop-values for every year

pop = []

########################################
# The first element of pop is the base year
pop.append(p)

######################################
# Compute the changing values for the population p and store these in pop
# Use for this computation the function pop1() defined before

for i in run:
p=pop1(p,br,dr,migrPlus,migrMinus)
pop.append(p)

##############################################
# Print the content of pop for the user to show
# the different years with their pop-values

for i in range(n+1):
print(‘Jahr %5d = Einw. %8d \n’ %(baseYear+i, pop[i]) )

##############################################
# Make the numbers visible as a graph

plt.figure(1)
plt.axis([0, len(run)+1, 1, max(pop)])

run2 = np.arange(0, n+1, 1)
plt.plot(run2, pop, ‘bo’)

plt.show()
plt.close()

EXAMPLE RUNS

EXAMPLE 1

Shows a population with a lower birth rate than death rate but a positive migration outcome. (Bevölkerung = population, Zahl = number, Gebrtenrate = biirth rate, Sterberate = death rate, Zuwanderung = migration plus, Abwanderung = migration minus, Wieviele Jahre voraus = how many years forcasting)

Bevölkerung als Zahl 1000

Geburtenrate in % 0.15

Sterberate in % 0.17

Zuwanderung Zahl 200

Abwanderung Zahl 100

Wieviele Jahre voraus ? 20

Jahr 2019 = Einw. 1000

Jahr 2020 = Einw. 1080

Jahr 2021 = Einw. 1158

Jahr 2022 = Einw. 1235

Jahr 2023 = Einw. 1310

Jahr 2024 = Einw. 1384

Jahr 2025 = Einw. 1456

Jahr 2026 = Einw. 1527

Jahr 2027 = Einw. 1596

Jahr 2028 = Einw. 1665

Jahr 2029 = Einw. 1731

Jahr 2030 = Einw. 1797

Jahr 2031 = Einw. 1861

Jahr 2032 = Einw. 1923

Jahr 2033 = Einw. 1985

Jahr 2034 = Einw. 2045

Jahr 2035 = Einw. 2104

Jahr 2036 = Einw. 2162

Jahr 2037 = Einw. 2219

Jahr 2038 = Einw. 2275

Jahr 2039 = Einw. 2329

example 1 - increasing population
example 1 – increasing population

EXAMPLE 2

Shows a population with a lower birth rate than death rate and a negative migration outcome. (Bevölkerung = population, Zahl = number, Gebrtenrate = biirth rate, Sterberate = death rate, Zuwanderung = migration plus, Abwanderung = migration minus, Wieviele Jahre voraus = how many years forcasting)

Basisjahr als Zahl ? 2019

Bevölkerung als Zahl 1000

Geburtenrate in % 0.15

Sterberate in % 0.17

Zuwanderung Zahl 100

Abwanderung Zahl 120

Wieviele Jahre voraus ? 30
Jahr 2019 = Einw. 1000

Jahr 2020 = Einw. 960

Jahr 2021 = Einw. 920

Jahr 2022 = Einw. 882

Jahr 2023 = Einw. 844

Jahr 2024 = Einw. 807

Jahr 2025 = Einw. 771

Jahr 2026 = Einw. 736

Jahr 2027 = Einw. 701

Jahr 2028 = Einw. 667

Jahr 2029 = Einw. 634

Jahr 2030 = Einw. 601

Jahr 2031 = Einw. 569

Jahr 2032 = Einw. 538

Jahr 2033 = Einw. 507

Jahr 2034 = Einw. 477

Jahr 2035 = Einw. 447

Jahr 2036 = Einw. 418

Jahr 2037 = Einw. 390

Jahr 2038 = Einw. 362

Jahr 2039 = Einw. 335

Jahr 2040 = Einw. 308

Jahr 2041 = Einw. 282

Jahr 2042 = Einw. 256

Jahr 2043 = Einw. 231

Jahr 2044 = Einw. 206

Jahr 2045 = Einw. 182

Jahr 2046 = Einw. 159

Jahr 2047 = Einw. 135

Jahr 2048 = Einw. 113

Jahr 2049 = Einw. 90

example 2 - decreasing population
example 2 – decreasing population

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

For an overview of all posts in this block about programming with python 3 see HERE.