Modelling status and event behaviour of interactive systems

Alan Dix
School of Computing
Staffordshire University
Stafford, ST18 0DG, UK.
Gregory Abowd
College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, USA

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Full reference:

A. Dix and G. Abowd (1996). Modelling status and event behaviour of interactive systems. Software Engineering Journal, 11(6) pp. 334-346.

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Interactive systems involve both events which occur at specific moments (e.g. keystrokes, mouse-clicks and beeps) and more persistent status phenomena which can be observed at any time (e.g. the position of the mouse, the image on the screen). Most formalisms used for interactive systems concentrate on one aspect or another and may be asymmetric in their treatment of input and output. This paper classifies notations and models for interface specification by the way they treat status and event phenomena in their input and output. We use this to construct an model and associated notation which incorporates both. Specifying examples using this model highlights important design issues which would be missed if either status or event phenomena were not properly treated.

Alan Dix 23/12/96