Thursday, July 17, 2014

Info: Touch Screen Gesture-based Process Modelling

Picture on the left shows Markus Rittenbruch and Fortune Truong working in the QUT VISER laboratory on our new gesture-based process modeller, destined for the QUT Cube.


We have implemented a set of gestures to promote its use with large scale touch screen collaboration systems, such as the Cube.   Note, both participants in the image are modelling concurrently, as it is a multi-user system.


We will be looking for process modelling volunteers soon to perform a collaboration experiment. Keep your eyes peeled for an invite to take part in some leading edge collaborative modelling research.


Many thanks to Michael Rosemann (HOS) and Ian Mackinnon (IFE) for support, and the VISER laboratory for access to their Star Wars gear.


This project is a collaboration involving myself, Erik Poppe and Artem Polyvany at QUT, and Alex Nolte at Bochum University, Germany.


Get in contact if you are interested in the project.

Ross

Paper: Workflow patterns as a means to model task succession in games

Just had a paper accepted for ICEC 2014 (LNCS) with Simone Kriglstein and Guenter Wallner, colleagues from Vienna Austria.  Paper is found here.  In it, we seek to use workflow patterns to provide a formal basis for the modelling and simulation of user tasks in computer games.

Abstract. Over about the last decade, people involved in game development have noted the need for more formal models and tools to support the design phase of games. It is argued that the present lack of such formal tools is currently hindering knowledge transfer among designers. Formal visual languages, on the other hand, can help to more effectively express, abstract and communicate game design concepts. Moreover, formal tools can assist in the prototyping phase, allowing designers to reason about and simulate game mechanics on an abstract level.  In this paper we present an initial investigation into whether workflow patterns – which have already proven to be effective for modeling business processes – are a suitable way to model task succession in games.  Our preliminary results suggest that workflow patterns show promise in this regard but some limitations, especially in regard to time constraints, currently restrict their potential.

Ross

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CFP: IVAPP 2015

Please consider submitting a paper to IVAPP 2015

CFP: APCCM 2015

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The Eleventh Asia-Pacific Conference on Conceptual Modeling (APCCM 2015)
     Jan. 27-30, 2015, Sydney, Australia
     http://2015.apccm.org
     Submission Deadline : Aug. 11 (Abstract) , Aug. 18 (Full Paper) 2014

=============================
Aims
=============================
The Asia-Pacific Conferences on Conceptual Modelling provide an annual forum for disseminating the results of innovative research in information modelling and related areas. The eleventh conference of the series will be held in January 2015 as part of the Australasian Computer Science Week (ACSW 2015), and the Australasian Computer Science Week 2015 will be hosted at the UWS Parramatta Campus in Sydney, Australia.
Registration for APCCM will enable delegates to attend sessions in any conference participating in the Australasian Computer Science Week.

=============================
Scope
=============================
The amount, complexity and diversity of information held in computer systems are constantly on the increase, and so are the requirements and challenges to be met for useful access and manipulation of this information. Conceptual modelling is fundamental to the development of up-to-date information and knowledge-based systems. The conference series aims at bringing together experts from all areas of computer science and information systems with a common interest in the subject.
APCCM invites papers describing original contributions in all fields of conceptual modelling and related areas. Papers should be no more than 10 pages in length conforming to the formatting instructions as outlined below.
APCCM invites contributions addressing current research in conceptual modelling as well as experiences, novel applications and future challenges. Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

   Business, enterprise, process and services modelling;
   Concepts, concept theories and ontologies;
   Conceptual modelling and user participation;
   Conceptual modelling for
       Decision support and expert systems;
       Digital libraries;
       E-business, e-commerce and e-banking systems;
       Health care systems;
       Knowledge management systems;
       Mobile information systems;
       User interfaces; and
       Web-based systems;
   Conceptual modelling of semi-structured data and XML;
   Conceptual modelling of spatial, temporal and biological data;
   Conceptual modelling quality;
   Conceptual models for cloud computing applications;
   Conceptual models for supporting requirement engineering;
   Conceptual models in management science;
   Design patterns and object-oriented design;
   Evolution and change in conceptual models;
   Implementations of information systems;
   Information and schema integration;
   Information customisation and user profiles;
   Information recognition and information modelling;
   Information retrieval, analysis, visualisation and prediction;
   Information systems design methodologies;
   Knowledge discovery, knowledge representation and knowledge management;
   Methods for developing, validating and communicating conceptual models;
   Models for the Semantic Web;
   Philosophical, mathematical and linguistic foundations of conceptual models;
   Reuse, reverse engineering and reengineering; and
   Software engineering and tools for information systems development.

Each paper will be judged on its originality, significance, technical quality, relevance and presentation. The quality of accepted papers is further strengthened by a low acceptance rate of about 30%.
APCCM proceedings will be published by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) in the CRPIT Series. Please note that it is CRPIT policy that at least one author of all accepted papers to the conferences and workshops in the series would both register and present at the event concerned. Failure to do so without a reason acceptable to the organisers of the event will result in the paper being retrospectively withdrawn from both the proceedings and all citation sources.
It is also CRPIT policy that all papers be original and not concurrently submitted elsewhere. Once again, we reserve the right to retrospectively withdraw a paper from the proceedings if we later find this not to be the case.
After the conference, authors of the best papers will be invited to submit an extended version for publication in a joint Special Issue of the Journal of Universal Computer Science (J.UCS). 

===========================
Electronic Submission
===========================
Submission to APCCM 2015 will be electronically only via EasyChair at
https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=apccm2015.

===========================
Important Dates
===========================
Abstract Submission: August 11th, 2014
Full Paper Submission: August 18th, 2014
Author Notification: October 07th, 2014
Camera-ready Paper Submission: October 28th, 2014
Author Registration: November 03rd, 2014
Early-bird Registration: December 01st, 2014
ACSW 2015 Conferences: January 27th -- 30th, 2015

===========================
Conference Organization
===========================

Program Committee Chairs
Motoshi Saeki   (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
Henning Koehler   (Massey University, New Zealand)

Publicity Chairs
Markus Kirchberg   (VISA Inc. & National University of Singapore)

Programm Committee Memebers
Joao Paulo Almeida, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil
Boualem Benatallah, University of New South Wales, Australia
Marko Boskovic, Research Studios Austria
Ross Brown, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Gill Dobbie, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Flavio Ferrarotti, Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand
Aditya Ghose, University of Wollongong, Australia
Georg Grossmann, University of South Australia, Australia
Sven Hartmann, Clausthal University of Technology, Germany
Brian Henderson-Sellers, University of Technology, Australia
Markus Kirchberg, VISA Inc. and National University of Singapore, Singapore
Hiroyuki Kitagawa, Tsukuba University, Japan
Yasushi Kiyoki, Keio University, Japan
Henning Koehler, Massey University, New Zealand
Aneesh Krishna, Curtin University, Australia
Alberto Laender, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Lam-Son Le, University of Wollongong, Australia
Chiang Lee, National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwan
Sebastian Link, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Hui Ma, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Takako Nakatani, Tsukuba University, Japan
Christine Natschlager, Software Competence Center Hagenberg, Austria
Martin Necasky, Charles University, Czech Republic
Wilfred Ng, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Jolita Ralyte, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Jan Recker, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Michael Rosemann, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Motoshi Saeki, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
Michael Schrefl, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
Nigel Stanger, University of Otago, New Zealand
Markus Stumptner, University of South Australia, Australia
Ernest Teniente, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain
Riccardo Torlone, Roma Tre University, Italy
Qing Wang, Australian National University, Australia
Eric Yu, University of Toronto, Canada

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Paper Review: Learning to Manipulate and Categorize in Human and Artificial Agents

#Title#
Learning to Manipulate and Categorize in Human and Artificial Agents

#Authors#
Giuseppe Morlino, Claudia Gianelli, Anna M. Borghi, Stefano Nolfia

#Venue#
Cognitive Science (2014) 1–26

#DOI#
DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12130

#Abstract#
This study investigates the acquisition of integrated object manipulation and categorization abilities through a series of experiments in which human adults and artificial agents were asked to learn to manipulate two-dimensional objects that varied in shape, color, weight, and color intensity. The analysis of the obtained results and the comparison of the behavior displayed by human and artificial agents allowed us to identify the key role played by features affecting the agent/environment  interaction, the relation between category and action development, and the role of cognitive biases originating from previous knowledge.

#Comments#
The paper looks at issues in the effect of action on categorisation.  They present that categorisation is grounded in in the sensorimotor system, according to present experiments and theory.  And again suggest the central role of action in cognition.

They also look at the issues around how categories enable the flexible usage of objects, and how the grasping of objects changes according to the tasks needed, as per the classic idea of affordances by Gibson (1979).

Important quote: "Affordances are proposed to be the product of the conjunction, in the brain, of repeated visuomotor experiences." Probably a no-brainer to the design community, but important to me, as I need to see this generalise to virtual worlds.  It should be noted that the systems used in this experiment were synthetic, so the effects should generalise to a virtual world, as it is simply shapes and colours with physical properties.  However, there is a history of visual search research with simple shapes not generalising to real images.  This must be considered in any assumptions of efficacy in virtual world simulations.

The experiments involved the manipulation of 2D objects on the screen with a mouse pointer in placing and shaking tasks.   The weight of the objects is aligned with categories and some of the categories are also based on colour, blinking and shape.  The humans (20) were compared to neural network agents.

"The results indicated the discriminative features affecting the agent environment interaction such as weight facilitate the acquisition of the required categorisation abilities with respect to alternative features that are equally informative but that do not affect the outcome of the agent actions."  This leads them to the conclusion that the categorisation for both humans and agents, not withstanding any other factors, is affected by the embodiment of the activity; weight required interaction, not just observation.

The results showed support for a model whereby the interaction with light vs heavy objects produces categories far more effectively than other factors.  Embodied action thus has a great affect on categorisation, whether it affects every category is still uncertain, as the other visual effects (from grounded cognitive affects) still caused categories to form, just not as soon in the training.

They consider this to contribute to a STRONG position of embodiment being central to the creation of categories, and not just being a more peripheral contributor.

They also note a shape effect with humans, ie. they used a curvilinear path with circles, and a rectilinear path with square.  Thus previous memories of the objects influenced their actions and thus the categories.

They also note that the categories are from an interaction of the agent with the environment, and not so from top-down or bottom-up processes exclusively, not overgeneralised or fine granularity categories, but as a dynamic process between agent and environment.

While this is categorisation, and not a memory task, one still has to wonder, for my work, if the memory of a process will be much more enhanced by embodied interactions, and not just visual interactions alone.  One could hypothesise that if the category is more strongly created with embodied action, then the memory of that category (if it maps to say activity specifications) then should be stronger on acting it out.  So an Occulus and Kinect space should measurably work better in process memory tasks than a pure visual space; with both working better than a simple interview.

Something to think about I guess.

#ImportantRefs#

CFP Extension: TAProViz 2014 extended to the 8th June!

The submission date of our process visualisation workshop is now extended to the 8th June.  Please consider contributing a paper.  Details are here.



Ross

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Video: Virtual World S-BPM Elicitator



Video of S-BPM based virtual world modelling tool developed by my Honours student Joel Harman with the financial assistance of Metasonic, AG - http://www.metasonic.de/

The tool allows a stakeholder to use a 3D representation of their work place to provide activity and message information to create an S-BPM model.

This was presented and tested in focus groups at the S-BPM One conference in Eichstaett over Easter.

Well done Joel! Thanks again to Metasonic for the provision of a scholarship for Joel and travel money to Eichstaett.

Ross