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Electronic "How Things Work" Articles: Two Early Prototypes
August 1993 (vol. 5 no. 4)
pp. 611-618

The electronic encyclopedia exploratorium (E/sup 3/) is a vision of a future computer system-an electronic book describing how thing work. Typical articles in E/sup 3/ will describe such mechanisms as compression refrigerators, engines, telescopes, and mechanical linkages. Each article will provide simulations, three-dimensional animated graphics that the user can manipulate, laboratory areas that allow a user to modify the device or experiment with related artifacts, and a facility for asking questions and receiving customized, computer-generated English-language explanations. Some of the foundational technology is discussed, focusing on topics in artificial intelligence, graphics, and user interfaces. The initial prototype system and the technical lessons learned from it, as well as the second prototype currently under construction, are described.

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Index Terms:
user interface; electronic encyclopedia exploratorium; electronic book; compression refrigerators; engines; telescopes; mechanical linkages; three-dimensional animated graphics; computer-generated English-language explanations; artificial intelligence; graphics; electronic publishing; multimedia systems
F.G. Amador, D. Berman, A. Boring, T. DeRose, A. Finkelstein, D. Neville, D. Notkin, D. Salesin, M. Salisbury, J. Sherman, Y. Sun, D.S. Weld, G. Winkenbach, "Electronic "How Things Work" Articles: Two Early Prototypes," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 611-618, Aug. 1993, doi:10.1109/69.234773
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