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Supporting Software Designers with Integrated Domain-Oriented Design Environments
June 1992 (vol. 18 no. 6)
pp. 511-522

An approach that embeds human-computer cooperative problem-solving tools into knowledge-based design environments that work in conjunction with human software designers in specific application domains is described. This human-centered approach takes advantage of peoples' ability to understand and incrementally reformulate their problems, while allowing them to contribute to the gradual improvement of the underlying knowledge base. The notion of evolution circumvents the inability of the original builders of a design environment to anticipate all future needs and knowledge for complete coverage of a domain. The access and development of knowledge is supported in a cycle of location, comprehension, and modification. Modification includes the evolution of the knowledge base and tools. A framework for building such tools and mechanisms is described and illustrated in terms of three systems: CATALOGEXPLORER, EXPLAINER, and MODIFIER. User studies of these systems demonstrate the promise and the limitations of the design environment approach.

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Index Terms:
problem reformulation; software designers; domain-oriented design environments; human-computer cooperative problem-solving tools; knowledge-based design environments; location; comprehension; modification; CATALOGEXPLORER; EXPLAINER; MODIFIER; expert systems; programming environments; user interfaces
Citation:
G. Fischer, A. Girgensohn, K. Nakakoji, D. Redmiles, "Supporting Software Designers with Integrated Domain-Oriented Design Environments," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 511-522, June 1992, doi:10.1109/32.142873
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