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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 14
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and A.I. Khan
Paper X.1

Knowledge-based Systems Interface Design: An Object Oriented Approach

Z. Nouas and T.J. McCarthy

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering, UMIST, Manchester, England

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
Z. Nouas, T.J. McCarthy, "Knowledge-based Systems Interface Design: An Object Oriented Approach", in B.H.V. Topping, A.I. Khan, (Editors), "Information Technology for Civil & Structural Engineers", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 159-166, 1993. doi:10.4203/ccp.14.10.1
A major obstacle for the widespread acceptance of knowledge-based systems outside universities and research centres remains the development of efficient user interfaces. Usability is one aspect of these systems which appears to have received much less attention than other more functional aspects. This paper discusses major issues in the design of knowledge-based systems user interface. Emphasis is put on the design methodology and the implementation of the user interface. The paper presents a user interface design approach based on the object-oriented paradigm. In this approach, the user interface is not designed as a separate component of the system as in the conventional approach. Rather, the interaction with the system is seen as interface operations requested from objects of the application domain. Thus domain objects are defined with their own private user interface facility and the user interacts directly with these objects. This approach was used to develop the user interface of Hycon, a knowledge-based system for the design of hybrid connections in structural steelwork. Hycon is developed using Goldworks II. Its user interface uses Gold Hill Windows which allows access to the Microsoft Windows graphical environment.

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