A Robust and Flexible Framework for Handling Inputs with Uncertainty

Schwarz, J., Hudson, S., Mankoff, J., A Robust and Flexible Framework for Handling Inputs with Uncertainty. In Proceedings of the 23rd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (New York, New York, October 3 – 6, 2010). UIST’10. ACM, New York, NY, 47 - 56.

This paper is the first of three research papers published as part of my PhD thesis.

This paper presents a framework for handling input with uncertainty in a systematic, extensible, and easy to manipulate fashion. To illustrate this framework, the paper presents several traditional interactors which have been extended to provide feedback about uncertain inputs and to allow for the possibility that in the end that input will be judged wrong (or end up going to a different interactor). The six demonstrations in the paper include tiny buttons that are manipulable using touch input, a text box that can handle multiple interpretations of spoken input, a scrollbar that can respond to inexactly placed input, and buttons which are easier to click for people with motor impairments.

This initial framework supports all of these interactions by carrying uncertainty forward all the way through selection of possible target interactors, interpretation by interactors, generation of (uncertain) candidate actions to take, and a mediation process that decides (in a lazy fashion) which actions should become final.


Special thanks to Christian Holz for providing the original artwork used in the homepage icon for this project.

This video summary contains a demonstration of the capabilities of the framework as well as an explanation of the architecture.