Using learned behaviors to set system defaults

10 Apr 2007 - 11:44am
7 years ago
3 replies
656 reads
Pawson, Mark
2007

Is their any research, blogs, ideas, books etc on the application
learning the behavior of the user and setting system defaults
accordingly?

I was in a discussion yesterday where our application is hitting out of
memory errors because we set no limits on the amount of data that can be
opened in a spreadsheet like window. We just try to load it all up and
in most cases since users never load that much data it is fine. This bug
was found in house by our teams going to the extreme. The obvious
solution was to set an arbitrary limit but this could be too low for the
user who really wants 100K of X objects brought in with all the
associated data tables and is willing to wait the 30 minutes it takes,
because he has 20gb of ram and 10 ghz cpu. Meanwhile, another user
realizes that much data is unusable, even if she had the best PC on the
planet, and wants to exit after 30 seconds of waiting for data to load
and work with what she has. It occurred to me that if the system could
detect these behaviors, then it could set the appropriate default having
"learned the users behavior".

Of course this begs the question what is appropriate? Three consecutive
cancellations on the import at the 100th object? Just thinking of this
I, as a former QA, can think of bugs galore but is it feasable? Has
anyone had experience with this? Any real world examples?

Mark Pawson
User Centered Design Team
IHS

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Comments

10 Apr 2007 - 4:16pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

from the article by Bret Victor ( http://worrydream.com/MagicInk/
<http://worrydream.com/MagicInk/%C2%A0>
):

"Currently, machine learning is considered an experts-only area, where the
fruits of research are restricted to specialists. Implementing learning
behavior typically involves calling in an expert, not assigning it to the
application programmer. "

Bret also gives an example of algorithm behind one implementation - BART
travel planner he designed.

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On 4/10/07, Pawson, Mark <Mark.Pawson at ihs.com> wrote:
>
> Is their any research, blogs, ideas, books etc on the application
> learning the behavior of the user and setting system defaults
> accordingly?
>
> I was in a discussion yesterday where our application is hitting out of
> memory errors because we set no limits on the amount of data that can be
> opened in a spreadsheet like window. We just try to load it all up and
> in most cases since users never load that much data it is fine. This bug
> was found in house by our teams going to the extreme. The obvious
> solution was to set an arbitrary limit but this could be too low for the
> user who really wants 100K of X objects brought in with all the
> associated data tables and is willing to wait the 30 minutes it takes,
> because he has 20gb of ram and 10 ghz cpu. Meanwhile, another user
> realizes that much data is unusable, even if she had the best PC on the
> planet, and wants to exit after 30 seconds of waiting for data to load
> and work with what she has. It occurred to me that if the system could
> detect these behaviors, then it could set the appropriate default having
> "learned the users behavior".
>
> Of course this begs the question what is appropriate? Three consecutive
> cancellations on the import at the 100th object? Just thinking of this
> I, as a former QA, can think of bugs galore but is it feasable? Has
> anyone had experience with this? Any real world examples?
>
> Mark Pawson
> User Centered Design Team
> IHS
>
>
>

10 Apr 2007 - 5:12pm
Jay Morgan
2006

Mark,

Stephen Anderson presented some examples of how user behavior can be used to
adapt the UI - specifically, features available based on features used in
past sessions...
http://www.poetpainter.com/thoughts/article/ia-summit-2007-adaptive-interfaces-presentation

Hope this helps.
- Jay

On 4/10/07, Pawson, Mark <Mark.Pawson at ihs.com> wrote:
>
> Is their any research, blogs, ideas, books etc on the application
> learning the behavior of the user and setting system defaults
> accordingly?
>
>

--
Jay Morgan
Applied cognitive scientist practicing information architecture, interaction
design, and corporate culture manipulation

11 Apr 2007 - 2:22am
Morten Hjerde
2007

The alternative to make the software learn the users behaviour might be to
make the software learn the computers behaviour. It may be easier.

I would leave the user in control at all times and provide ample feedback.
Let the software try to load and display the progress of loading with an
indication of how long (in time) to completion. Give the user an option to
halt or cancel the loading at any time. Before the computer runs out of
memory, stop the loading, inform the user, and let the user work on what
data is loaded (if that makes sense).

The advantage to this aproach is that it is solvable with engineering.

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