Assessing Demand for Intelligibility in Context-Aware Applications.

January 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

This study investigates which explanations users of context-aware applications wanted to know so that we could target to provide these explanations to maximize user satisfaction. We presented 860 online participants with video scenarios of four prototypical context-aware applications under various circumstances along the dimensions of application behavior appropriateness, situation criticality, goal-supportiveness, recommendation, and number of external dependencies. We elicited and subsequently solicited (validation) what information participants wanted to know under the various circumstances and extracted 11 types of explanations of interest. We also found how the demands for the explanations varied with circumstance (e.g., explanations of all types are highly desired for critical situations, and Why Not explanations are highly desired for goal-supportive applications such as reminders). We presented our results as design recommendations of when context-aware applications should provide certain explanations.

Intelligibility Design Recommendations

We provide a table of recommendation to designers and developers of context-aware applications derived from survey data of participant responses and the resulting analysis [Lim & Dey 2009]. They can use this table to determine which types of intelligibility explanations to include in their applications depending on the circumstances their applications would encounter. For example, if the application is not very accurate, it would have low Appropriateness, and we would recommend the explanation types: Why, Why Not, How, What If, and Control.

Instructions on usage

Select the checkbox or radio buttons as according to how your candidate context-aware application is defined (e.g. whether it has high criticality, etc). This will highlight the respective explanation types recommended for your application. You can mouse over the keywords in the table for the definitions of what they mean.

Explanation Type General
ModelWhy +
Why Not  
How +
What If  
What Else  
Certainty +
Control +
Appropriateness Criticality Goal-Supportive Recommendation Externalities
LowHigh LowHigh LowHigh LowHigh LowHigh
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Lim, B. Y., Dey, A. K. 2009.
Assessing Demand for Intelligibility in Context-Aware Applications.
In Proceedings of the 11th international Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Orlando, Florida, USA, September 30 – October 03, 2009). Ubicomp ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 195-204. DOI=10.1145/1620545.1620576.