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A Model-Based Approach for Distributed User Interfaces

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This paper describes a model-based approach for designing distributed user interfaces (DUIs), i.e. graphical user interfaces that are distributed along one or many of the following dimensions: end …

This paper describes a model-based approach for designing distributed user interfaces (DUIs), i.e. graphical user interfaces that are distributed along one or many of the following dimensions: end user, display device, computing platform, and physical environment. The three pillars of this model-based approach are: (i) a Concrete User Interface model for DUIs incorporating the distribution dimensions and able to express in a XML-compliant format any DUI element until the granularity of an individual DUI element is reached, (ii) a specification language for DUI distribution primitives that have been defined in a user interface toolkit, and (iii), a step-wise method for modeling a DUI based on the concepts of distribution graph expressing a distribution scenario that can be played namely based on the distribution primitives. A distribution graph consists of a state transition diagram whose states represent significant distribution states of a DUI and whose transitions are labeled by an even-condition-action representation. The actions involved in this format may call any distribution primitive of the DUI toolkit. In order to exemplify this model-based approach, two simple DUIs are first designed: a DUI for the Pictionary game and a DUI for the Minesweeper game. They are then incorporated into a larger DUI game of the goose where cells may trigger the two other games.

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  • 1. A Model-Based Approach for Distributed User Interfaces
    Jérémie Melchior, Jean Vanderdonckt and Peter Van RoyUniversité catholique de Louvain
    EICS2011 - June 14, 2011
  • 2. How to distributethings
    Motivations
    Drawbacks of Related Work
    Our solution
    Case Studies
    Demonstration
    Future Work and Conclusion
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    2
  • 3. Motivations
    Mobile devices (iPad, iPhone,...)
    Smartphones are popular
    Distribution is often limited to algorithmic and researchers
    Limitations of the user's space
    Need of independence between the user interface and the application
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    3
  • 4. Motivations
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    4
  • 5. Drawbacks of RelatedWork
    Lack of customization
    Predefined distribution (wincuts)
    Lack of real-time distribution
    Lack of reusability of the techniques
    Lack of distribution modelling
    Lack of control on the distribution
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    5
  • 6. Drawbacks of Related Work
    Predefined distribution
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    6
  • 7. Our solution
    Model-based approach defining the distribution:
    CUI model in a XML-compliant format
    a specification language
    astep-wise method for modeling DUI
    Unification of the techniques through a toolkit
    Real-time controlon every single component of the UI
    Distribution of
    whole
    part
    custom group of widgets
    Multi-platform support (computer + tablets + smartphones)
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    7
  • 8. Our solution
    CUI model in a XML-compliant format with:
    buttons
    labels
    layouts
    entry (text edit)
    windows
    canvas (drawing area)
    ...
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    8
  • 9. Our solution
    a specification language
    e.g.: 
    DISPLAY button(text:"Start" action:Start name:button_1)
    create a button with the text "Start" on it
    Start is the algorithm triggered by the button
    named this button_1 for distribution
    without specifying a platform: default platform 
    COPYbutton_1 TO shared_display
    copy the existing button_1 to the platform "shared_display"
    ...
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    9
  • 10. Our solution
    a step-wise method for modeling DUI
    new concept: Distribution Graph
    CUI widget
    Platform without CUI
    Platform with CUI
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    10
  • 11. Our solution
    Unification of the techniques through a toolkit
    the toolkit is based on a catalog of primitives:
    Set, Display, Undisplay, Expose
    Copy, Move, Switch, Permute
    Merge, Separate, Replace, Distribute, Reset, Append, Transform
    Save, Restore, Import, Export
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    11
  • 12. Case Studies
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    Minesweeper: a non-naturally distributed game
    Game of the Goose: an evolutive game through real-time redistribution 
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    12
  • 13. Case Studies
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    Minesweeper: a non-naturally distributed game
    Game of the Goose: an evolutive game through real-time redistribution 
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    13
  • 14. Pictionary
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    14
  • 15. Pictionary
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    15
  • 16. Pictionary
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    16
  • 17. Pictionary
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    17
  • 18. Pictionary
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    18
  • 19. Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    control on the UI
    Pictionary
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    19
  • 20. Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    control on the UI
    distribution scenario
    Pictionary
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    20
  • 21. Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    control on the UI
    distribution scenario
    UNDISPLAYcolor_bar, guess_wordTO pictionary_UIOF observers, guessers
    EXPOSEdraw_area TO pictionary_UIOF observers, guessers
    Pictionary
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    21
  • 22. Case Studies
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    Minesweeper: a non-naturally distributed game
    Game of the Goose: an evolutive game through real-time redistribution 
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    22
  • 23. Case Studies
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    Minesweeper: a non-naturally distributed game
    Game of the Goose: an evolutive game through real-time redistribution 
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    23
  • 24. Case Studies
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    Minesweeper: a non-naturally distributed game
    Game of the Goose: an evolutive game through real-time redistribution 
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    24
  • 25. Case Studies
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    Minesweeper: a non-naturally distributed game
    Game of the Goose: an evolutive game through real-time redistribution 
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    25
  • 26. Case Studies
    Pictionary: a naturally distributed game
    Minesweeper: a non-naturally distributed game
    Game of the Goose: an evolutive game through real-time redistribution 
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    26
  • 27. Future Work and Conclusion
    Publication of the catalog
    Android performances
    Release the toolkit+ samples
    Integrationinto UsiXML (UsiDistrib tool)
    Behaviorbehind distribution
    ITEA UsiXML project #08026, 2009-2012
    27