The skull beneath the skin; entity-relationship modelling of information artefacts.

Green, Thomas R G and Benyon, David (1996) The skull beneath the skin; entity-relationship modelling of information artefacts. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 44 (6). pp. 801-828. ISSN 1071-5819

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Data modelling reveals the internal structure of an information system, abstracting away
from details of the physical representation. We show that entity-relationship modelling, a
well-tried example of a data-modelling technique, can be applied to both interactive and
non-interactive information artefacts in the domain of HCI. By extending the conventional
ER notation slightly (to give ERMIA, Entity-Relationship Modelling for Information
Artefacts) it can be used to describe differences between different representations of the same
information, differences between user’s conceptual models of the same device, and the
structure and update requirements of distributed information in a worksystem. It also yields
symbolic-level estimates of Card et al.’s (1994) index of ‘cost-of-knowledge’ in an information
structure, plus a novel index, the ‘cost-of-update’; these symbolic estimates offer a useful
complement to the highly detailed analyses of time costs obtainable from GOMS-like
models. We conclude that, as a cheap, coarse-grained, and easy-to-learn modelling
technique, ERMIA usefully fills a gap in the range of available HCI analysis techniques

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 1071-5819
Electronic ISSN: 1071-5819
Uncontrolled Keywords: data modelling; information system; entity-relationship; HCI; symbolic estimates; ERMIA;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 000 Computer science, information & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 004 Data processing & computer science
Library of Congress Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Item ID: 3077
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2010 14:43
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2015 09:54

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