Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Interactive Simultaneous Editing of Multiple Text Regions
started 3/21/2002; 6:30:27 AM - last post 3/21/2002; 6:30:27 AM
Ehud Lamm - Interactive Simultaneous Editing of Multiple Text Regions  blueArrow
3/21/2002; 6:30:27 AM (reads: 326, responses: 0)
Interactive Simultaneous Editing of Multiple Text Regions
Robert C. Miller and Brad A. Myers. Interactive Simultaneous Editing of Multiple Text Regions. USENIX 2001 Annual Technical Conference, Boston, MA, June 2001, pp 161-174.

Oleg pointed me to this PBD paper, along with the following comments:

The authors received the best paper award. Another case of an over-engineered solution.

The presenter demonstrated his system. It was indeed impressive. He selected several regions of text (which can be discontinuous). He then selected words or groups of words within one phrase -- and the system inferred the corresponding words in the other phrases. When he started editing the first selected phrase, the other selected phrases were edited synchronously. It was fascinating to watch.

The crux of the problem was inferring the meaning of user's selection within one phrase, and generalizing it to other phrases. It's an instance of programming by demonstration.

The system pre-processes the text heavily to make on-line work easier.

A feature is a pattern or a literal string that occurs several times. Features are stored as region sets: sequences of begin/end offsets.

The author cited results of a usability study they performed on two groups of CMU undergrads. Given a large repetitive task -- editing a large bibliography and changing its formatting -- the system indeed helped accomplish the work faster. However, as the presenter admitted in response to a question, the error rate for simultaneous editing was about the same as the error rate for people that used a traditional editor -- about 30%. When the system discovers and generalizes user's selections, a user can correct the system and guide it to the selection he wants. Alas, understanding how the system generalizes proved to be difficult. Users tend to overlook subtle errors during the generalization.

Posted to general by Ehud Lamm on 3/21/02; 6:31:15 AM