Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

3 The Design of StarWalker

StarWalker is a unique virtual environment based on a combined metaphor of spatial, semantic, and social navigation. It is accessible through WWW browsers with blaxxun's Online Community client browser plug-in. StarWalker's user interface consists of four areas: a virtual world window, a content window, a chat window, and a status window (Figure 1).

Figure 1. The user interface consists of four areas: a virtual world, a chat window, a content window, and a status window. The virtual world, the key component of StarWalker, represents a semantic space.

StarWalker represents a semantic space through a virtual reality model. In Figure 1, each sphere in the spatial layout represents a paper from three ACM SIGCHI conference proceedings ( 1995-1997). Links between spheres indicate the strongest semantic connections between corresponding papers. These salient semantic connections were automatically derived using a generic structuring and visualization methodology -- Generalised Similarity Analysis (GSA) ( Chen, 1998). In this example, the structure of the semantic space was determined by Latent Semantic Indexing ( Deerwester, Dumais, Landauer, Furnas, & Harshman, 1990). The extensibility of our framework and methodology has been continuously explored in our research. Recently, we have developed

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