The Concept Space Interchange Protocol

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The Concept Space Interchange Protocol supports the deployment of conceptual browsing interfaces in digital libraries. The protocol provides a programmatic interface to dynamically generate interactive visual components that enable users to navigate
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  The Concept Space Interchange Protocol Faisal Ahmad, Sonal Bhushan, Qianyi Gu, Tamara Sumner Department of Computer Science University of Colorado at Boulder Campus Box 430 Boulder, Colorado 80309-0430 {fahmad, bhushans, qianyi.gu, sumner} @colorado.edu ABSTRACT The Concept Space Interchange Protocol supports the deployment of conceptual browsing interfaces in digital libraries. The protocol  provides a programmatic interface to dynamically generate interactive visual components that enable users to navigate a concept space, request information about concepts, and request library resources aligned with concepts. The Concept Space Interchange Protocol has been implemented as part of the NSDL Strand Map Service, which enables digital library developers to create user interfaces and services based on nationally recognized K-12 science learning goals developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The protocol, the  principles underpinning its design, and the problem-centered design methodology used to create it are described. Categories and Subject Descriptors H.5 [ Information Interfaces and Presentation ]: Hypertext / Hypermedia– architectures, navigation, user issues. General Terms Design, Human Factors, Languages. Keywords Concept Spaces, Educational Digital Libraries, Problem-Centered Design, Programming Walkthroughs, Service Protocols. 1. OVERVIEW The NSDL Strand Map Service (SMS) is based on Strand Maps  published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science [3]. These maps depict K-12 learning goals, or  benchmarks, and describe how benchmarks interrelate across the spectrum of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. This service provides a programmatic interface, the Concept Space Interchange Protocol (CSIP), which enables library developers to construct conceptual browsing interfaces  based on the Strand Maps using dynamically generated interactive visual components. Developers can use CSIP to create user interfaces that enable educators to browse the Strand Map concept space, locate related learning resources in educational digital libraries, and view rich descriptions of benchmarks (e.g., about the benchmark, related educational research, student misconceptions, and strategies for checking student understanding).The principles underpinning the design of CSIP reflect the Representational State Transfer (REST) architectural style [1]. Developers can access services supported by the protocol via HTTP; namely they can request information about the SMS, submit a resource to the SMS, and query the SMS to retrieve information about individual benchmarks, groups of related  benchmarks, strands, maps, etc. This ‘information’ can be returned as XML (in the SMS metadata standard) or as Scalable Vector Graphics (providing interactive visual components).A problem-centered design methodology was used to design, implement and evaluate CSIP [2]. This methodology helps  programming language designers strike an effective balance  between the competing design goals of ‘expressiveness’ (the range of problems that can be solved by the language) and ‘facility’ (how easy it is to solve a specific problem). Expressiveness requirements for CSIP were derived from: (1)  previously identified visual components [4] and (2) extended scenarios that depict how CSIP might replicate and extend functionalities based on Strand Maps in four existing digital libraries and educational sites. Facility requirements were derived  by performing programming walkthroughs with three different groups of library developers. Programming walkthroughs are a type of usability inspection method where analysts systematically examine the background knowledge needed to solve a particular  problem at each step in the programming process. 2. REFERENCES 1. Fielding, R.T. and Taylor, R.N. Principled Design of the Modern Web Architecture.  ACM Transactions on Internet  Technology , 2  (2 (May)). 115 - 150. 2. Lewis, C., Rieman, J. and Bell, B. Problem-Centered Design for Expressiveness and Facility in a Graphical Programming System.  Human-Computer Interaction , 6  . 319-355. 3. Project 2061  Atlas of Science Literacy . American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Science Teachers Association, Washington DC, 2001.4. Sumner, T.R., Bhushan, S., Ahmad, F. and Gu, Q., Designing a Language for Creating Conceptual Browsing Interfaces for Digital Libraries. in  ACM/IEEE Joint  Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL '03) , (Houston, Texas (May 27-31), 2003), ACM Press, 258-260.  This project is part of the National Science Digital Library and is funded by the National Science Foundation, NSDL Award #0226286. Copyright is held by the author/owner(s).  JCDL’04 , June 7–11, 2004, Tucson, Arizona, USA. ACM 1-58113-832-6/04/0006. 382 Proceedings of the 2004 Joint ACM/IEEE Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL’04) 1-58113-832-6/04 $ 20.00 © 2004 ACM
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