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The significant meaning in the processes of human computer interaction has the quality and efficiency of computer visualization. Resources of human perception and especially attention are limited, this fact leads to forming of the “bottleneck” in computer – man system. Because of this problem, author is researching the methods of managing attention in the processes of computer visualization of notion-figurative information.

In the context of this abstract “attention” is understood as a set of parameters of perceptual mechanism of the subject of human-computer interaction. These parameters are: concentration of attention resources on a particular segment of visualizing notion-figurative information, the level of activation (arousal) of psychic perception resources, and presence of motivation purpose of perception this kind of information.

Perception of notion-figurative (NF) information is a complex, non-linear iterative process, and attention has estimation-regulative function in it. It serves the process of perception concentrating its resources on the part of information that has high estimation of it adequacy in the current context and matches subject motivation aims. Process of perception is irregularly interrupted by a number of reasons, this process is called situational interruptions. In these cases, process of perception temporary stops and switches to processing the cause of this interruption. Because the interruption system of modern computers is very similar to the natural interruptions it was decided to use the traditional technical terminology to describe it.

The main purpose of attention management in the processes of visualization-perception is to generate optimal scenarios of dynamical distribution of attention. Following the suggested scenarios the subject of perception gets significant help in his estimation activity. But generated scenarios are only one of many possible way of distribution of attention. Of course it is impossible to set few universal typical scenarios, because they need to be adapted to: a) structural organization of visualized information; b) it’s semantic content; c) current perception aims of the subject; d) his psyco-emotional condition;

Structural level

The dynamic of attention distributing in perception of particular types of NF material is much affected by personal qualities of the individual. But there are some steady stereotypical scenarios that in most cases allow to pick out the most significant aspects of percept information, in other words they help to execute the estimation function of attention and to make decision of father cognitive activity. The most common types of structural organization of NF information are:

  • Plain text

  • Formatted text with markers and lists

  • Text and illustrations combination

  • Scheme or diagram style presentation

  • Spreadsheet presentation

  • Figurative – text composition

For each of the given structure organization types there is a specific typical scenario of attention distribution (at least in early stages of perception). Basing mostly on probability and cognitive stereotypes it guarantees in most cases fast recognition and semantic encoding of percepted material. In this abstract we will not describe these scenarios in detail.

Scenarios based on structural organization need to be detailed and modified according to their semantic content. This will help to determine more exact the priorities in attention distribution scenarios.

Logic-linguistic level

In logic-linguistic level of analyzing of visualizing information for building scenarios material is analyzed on the level of words, phrases and sentences (in structural level only integral parameters are analyzed). The main task on this level is exposure of potential reasons of attention activization (and consequently situational interrupts) reasons and coding them for futher use. After finishing this procedure, scenario formed on the previous level of analysis is modified. During research were detected and systematized several reasons of attention activization. Here are some of them:

  • Necessity of definition meaning of the word, phrase (solving semiotic uncertainty)

  • Necessity of detalization of contents (up to the given depth)

  • Significance of grammatical construction in this context

  • Presence of grammatical constructions-companions of potentially important information.

  • Estimations of validity, existence, utility, alternatives etc.

Detection and coding of these and other reasons of attention activization, and including them in the scenario of attention distribution decreasing the number of perception errors connected with the missing of significant information (which is especially actual in cases of time-lack). Also it decreases the load of estimation mechanism of attention and as a result reduces weariness during perception act.


The question-answer (QA) processor WIQA has the built-in subsystem allowing to simulate QA-process, based on the beforehand prepared script of acceptance of the decision. As model the QA-structure of the reference script submitted as a Petri net is accepted. Thus it is used only questional part of QA-structure.

For transition to the mode of modeling menu «View/Diagrams/Petri net» or appropriate button on the panel of tools is used. Operational conditions of a mode of modeling contains a window with the image of a fragment of a Petri net of the top level, appropriate to construction of the decision of a root task of the project and the panel of tools for a call of teams. The teams of modeling can be also caused with the help of the emerging menu by pressing the right button of the mouse in the field of a window.

In a mode of modeling the user can use the following commands: to expand/collapse the next fragment appropriate to complex transition or all Petri net; to fire transition; to show by blinking all transitions, which can be fired; to add a marker in a position; to start process of automatic modeling. Teams of scaling and navigation on screens also are accessible.

The team of automatic modeling causes a sequence of dialogue windows of three types: parameters both step of modeling and window with the analytical information received by results of modeling. Choosing on each step unit of activity (question, task) from the list accessible, the user quickly receives a sequence of start (or sequence of construction of the answers) decision, necessary for construction, of the project.

Tool environment of modeling, as well as WIQA, is developed for operation in operational environment Windows 95 on the programming language Borland C ++ 5.02. The hardware requirements: the processor i486 or is higher, 8 Mb RAM.

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