Review and reappraisal of adaptive interfaces: Toward biologically inspired paradigms

Ling Rothrock, Richard Koubek, Frederic Fuchs, Michael Haas, Gavriel Salvendy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The field of Adaptive Interfaces has been an active area of research for over 10 years. While there have been great advances, unresolved issues remain. The paper presents a reappraisal of adaptive interfaces with an eye toward addressing these issues using biologically inspired methods. We first define a general and theoretical model of adaptive interfaces based on a survey of existing research. Using our generalized adaptive interface model, we then proceed to build taxonomies of variables used for adaptation. The aim is to provide researchers, designers and builders a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms, processes and outcomes of adaptive interfaces. From our review, we propose design rules that address three primary elements of a generalized adaptive interface: the identification of variables that call for adaptation, the determination of necessary modifications to the interface, and the selection of the decision inference mechanism. We then turn to the investigation of an alternative method for adaptive interface design. To find a method that corresponds better to human decision-making, which has been characterized as situated and recognition-primed, we explored biologically inspired techniques. In particular, we focus on the correspondence between human decision-making behaviour and the concepts of emergence and self-organization. While our ruminations are speculative, the future of biologically inspired interfaces seems promising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-84
Number of pages38
JournalTheoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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