Supporting Cognitive Models as Users

Frank E. Ritter, Gordon D. Baxter, Gary Jones, Richard M. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Cognitive models are computer programs that simulate human performance of cognitive skills. They have been useful to HCI by predicting task times, by assisting users, and by acting as surrogate users. If cognitive models could interact with the same interfaces that users do, the models would be easier to develop and would be easier to apply as interface testers. This approach can be encapsulated as a cognitive model interface management system (CMIMS), which is analogous to and based on a user interface management system (UIMS). We present five case studies using three different UIMSes. These show how models can interact with interfaces using an interaction mechanism that is designed to apply to all interfaces generated within a UIMS. These interaction mechanisms start to support and constrain performance in the same ways that human performance is supported and constrained by interaction. Most existing UIMSes can and should be extended to create CMIMSes, and models can and should use CMIMSes to look at larger and more complex tasks. CMIMSes will help to further exploit the synergy between the disciplines of cognitive modeling and HCI by supporting cognitive models as users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-173
Number of pages33
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction


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