Foundations of Interactive Graphics/User Interfaces

Many researches on user interfaces have lacked solid theoretical foundations. We claim that the study of interactive user interfaces is closely related to the semantics of programming languages. We believe that, by applying the results obtained in programming languages, the field of user interfaces will acquire more solid formal foundations for example, the term direct manipulation could be defined more precisely. New programming paradigms, such as constraint-oriented programming, are incorporated in order to automate the process of creation of graphical user interfaces. Inductive inferencing of user actions allows the system to construct interactive interfaces from examples given by the user.

Currently, our research on user interface aims at providing interfaces for abstract objects that have little or no a-priori real-life representations. In particular, we have devised a framework called visual mapping, which allow declarative specification of visualization and manipulation of application data. Based on this framework, we have built a series of systems; our latest system, TRIP2, allow generation of interactive interfaces for a variety of abstract data, such as kinship diagrams and graph editors, by defining a small set of bi- directional, declarative rules.

Some of the research goals we are currently pursuing are: