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The um toolkit for cooperative user modelling


This paper gives an overview of the um toolkit: the philosophy underlying its design, examples of its use and discussion of the way it deals with some major issues in creating user modelling shells. The um toolkit has been developed to provide support for a variety of cooperative agents. An important element of its cooperativeness is due to its capacity to give users an understanding of their own user models. This paper describes two substantial but very different uses of the toolkit. The first involves a collection of coaching systems that help users learn more about their text editor. Experimental results suggest that the user model is associated with users learning more. The second is a movie advisor that uses a range of tools to construct and refine the user model and to filter a database of movies. Both these systems are built from combining tools in um. The paper describes several of the tools for constructing and refining user models. In addition it describes the user-model viewing tools and the way that these help users ensure their user models are correct. The paper also discusses the two central themes of the um work, the application of a tools approach to the design of a user modelling toolkit and the implications of making the user model accessible to its owner, the person modelled.

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Kay, J. The um toolkit for cooperative user modelling. User Model User-Adap Inter 4, 149–196 (1994).

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Key words

  • student model
  • user model
  • cooperative systems
  • accessible user models
  • visualisation of user models