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, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 275–293 | Cite as

User modelling and cognitive user support: towards structured development

  • Peter Eberle
  • Christian Schwarzinger
  • Christian Stary
Long Paper


Model-driven engineering approaches have turned out useful when handling different perspectives on human–computer interaction, such as user profiles and problem-domain data. Their latest flavour, Model-Driven Architecture (MDA®), targets towards platform-independent models (PIMs) and adjacent transformation mechanisms to adapt to user needs and tasks. Although in the field of user modelling and its major application domain, namely adaptive hypermedia systems (AHS), considerable effort has been spent on adaptation towards user needs, a structured development approach could not be established so far. User-oriented application designs are highly distinctive and can hardly be compared or mapped to novel or existing developments without major re-engineering effort. This paper develops an understanding of existing capabilities of already applied user-modelling techniques from a model-based perspective. Revealing the context of user models and user modelling allows determining general concepts for representing and processing knowledge for adaptation. The obtained findings show primarily technically motivated approaches, rather than designs grounded in findings from human factors. For human-centred design, a shift is suggested towards distributed cognition as a methodological and operational frame of reference for user modelling. This could help overcome existing limitations in adaptation. The corresponding research agenda requires directions on how to map psychological constructs to user-model elements and adaptable user-interface elements, such as mapping field dependence to content annotation features, in a transparent and empirically grounded way.


User modelling Model-driven architecture Adaptation Cognitive support Psychological constructs Transformation Adaptive hypermedia systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Eberle
    • 1
  • Christian Schwarzinger
    • 1
  • Christian Stary
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business Information Systems, Communications EngineeringUniversity of LinzFreistädterstraße 315Austria

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