A Fluid Flow Approach to Usability Analysis of Multi-user Systems

  • Mieke Massink
  • Diego Latella
  • Maurice H. ter Beek
  • Michael D. Harrison
  • Michele Loreti
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5247)


The analysis of usability aspects of multi-user systems, such as co-operative work systems and pervasive systems, pose particular problems because group behavior of their users may have considerable impact on usability. Model-based analysis of such features leads to state-space explosion because of the sheer number of entities to be modeled when automatic techniques such as model checking are used. In this paper we explore the use of a recently proposed scalable model-based technique based on solving sets of Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs). Starting from a formal model specified using the Performance Evaluation Process Algebra (PEPA), we show how different groupware usage patterns may be modeled and analyzed using this approach. We illustrate how the approach can explore different design options and their impact on group behavior by comparing file access policies in the context of a groupware application.


Formal Methods Model-based usability analysis Performance Evaluation Process Algebra Ordinary Differential Equations Groupware Systems 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mieke Massink
    • 1
  • Diego Latella
    • 1
  • Maurice H. ter Beek
    • 1
  • Michael D. Harrison
    • 2
  • Michele Loreti
    • 3
  1. 1.CNR - ISTIPisaItaly
  2. 2.School of Computing ScienceNewcastle UniversityUK
  3. 3.Dip. di Sistemi e InformaticaUniversita’ di FirenzeItaly

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