Applying Graph Theory to Interaction Design

  • Harold Thimbleby
  • Jeremy Gow
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4940)


Graph theory provides a substantial resource for a diverse range of quantitative and qualitative usability measures that can be used for evaluating recovery from error, informing design tradeoffs, probing topics for user training, and so on.

Graph theory is a straight-forward, practical and flexible way to implement real interactive systems. Hence, graph theory complements other approaches to formal HCI, such as theorem proving and model checking, which have a less direct relation to interaction.

This paper gives concrete examples based on the analysis of a real non-trivial interactive device, a medical syringe pump, itself modelled as a graph. New ideas to HCI (such as small world graphs) are introduced, which may stimulate further research.


Short Path Chromatic Number Average Cost Small World Interaction Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Thimbleby
    • 1
  • Jeremy Gow
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SwanseaUK
  2. 2.University College LondonUK

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