[ Top ] [ Previous Section ] [ Next Section ]

A Heterogeneous Reasoning and Mediator System

2.6. Heterogeneous User Interface for End-Users

The user interface in our system architecture consists of a framework wherein end-users may pose a conjunctive query A1 &...&An using a variety of input forms. For example, consider a simple query where a user has a picture of someone displayed on the screen, and the user wishes to ask the query: ``Find the name of the father of this person.'' The query may be performed in two parts. The first is pictorially specified by drawing a box around the person's face displayed on the screen. The second is to textually input the query ``Find me the father of the person whose face I just enclosed in a box.'' This can be written logically as:

<- in(X,facedb:matchface('box','mugshot_lib')) &

The above assumes the existence of a face database that contains the pre-defined function matchface which takes an input face, and determines the name of the person pictured by comparing it against a mugshot library. Similarly, we are assuming that the parent relation is stored in the PARADOX DBMS, and that the relation has the scheme (Person,Father,Mother).

In the above query, the facedb:matchface('box','mugshot_lib') part is being specified using graphical input, while the PARADOX:project(select=('parent',"person",X),father) part is specified using textual input.

In general, the purpose of the heterogeneous user interface is to support such conjunctive queries where parts of the the query can be expressed using different forms of input. In the long run, we expect HERMES to support a wide variety forms of inputs (e.g. voice, SQL, logic, point and click menus, graphical inputs, etc.), but for now, the system supports logic queries, point and click pulldown menu-based queries, and limited graphical inputs.

[ Top ] [ Previous Section ] [ Next Section ]

Click here to go back to the Hermes homepage .

Web Accessibility