Title: Rule authoring for vehicle configuration management: an experimental study on graph-based representations

Authors: Keith T. Phelan; Joshua D. Summers; Mary E. Kurz

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921, USA ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921, USA ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to determine whether the implementation of a visual rule authoring mechanism would increase the accuracy and/or consistency of the rules being implemented by conducting a user study. The researchers hypothesised that using the visual method for implementing rules would result in a higher degree of accuracy and consistency among the participants. However, the results showed a decrease in the response accuracy for implementing all of the rules in the system. This is likely due in part to the graphical representation method requiring more training than the standard text-based rule implementation method. The most significant limitation in this study was the difference in familiarity of the participants with their respective rule implementation systems. As a result of this limitation, an additional study was conducted in which a third group of participants were given the same questions, but were provided the visualisations with an extended (five-minute) training period. The results from the third group closely matched the results from the control group that used the spreadsheet-based method. Another major limitation is that both groups of participants implemented the changes by hand rather than through the use of a graphical user interface (GUI) software module, which is how the graphical method could be conducted in a real environment.

Keywords: graph visualisation; configuration management; user interfaces; change management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2019.103633

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2019 Vol.5 No.2, pp.130 - 146

Received: 06 Jul 2017
Accepted: 06 Mar 2018

Published online: 18 Nov 2019 *

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