Domingue, John; Martins, Maria; Tan, Jaicheng; Stutt, Arthur and Pertusson, Helgi
Alice: assisting online shoppers through ontologies and novel interface metaphors.
In: Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management: Ontologies and the Semantic Web (Gómez-Pérez, Asunción and Benjamins, V. Richard eds.), Lecture notes in computer science, Springer, Berlin, pp. 53–61.
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In this paper we describe some results of the Alice project. Alice is an ontology based e-commerce project which aims to support online users in the task of shopping. Ontologies describing customers, products, typical shopping tasks and the external context form the basis for the Alice architecture. We also exploit two novel interface metaphors originally developed for navigating databases: the Guides metaphor and Dynamic Queries. The Guides metaphor was developed at Apple to reduce the cognitive load on learners navigating a large hypermedia database. Within Alice we use the Guides metaphor to allow online shoppers to classify themselves. We discuss the link between Alice Guides and Kozinetï¿½s notion of e-tribes or Virtual Communities of Consumption. Our second interface metaphor Dynamic Queries (coupled with Starfield displays) allow users to very quickly find relevant items by displaying the results of queries, posed via specialised slider widgets, within 100 milliseconds. We have constructed a tool, Quiver, which constructs Dynamic Query interfaces on-the-fly as the result of queries to knowledge models stored on the Alice server.
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