University of MinhoSchool of Engineering Departament of Computer Science
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Representational Reasoning and Verification
G. J. Doherty, J. Creissac Campos (visit this page for up to date information) & M. D. Harrison

In J. I. Siddiqi, editor(s), Proceedings of the BCS-FACS Workshop: Formal Aspects of the Human ComputerInteraction, SHU Press, pages 193-212. September, 1998.


Formal approaches to the design of interactive systems, such as the principled design approach rely on reasoning about properties of the system at a very high level of abstraction. Such specifications typically provide little scope for reasoning about presentations and the representation of information in the presentation. Theories of distributed cognition place a strong emphasis on the roleof representations in the cognitive process, but it is not clear how such theories can be applied to design. In this paper we show how a formalisation can be used to encapsulate representational aspects, affording us an opportunity to integrate representational reasoning into the design process. We have shown in [3] how properties over the abstract state place requirements on the presentation if the properties are to be valid at the perceptual level, and we have presented a model for such properties. We base our approach on this model, and examine in more detail the issue of verification. Given the widespread consensus that proper tool support is a prerequisite for the adoption of formal techniques, we apply a higher-order logic theorem prover to the analysis.