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Sixth International Conference on User Modeling
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Do We Know What the User Knows, and Does It Matter? The Epistemics of User Modelling

by Michael Ramscar, Helen Pain, and John Lee

In Anthony Jameson, CÚcile Paris, and Carlo Tasso (Eds.) User Modeling: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference, UM97 (pp. 429-431). Vienna, New York: Springer Wien New York, 1997.


Whilst many user models can function perfectly adequately with a behavioural impression of the user, the provision of assistance in some task domains, notably design, requires a richer understanding, incorporating information about the user's knowledge and beliefs. This raises a number of important and difficult questions: How can we know what the user knows, and how can we know that we know? We present evidence that the psychological view of human conceptual knowledge that underpins typical approaches to these questions is flawed. We argue that user knowledge can be modelled, up to a point, but that to ask whether or not we can know what the user knows is to misunderstand the question.

Authors' addresses as of June 1997

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BibTeX Entry

@STRING{UM97title = {User Modeling: Proceedings of the {Sixth International
                     Conference, UM97}}}
@STRING{UM97editor = {Anthony Jameson and C\'{e}cile Paris and Carlo Tasso}}
@STRING{UM97address = {Vienna, New York}}
@STRING{UM97publisher = {Springer Wien New York}}
@STRING{UM97note = {Available from http://um.org}}
 AUTHOR = {Ramscar, Michael and Pain, Helen and Lee, John},
 YEAR = 1997,
 TITLE = {Do We Know What the User Knows, and Does It Matter? 
 {T}he Epistemics of User Modelling},
 PAGES = {429-431},
 BOOKTITLE = UM97title,
 EDITOR = UM97editor,
 ADDRESS = UM97address,
 PUBLISHER = UM97publisher,
 NOTE = UM97note}

Proceedings Overview Table of Contents Reader's Guide