Echoes from space: Grouping commands with large-scale telemetry data

Alexander Lattas, Diomidis Spinellis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: As evolving desktop applications continuously accrue new features and grow more complex with denser user interfaces and deeply-nested commands, it becomes inefficient to use simple heuristic processes for grouping gui commands in multi-level menus. Existing search-based software engineering studies on user performance prediction and command grouping optimization lack evidence-based answers on choosing a systematic grouping method. Research Questions: We investigate the scope of command grouping optimization methods to reduce a user's average task completion time and improve their relative performance, as well as the benefit of using detailed interaction logs compared to sampling. Method: We introduce seven grouping methods and compare their performance based on extensive telemetry data, collected from program runs of a cad application. Results: We find that methods using global frequencies, user-specific frequencies, deterministic and stochastic optimization, and clustering perform the best. Conclusions: We reduce the average user task completion time by more than 17%, by running a Knapsack Problem algorithm on clustered users, training only on a small sample of the available data. We show that with most methods using just a 1% sample of the data is enough to obtain nearly the same results as those obtained from all the data. Additionally, we map the methods to specific problems and applications where they would perform better. Overall, we provide a guide on how practitioners can use search-based software engineering techniques when grouping commands in menus and interfaces, to maximize users' task execution efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 2018 ACM/IEEE 40th International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationSoftware Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018
PublisherIEEE
Pages105-114
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356596
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event40th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018 - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 27 May 20181 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
ISSN (Print)0270-5257

Conference

Conference40th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018
CountrySweden
CityGothenburg
Period27/05/181/06/18

Keywords

  • Command grouping
  • GUI optimization
  • Menu layout
  • Sampling
  • Telemetry

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