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Automated Diagnosis of Usability Problems Using Statistical Computational…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
12 GILL STREET STE 1400 WOBURN, MA 01801-1753
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Automated Diagnosis of Usability Problems Using Statistical Computational Methods
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9550-04-C-0053
Award Amount: $523,000.00


Poorly designed software and hardware systems are inconvenient at best; at worst, they are deadly. Usability evaluation techniques are designed to detect the potential for disasters and inefficiencies in poorly designed software. However, usability analyses are prone to failure due to conflicting usability frameworks, incomplete usability reports, and inadequate analysis tools. Aptima and the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (UMass Amherst) have partnered to develop AutoDiag, an Automated Diagnosis System of Usability Problem Reports, and bundle it with a digital video screen capture application and a data logging application. Aptima will integrate these to create UPDATE, a Usability Problem Data Analysis Technology. The system will consist of an interface to elicit better usability reports, a text analysis engine that classifies these reports (or existing usability reports), and an analysis interface for diagnosing usability faults and identifying trends. The proposed effort builds on Phase I progress, which includes: development of a usability taxonomy by practicing usability professionals, application of that taxonomy to usability reports, competitive evaluation of text classifiers, and conceptual design of UPDATE. The proposed team consists of Aptima, a leading human-centered engineering firm, and the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval, the pre-eminent laboratory for text classification research.

Principal Investigator:

Jared Freeman
Principal Cognitive Scientist

Business Contact:

Margaret J. Clancy
Chief Financial Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

12 Gill Street, Suite 1400 Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043281859
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Massachusetts
Office of Contract Admin, 408 Goodell, 140 Hicks W
Amherst, MA 01003
Contact: Carol P. Sprague
Contact Phone: (413) 545-0698
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university