Evaluating Different Modeling Languages Based on a User Study

Kossow, Christina and Helms, Tobias and Kreutzer, Jan M. and Martens, Alke and Uhrmacher, Adelinde M. (2016) Evaluating Different Modeling Languages Based on a User Study. In: 49th Annual Simulation Symposium (ANNS 2016), 3-6 Apr 2016, Pasadena, CA, USA. Proceedings, published by Society for Computer Simulation International, San Diego, CA, USA, 18:1-18:8.

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Official URL: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2962392


A multitude of modeling languages for simulation exists, which differ in their formal expressiveness, but also in their usability. However, to improve the practical use of a modeling language its relation to the cognitive processes of the user are often of equal interest, i.e., the learnability of a modeling language or its closeness of mapping to the modeled system. To provide empirical evidence that differences in the usability of modeling languages exist, a careful design, execution and evaluation of user studies are required. Moreover, specific criteria and instruments are needed to measure the usability. The main focus of such a user study is the identification of advantages and disadvantages of a modeling language in practical use. Here, we document first steps towards this goal, including a set of criteria, a prototypical tool that supports executing these kind of studies, a user study as a test trial, and lessons learned.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Usability; cognitive dimensions framework; usability evaluation methods
Projects: ESCeMMo