A User-friendly Interface for a Lightweight Verification System
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Citation (published version)Lapets, Andrei; Kfoury, Assaf. "A User-friendly Interface for a Lightweight Verification System", Technical Report BUCS-TR-2010-011, Computer Science Department, Boston University, May 14, 2010. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/3790]
User-friendly interfaces can play an important role in bringing the benefits of a machine-readable representation of formal arguments to a wider audience. The "aartifact" system is an easy-to-use lightweight verifier for formal arguments that involve logical and algebraic manipulations of common mathematical concepts. The system provides validation capabilities by utilizing a database of propositions governing common mathematical concepts. The "aartifact" system's multi-faceted interactive user interface combines several approaches to user-friendly interface design: (1) a familiar and natural syntax based on existing conventions in mathematical practice, (2) a real-time keyword-based lookup mechanism for interactive, context-sensitive discovery of the syntactic idioms and semantic concepts found in the system's database of propositions, and (3) immediate validation feedback in the form of reformatted raw input. The system's natural syntax and database of propositions allow it to meet a user's expectations in the formal reasoning scenarios for which it is intended. The real-time keyword-based lookup mechanism and validation feedback allow the system to teach the user about its capabilities and limitations in an immediate, interactive, and context-aware manner.