Publication statistics

Pub. period:1983-2009
Pub. count:23
Number of co-authors:34


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Quintus Jett:
Sherif Jitan:
David Koizumi:



Productive colleagues

Scott P. Robertson's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

John M. Carroll:209
Mary Beth Rosson:142
Bonnie A. Nardi:67

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Scott P. Robertson


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Has also published under the name of:
"Scott Robertson"

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Current place of employment:
University of Hawaii

Dr. Scott Robertson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His general research area is human-computer interaction (HCI) and his most recent work has been in the areas of Digital Government, e-Democracy, and e-Participation.

Dr. Robertson has served as an invited participant and speaker on electronic voting and digital government for the Computer Science and Telecommunication Board of the National Academy of Sciences(see A Framework for Understanding Electronic Voting)and the Scientific Freedom, Responsibility, and Law Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science(see Workshop on Developing a Research Agenda for Electronic Voting Technologies).

Dr. Robertson is Director of HI'CHI, the Hawaii Computer-Human Interaction Lab. He is currently the Principal Investigator for Digital Deliberation: Searching and Deciding About How to Vote,a three-year project funded by the Information and Intelligent Systems Division of the National Science Foundation(award # IIS-0535036).

Dr. Robertson received his B.A. in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine,his M.A. in Cognitive Psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Cognitive Science from Yale University. Dr. Robertson has also worked as a researcher in the computing and telecommunications industries where he focused on collaboration and knowledge management technologies.


Publications by Scott P. Robertson (bibliography)

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Vatrapu, Ravi K. and Robertson, Scott P. (2009): Information foraging in E-voting. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 3799-3804.

In this paper, we present a case study of human-information interaction in the online realm of politics. The case study consists of a participant observed while searching and browsing the internet for campaign information in a mock-voting situation while taking notes that were to be shared with others. Interaction analysis of the case study data consisted of applying Information Foraging Theory to understand participant specific behaviors in searching and browsing. Case study results show skewed time allocation to activities, a tradeoff between enrichment vs. exploitation of search results, and issues with lack of scent, low value perception, and value depletion of information. Potential implications for voter-centered design of e-voting portals are discussed and future work is outlined.

© All rights reserved Vatrapu and Robertson and/or ACM Press

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Robertson, Scott P., Vatrapu, Ravi K. and Abraham, George (2009): Note Taking and Note Sharing While Browsing Campaign Information. In: HICSS 2009 - 42st Hawaii International International Conference on Systems Science 5-8 January, 2009, Waikoloa, Big Island, HI, USA. pp. 1-10.

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Robertson, Scott P., Wania, Christine E., Abraham, George and Park, Sang Joon (2008): Drop-Down Democracy: Internet Portal Design Influences Voters' Search Strategies. In: HICSS 2008 - 41st Hawaii International International Conference on Systems Science 7-10 January, 2008, Waikoloa, Big Island, HI, USA. p. 191.

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Robertson, Scott P., Wania, Christine E. and Park, Sang Joon (2007): An Observational Study of Voters on the Internet. In: HICSS 2007 - 40th Hawaii International International Conference on Systems Science 3-6 January, 2007, Waikoloa, Big Island, HI, USA. p. 90.

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Robertson, Scott P. (2006): Digital deliberation: searching and deciding about how to vote. In: Fortes, Jos A. B. and MacIntosh, Ann (eds.) DG.O 2006 - Proceedings of the 7th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research May 21-24, 2006, San Diego, California, USA. pp. 195-196.

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Robertson, Scott P., Achananuparp, Palakorn, Goldman, James L., Park, Sang Joon, Zhou, Nan and Clare, Matthew J. (2005): Voting and political information gathering on paper and online. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2005. pp. 1753-1756.

Electronic voting is slowly making its way into American politics. At the same time, more voters and potential voters are using online news and political information sources to help them make voting choices. We conducted a mock-voting study, using real candidates, issues, and campaign materials. Political information was browsed either online or on paper, and participants marked electronic ballots either while they browsed or later, in a separate step. Our initial data shows that voters prefer electronic browsing although they are no faster or slower with paper materials. Voters felt that they understood the issues best when they voted during browsing, and they felt most confident about their decisions when they studied electronic campaign materials alongside an active electronic ballot.

© All rights reserved Robertson et al. and/or ACM Press

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Carpenter, Keri, Nardi, Bonnie A., Moore, James, Robertson, Scott P., Drezner, Daniel, Benson, Ian, Foot, Kirsten and Jett, Quintus (2004): Online political organizing: lessons from the field. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW04 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2004. pp. 59-62.

In this panel, a group of practitioners and researchers in the area of online political organizing will present their own research in this area and discuss the relevance of online political organizing to the current political scene - including the U.S. general presidential election, which has just been completed. Panelists come from across the political spectrum and also represent views of the political process in countries other than the United States. What are the tools used in online political organizing? What role do each of these new tools bring to the campaign/election process? How effective have they proven in this election cycle? What is their utility outside the scope of the presidential election cycle? Are they merely "teaser" tools to get people in the door or do they have the potential to facilitate lasting political change in all political arenas large and small? In addition, electronic voting is a current open research area. What do systems need to take into account to assure voters' confidence that their votes are being collected and tallied correctly and securely? What information needs to be presented to the voter at the time of polling to ensure the most effective voting systems available? What do we know at this point and where are the future research areas that need scrutiny? Each panelist will present their current research related to this area and comment on the ways in which their findings add to the current body of knowledge. Particular attention will be paid to articulating research streams that currently need to be addressed and positing methods to address these open research questions.

© All rights reserved Carpenter et al. and/or ACM Press

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Robertson, Scott P. (2000): The Digital City's Public Library: Support for Community Building and Knowledge Sharing. In: Ishida, Toru and Isbister, Katherine (eds.) Digital Cities - Technologies Experiences and Future Perspectives September, 2000, Kyoto, Japan. pp. 246-260.

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Robertson, Scott P. and Reese, Kathy (1999): A Virtual Library for Building Community and Sharing Knowledge. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 51 (3) pp. 663-685.

Libraries are hubs for social and intellectual interactions in communities and organizations. Virtual libraries should serve the same purpose, yet virtual libraries often focus simply on making their holdings available. In this article an on-line corporate library is described that places knowledge sharing and community building at the core of its design. The library system supports personal websites that are visible to the entire organization. Personal topic profiles for library research services, information services choice and collaborative research requests provide employees with views of each others' activities and interests. In particular, information about research questions being asked across all parts of the organization provides a unique window on the company's goals and activities. Collaboration and interest-matching tools help employees to share knowledge across the organization and to form special interest communities.

© All rights reserved Robertson and and/or Academic Press

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Robertson, Scott P., Jitan, Sherif and Reese, Kathy (1997): Web-Based Collaborative Library Research. In: DL97: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries 1997. pp. 152-160.

The U S WEST Research&Information Group, the corporate research library, has recently moved many of its resources and services to the company's intranet. Principle among the group's functions is conducting information searches and research analyses for employees. This paper describes a web-based system that employees can use to interact with library researchers. The system also automates tracking of research service usage and indexing and archiving of research requests and actions. Library clients initiate research requests using a personal web page. Each request generates its own web page on which interaction between client and researcher takes place. Researchers and clients can post comments, record actions, use e-mail, and upload and download files through the request web page. When the interaction is over, the client may record an evaluation using the same web page and all actions are saved for administrative purposes. Research interactions are maintained in a searchable archive which can be viewed by all employees.

© All rights reserved Robertson et al. and/or ACM Press

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Robertson, Scott P., Wharton, Cathleen, Ashworth, Catherine and Franzke, Marita (1996): Dual Device User Interface Design: PDAs and Interactive Television. In: Tauber, Michael J., Bellotti, Victoria, Jeffries, Robin, Mackinlay, Jock D. and Nielsen, Jakob (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 96 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 14-18, 1996, Vancouver, Canada. pp. 79-86.

Computing environments which involve many interacting devices are a challenge for system and user interface designers. A prototype of a multiple-device application consisting of a personal digital assistant (PDA) that operates in conjunction with interactive television (ITV) was developed from user requirements for a real estate information service. The application is used both as a stand-alone service and in conjunction with a television. Users interact exclusively with the PDA. The television responds to PDA output and is used for the presentation of visual images and videos. In this paper the application is described and user interface design issues that arise in the context of multiple device systems are discussed.

© All rights reserved Robertson et al. and/or ACM Press

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Carroll, John M., Mack, Robert L., Robertson, Scott P. and Rosson, Mary Beth (1994): Binding Objects to Scenarios of Use. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 41 (1) pp. 243-276.

Scenarios are a natural and effective medium for thinking in general and for design in particular. Our work seeks to develop a potential unification between recent scenario-oriented work in object-oriented analysis/design methods and scenario-oriented work in the analysis/design of human-computer interaction. We illustrate this perspective by showing: (1) how scenario questioning can be used to systematically interrogate the knowledge and practices of potential users, and thereby to create object-oriented analysis models that are psychologically valid; (2) how depicting an individual object's point-of-view can serve as a pedagogical scaffold to help students of object-oriented analysis see how to identify and assign object responsibilities in creating a problem domain model; and (3) how usage scenarios can be employed to motivate and coordinate the design implementation, refactoring and reuse of object-oriented software.

© All rights reserved Carroll et al. and/or Academic Press

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Robertson, Scott P. (1994): TSUNAMI: Simultaneous Understanding, Answering, and Memory Interaction for Questions. In Cognitive Science, 18 (1) pp. 51-85.

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Robertson, Scott P., Olson, Gary M. and Olson, Judith S. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 91 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 28 - June 5, 1991, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Koenemann, Jurgen and Robertson, Scott P. (1991): Expert Problem Solving Strategies for Program Comprehension. In: Robertson, Scott P., Olson, Gary M. and Olson, Judith S. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 91 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 28 - June 5, 1991, New Orleans, Louisiana. pp. 125-130.

Program comprehension is a complex problem solving process. We report on an experiment that studies expert programmers' comprehension behavior in the context of modifying a complex PASCAL program. Our data suggests that program comprehension is best understood as a goal-oriented, hypotheses-driven problem-solving process. Programmers follow a pragmatic as-needed rather than a systematic strategy, they restrict their understanding to those parts of a program they find relevant for a given task, and they use bottom-up comprehension only for directly relevant code and in cases of missing, insufficient, or failing hypotheses. These findings have important consequences for the design of cognitively adequate computer-aided software engineering tools.

© All rights reserved Koenemann and Robertson and/or ACM Press

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Koenemann-Belliveau, Jurgen, Moher, Thomas G. and Robertson, Scott P. (eds.) Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Workshop on Empirical Studies of Programmers 1991, Norwood, New Jersey, USA.

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Riecken, R. Douglas, Koenemann-Belliveau, Jurgen and Robertson, Scott P. (1991): What Do Expert Programmers Communicate by Means of Descriptive Commenting?. In: Koenemann-Belliveau, Jurgen, Moher, Thomas G. and Robertson, Scott P. (eds.) Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Workshop on Empirical Studies of Programmers 1991, Norwood, New Jersey, USA. pp. 177-195.

When generating source code, programmers are required to communicate a set of tasks to be performed such that they are interpreted correctly by both a computer and other programmers. We report a study in which expert programmers improved the clarity of a program in an attempt to communicate specific program knowledge to novice programmers. We examined descriptive commenting and addition of white space as methods of communication applied by experts. We discuss plausible factors which motivate the use of these different methods of communication. The results of this study provide insight by which to improve code-based communication between expert and novice programmers.

© All rights reserved Riecken et al. and/or Ablex Publishing

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Robertson, Scott P. and Yu, Chiung-Chen (1990): Common Cognitive Representations of Program Code Across Tasks and Languages. In International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 33 (3) pp. 343-360.

Plans are underlying cognitive structures used by programmers to represent code. In two studies we examined the content of plan-based representations and sought to show that common representations are used for programs that instantiate the same plans, even when they perform different tasks and are written in different languages (Pascal or FORTRAN). Our results support plan-based models and show that the organizing structures for chunks of code are abstract programming goals. The same abstract structures are formed for programs that perform different tasks using the same plans and for programs written in different languages but using the same plans. While plans were the primary organizing structures for code representations, other task-related information also played a role suggesting that programmers really utilize multiple representations. We advocate viewing code comprehension more like a plan recognition process and less like a text comprehension process.

© All rights reserved Robertson and Yu and/or Academic Press

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Robertson, Scott P. and Davis, Erle F. (1990): Program Comprehension Beyond the Line. In: Diaper, Dan, Gilmore, David J., Cockton, Gilbert and Shackel, Brian (eds.) INTERACT 90 - 3rd IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction August 27-31, 1990, Cambridge, UK. pp. 959-963.

Comprehension of computer program code has often been compared with text comprehension. We argue, though, that the requirements of code comprehension make it more of a problem-solving task that happens to use text-like material. We present data on search patterns and reading times in code comprehension that support this view. Specifically, we found that programmers examine code in repeated cycles that cover functionally relevant units. We suggest some problem-solving goals that guide search through code and show that line scanning times vary with hypothesized problem-solving activities. In a direct comparison of programmers reading isolated lines versus lines in the context of program comprehension we show that a simple model of microstructure parsing predicts reading times better for isolated lines than for lines in the context of a program.

© All rights reserved Robertson and Davis and/or North-Holland

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Yu, Chiung-Chen and Robertson, Scott P. (1988): Plan-Based Representations of Pascal and Fortran Code. In: Soloway, Elliot, Frye, Douglas and Sheppard, Sylvia B. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 88 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference June 15-19, 1988, Washington, DC, USA. pp. 251-256.

The first step in program modification is comprehension. Several researchers argue that programmers utilize plan-based representations when composing or comprehending code. In this study we tested the psychological validity of this proposal and examined the nature of plan-based program representations. Experienced programmers were asked to segment code and sort programs. The segmenting data showed that programmers agree on the major components of a program and that these components are defined by goals in a plan representation. Pascal and FORTRAN programs that employ the same plan structure were segmented into similar components. Program sorting data also showed clustering into plan groups. However task related dimensions are also important parts of program representations.

© All rights reserved Yu and Robertson and/or ACM Press

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Robertson, Scott P., Koizumi, David and Marsella, Stacy C. (1988): Constraints on Training: Informativeness and Breadth in Procedural Skill Learning. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 32nd Annual Meeting 1988. pp. 377-380.

Three training methods were compared in a computer text editing situation. Training varied on the degree of constraint imposed on the behavior of learners. For complex methods, completely constrained and completely unconstrained training situations led to worse test performance than an unconstrained training condition in which subjects were informed about their compliance with a method and allowed to reset the system at will. The results argue against a strict "training wheels" approach to learning environments but support the general notion of "guided exploration," especially for complex methods.

© All rights reserved Robertson et al. and/or Human Factors Society

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Robertson, Scott P. and Black, John B. (1986): Structure and Development of Plans in Computer Text Editing. In Human-Computer Interaction, 2 (3) pp. 201-226.

When people learn such a complex skill as computer text editing they are learning a set of goals and the plans for accomplishing those goals. In this experiment we examined the structure and development of simple text-editing goals and plans. Long interkeystroke times were found to be associated with plan boundaries. The longest times were found between keystrokes separating superordinate goals, whereas less significant time increases appeared between keystrokes at subgoal boundaries. Changes in the patterns of interkeystroke times showed plan restructuring with experience.

© All rights reserved Robertson and Black and/or Taylor and Francis

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Robertson, Scott P. and Black, John B. (1983): Planning Units in Text Editing Behavior. In: Smith, Raoul N., Pew, Richard W. and Janda, Ann (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 83 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conferenc December 12-15, 1983, Boston, Massachusetts, United States. pp. 217-221.

The organization of text editing behavior can be characterized by graph structures containing goals, subgoals, goal outcomes, and actions. Here we propose a model to represent the goals and plans of text editor users based on goal-fate analysis (Schank&Abelson, 1977). The representation captures relationships between a user's multiple goals and shows how errors can result from badly formed plans. We discuss some data from a psychological experiment which supports the hypothesis that text editing behavior is chunked into distinct plan units. The cognitive components of pause times between keystrokes were revealed by statistically removing the physical time required between keystrokes. Finally, we suggest how a system which builds goal-fate graphs from keystroke input might be useful in providing specific help information that is keyed to a user's intentions.

© All rights reserved Robertson and Black and/or ACM Press

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