First page of the paper

Nowadays, several interfaces for End-User Development (EUD) like IFTTT empower end users to jointly program the behavior of their smart devices and online services, typically through trigger-action rules. Despite their popularity, such interfaces often expose too much functionality and force the user to search among a large number of supported technologies disposed of confused grid menus. Consequently, users without technical skills may find these systems complex to be used and not useful.

Many previous works tried to mitigate such a complexity in different ways, e.g., by changing the underlying representations or by exploring new composition paradigms.

The paper EUDoptimizer: Assisting End Users in Composing IF-THEN Rules Through Optimization, to appear in the IEEE Access journal, explore a different approach by presenting EUDoptimizer, an optimization tool for EUD interfaces. Rather than acting on representations or composition paradigms, EUDoptimizer adopt an optimizer in the loop to interactively assist end users in composing IF-THEN rules. The goal, in particular, is to dynamically redesign grid layouts in EUD interfaces in an interactive way, i.e., by considering the choices made by end users during the rule composition phase. EUDoptimizer exploits a novel predictive model able to characterize the composition of trigger-action rules on the basis of their semantic and functionality similarities. It has been implemented on top of IFTTT, and it has been evaluated though an empirical evaluation with 12 end users. Results show evidence that EUDoptimizer reduces the efforts needed to compose trigger-action rules.

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