A user interface metaphor for distributed systems

Kiwamu Sato*, Norio Shiratori, Hiroshi Nunokawa, Takashi Kusumi, Syoichi Noguchi

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper aims at the construction of a user interface that provides a metaphor for utilizing a large-scale and complex system such as a distributed system. The engineering and cognitive analysis of the distributed system is presented from the viewpoint of the user. A cognitive engineering model for the metaphor is proposed as a technique to design a metaphor satisfying the following conditions for the large and complex system: (1) representation with consistency that can describe all scenes and functions of the distributed system; (2) flexibility such as expandability and dynamic representation; (3) engineering adaptability to the existing services on the distributed system. A user interface (UI) metaphor model with three metaphor mappings is proposed based on the concepts of metaphor mapping and the structurization. UI based on the proposed model is actually implemented on the distributed system, and the role of the metaphor in the distributed system interpretation is evaluated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)82-92
    Number of pages11
    JournalElectronics and Communications in Japan, Part III: Fundamental Electronic Science (English translation of Denshi Tsushin Gakkai Ronbunshi)
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 1997 Nov


    • Distributed system
    • Graphical user interface
    • Human interface
    • Metaphor

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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