Helping Everyday Users Establish Confidence for Everyday Applications

Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

End users obtain their desired results by combining elements of information and computation from different applications. Software engineering provides little support for identifying, selecting, or combining these elements – that is, for helping end users to design computational support for their own tasks. Software engineering provides even less support to help end users to decide whether the resulting system is sufficiently dependable –whether it will meet their expectations. Many users, especially end users, base judgments about software on informal and undependable information, and they draw conclusions with informal rather than rational decision methods. We have been developing support for everyday dependability, with an emphasis on expressing expectations in abstractions familiar to the user and on obtaining software behavior that reasonably satisfies those expectations. In this Dagstuhl I would like to explore the differences between everyday informal reasoning and the rational processes of computer science in order to develop means for establishing credible indications of confidence for end users.