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Taxonomy-Driven Prototyping of Home Automation Applications : a Novice-Programmer Visual Language and its Evaluation

Zoé Drey 1 Charles Consel 1, 2
1 Phoenix - Programming Language Technology For Communication Services
LaBRI - Laboratoire Bordelais de Recherche en Informatique, Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest, EA4136 - Handicap et système nerveux :Action, communication, interaction: rétablissement de la fonction et de la participation [Bordeaux]
Abstract : Home automation environments are dedicated to helping users in their everyday life and are being deployed in an increasing number of areas, including home security, energy consumption, and assisted living. The range of situations to be addressed makes the development of home automation applications challenging: it requires to manage hetero- geneous entities with a wide variety of functionalities. Moreover, since this area covers a large spectrum of user needs, it is crucial to ease the development and the evolution of these applications. This paper presents Pantagruel, an expressive and accessible approach to integrating a taxonomical description of a home automation environment into a visual programming language. A taxonomy describes the relevant entities of a given home automation area and serves as a parameter to a sensor-controller-actuator development paradigm. The orchestration of area-specific entities is supported by high-level constructs, customized with respect to taxonomical information. We have implemented a visual environment that integrates a taxonomical approach in the development of orchestration rules. Furthermore, we have developed a compiler for Pantagruel and successfully used it to test applications in various areas related to orchestration development for the domain of home automation. Finally, we have successfully evaluated the usability of Pantagruel through a user study performed with eighteen novice programmers.
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Zoé Drey, Charles Consel. Taxonomy-Driven Prototyping of Home Automation Applications : a Novice-Programmer Visual Language and its Evaluation. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, Elsevier, 2012, Journal of Visual Languages & Computing, 23 (6), ⟨10.1016/j.jvlc.2012.07.002⟩. ⟨hal-00718943⟩



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