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Sketching with Conceptual Metaphors to Explain Computational Processes

Summary: Sketching with Conceptual Metaphors to Explain
Computational Processes
David G. Hendry
Information School
University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
To explore how people conceptualize a complex system,
232 university students were asked to sketch how a search
engine works. While the sketches reveal a diverse range of
visual and conceptual approaches, a subset of the sketches
exhibit an underlying regularity for describing algorithmic
processes. To explain this regularity, I propose the
conceptual metaphor: A SEARCH ENGINE IS A SERIES OF TEXT
TRANSFORMATIONS and describe a set of mappings from
sketchable graphic markings to abstractions in the search
engine domain. I believe that this metaphor can be applied
to enable people to more effectively conceptualize,
describe, and explore complex systems.
1. Introduction


Source: Anderson, Richard - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences