Providing public access to information in complex and weakly structures domains: a 3-layered model for hypermedia information systems
Advice systems are defined as information systems which present users with both information and more subjective expert advice about complex and weakly structures domains. This paper presents a Generic Advice System Architecture (GASA) to assist in developing such systems. It describes how the architecture was used in developing the SPIRE system, whose aim is to provide advice and information which will assist the integration of students with disabilities into higher education. The paper discusses the way in which GASA addresses key issues in the development of hypermedia advice systems including the need to make such systems available to users with little training and limited knowledge of the domain; the requirement to support diverse information exploration strategies; the provision of purely 'point and select' access; and the minimisation of user disoriientation and cognitive overhead.