Linear System Analyzer User Interface
The LSA is designed to present a
multilevel and flexible user interface.
Because the LSA is intended for a variety of users, the
its design is critical. Information must be supplied
in a natural and helpful way, without irritating or getting in
the way of expert users.
The Manager Panel
On startup, the LSA opens a graphical Java window showing the
It has three major components: the Header Panel,
the Module Selector Panel, and the Module Graph Panel.
The Header Panel.
The Header Panel displays a row of buttons for general LSA
control. One button starts up the NewSystem module for system
input. Others are for killing the LSA, killing and deleting
modules in the Graph Panel, and saving the state of the LSA.
The Module Selector Panel
The Module Selector Panel shows the available modules, in
three columns corresponding to the three generic types of
modules (Info, Filter, Solver). Clicking on one causes
Multiple modules can be fired up as fast as the user can
select them. This can be useful in the situation when the
user wants to reconstruct an earlier session or when the user
wants several modules to start out with. Since instantiation of
modules requires starting a process on a possibly remote machine,
clicking on several lets them get started running, after which
the user can start connecting them in the desired way.
- a drop-down menu of available machines to appear, from which
the machine to run the module is selected
- an icon for the module to appear in the Module Graph Panel.
The Module Graph Panel
The Module Graph Panel shows the currently running modules with
their connections shown as lines connecting them. Note that
although the set of modules with their connections forms a graph,
for the LSA that graph will always be a forest data structure;
each module will have a unique "parent", the module from which it
gets its input sparse system. Modules
can be dragged with a mouse to rearrange the default pop-up
locations of the modules.
The Information Subsystem
Information is presented primarily through HTML documents
and some graphics files dynamically created by LSA.
Each module can create HTML files showing the typical
summary of that process, and there are modules explicitly
designed to provide analysis and guidance; see the
description of the
Info type module.
Each HTML and graphics file is generated on the machine
where the related module is running. Only when the user
explicitly requests a Summary Results file is it moved from
the (possibly remote) machine to the one where the
Hserver is running.
A save operation in the Header Panel saves a graphic image
of the Graph Panel, with all its instantiated module icons.
All available Summary Results files (described in
modules) are retrieved to the
machine running the server, so later on the image of the Graph
Panel can be used to bring up the Summary Results, with
the Graph Panel image used as a mnemonic device for the earlier-constructed
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Last updated: Tue Jan 26 13:06:07 1999