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Generating Data for Pattern Identification

We began by collecting design principles and guidelines from the literature [4,3,8,12,13,16,17]. To limit the scope of the experiment we decided to use a subset of these principles, specifically Brown's collection of about 250 guidelines [5]. This collection was chosen because of its size and completeness. Each principle from this collection was placed on an index card. These cards were then grouped and regrouped, in an effort to co-locate principles that seemed related. If a principle seemed related to two groups, an evaluation of the groups was made, with one of three possible outcomes:

  1. the groups were merged,
  2. the principle was placed in both groups,
  3. the principle was found to be more closely related to one of the groups, and was placed in that group.
Initially the groups created were based on what can be called visible surface structures such as punctuation, color coding, order, grouping, commands. As the groups were studied and reorganized, the groups that was created tend toward more conceptual relationships.

Michael Spring
Mon Nov 27 18:39:52 EST 1995