Towards standardisation of user models for simulation and adaptation purposes
The use of user models can be very valuable when trying to develop accessible and ergonomic products and services taking into account users specific needs and preferences. Simulation of userproduct interaction using user models may reveal accessibility issues at the early stages of design and development, and this results to a significant reduction in costs and development time. Moreover, user models can be used in adaptive interfaces enabling the personalised customisation of user interfaces that enhances the accessibility and usability of products and services. This paper presents the efforts of the Virtual User Modelling and Simulation Standardisation VUMS cluster of projects towards the development of an interoperable user model, able to describe both able-bodied and people with various kinds of disabilities. The VUMS cluster is consisted by the VERITAS, MyUI, GUIDE, and VICON FP7 European projects, all involved in user modelling from different perspectives. The main goal of the VUMS cluster was the development of a unified user model that could be used by all the participant projects and that could be the basis of a new user model standard. Currently, within the VUMS cluster, a common user model has been defined and converters that enable the transformation from each projects specific user model to the VUMS user model and vice versa have been developed enabling, thus, the exchange of user models between the projects.