and Information Management Software
Product Description of October 1987
Copyright (c) PANGARO Incorporated 1985 - 1987. All
This document was written originally as a "marketing
brochure" for the THOUGHTSTICKER software system in 1985
and is reproduced here unchanged (except for the vagaries of
OCR conversion from paper). As such it is long on overview and
short on technical detail. The original system was designed and
developed under a series of research
contracts, and this write-up was an attempt to find additional
customers for the software (see the 2nd-to-last
paragraph of this introduction for the denouement). The original
write-up included 1024 x 900 resolution screen shots of the user
interface for authoring and browsing (a term we used liberally
in 1985). These screen shots are not easily read via the Web
(or quickly loaded), and hence are available as links. Apologies
for their mixed visual quality. There is also a video available.
In 1985 THOUGHTSTICKER took a minimum of 2 hours to demo for
the average demo-ee. The first hour was spent in showing and
explaining how THOUGHTSTICKER provides features such as hypertext;
multi-media presentations; dynamic, mouse-driven menus that depend
on the state of the system; and mixed-initiative (user- or system-directed)
navigation through a knowledgebase. That part of the presentation
would now take about 15 seconds, the time it takes to say or
read the previous sentence. The second hour of the demo would
be spent in describing the particular knowledgebase structures,
and showing how THOUGHTSTICKER is adaptive to the user in ways
meaningful to the user's interests and learning style. Because
of that personalization, the system provided an early example
of "personal computing" - something which "personal
computers", in practice, do not provide. The approach provided
by the software has yet to be superceded.
Background on the concepts behind THOUGHTSTICKER can be found
in a formal description,
with some redundancy with the prose here. There is also a general
description of the origins and functions in a published
The demo ran on Symbolics AI workstations.
The demo always concluded with our guests asking, "How much
does this computer cost?" On giving the answer, "Around
$100,000", that was it, demo over. This was true for Navy
Admirals, company research directors, vice presidents of research,
and so on. Protests that it could be ported easily, blah, blah,
blah, although valid, were not heeded.
Unchanged since 1987, the demo still provides insights to the
use of a knowledgebase as the mediator in conversations at the
user interface. The degree of personalization to individual users'
learning styles, and the sophistication of the authoring process,
are unsurpassed to my knowledge. THOUGHTSTICKER holds the potential
for education and training (at
least) that is still un-met anywhere else. With the advent
of the World Wide Web, again there is hope for bringing these
ideas to commercial applications.
Introductory THOUGHTSTICKER Screen
THOUGHTSTICKER is an intelligent software system for training
and information management. The system is "intelligent"
in the sense that it mediates between an expert knowledgebase
and a user to provide some of the features of human conversation:
a shared vocabulary, history and context of the dialogue. It
is the most effective system of its kind available on any hardware.
THOUGHTSTICKER has a theoretical basis in cybernetics and learning
theory. It was developed as an enhancement to conventional computer-based
training (CBT) and provides substantial improvements to CBT in:
- Ease of use, for both courseware creation and delivery of
- Management of the courseware creation process
- Sensitivity to individual learning style
- Training efficiency and effectiveness, especially in complex
- Flexibility to encompass Job-aiding and advising, as well
THOUGHTSTICKER requires no previous experience in CBT to learn
and use to its full effectiveness. Its theoretical basis is transparent
The software consists of two independent parts: the means for
creating the knowledgebase (the Authoring Module); and for giving
access to the knowledgebase (the Tutoring Module or Browser).
Both are conceived and implemented as generic solutions that
can be tailored to the specific requirements of the application,
its users, the target hardware and interactive media (including
videodisc, CD-ROM, graphics and sound). THOUGHTSTICKER is attached
easily to existing application software and simulations for a
complete training solution.
A description of the background and features of the software
follows, including by a brief glossary of terms.
2 The THOUGHTSTICKER System
THOUGHTSTICKER Screen explaining
The term THOUGHTSTICKER refers to software based on a cybernetic
approach to the problem of measuring understanding in human conversations
(for example, see Conversation Theory 7 by Gordon Pask, published
by Elsevier, 1976). In the 1970s, THOUGHTSTICKER was developed
as an extension of Pask's studies of the 1950s and 1960s in human
learning and individual conceptual style. These studies culminated
in a comprehensive approach to educational technology (the CASTE
system) that has been widely influential in educational theory
and computer-aided instruction.
The term THOUGHTSTICKER was coined by Pask to mark the maturation
of a general approach to knowledge representation whose elements
reflected cognitive structures. The name itself emphasizes that
in order to converse we must externalize our thoughts into a
tangible form for others. Using a computer as the medium for
this conversation means that thoughts must temporarily take a
static form in the computer, before becoming dynamic again as
they are interpreted by a user. THOUGHTSTICKER models mental
structures with a few simple but powerful constructs that:
- Capture the author's or expert's precise approach to the
subject matter, but still
- Allow the user to learn the subject matter according to his
or her conceptual style.
THOUGHTSTICKER software is the medium for the conversation,
not a participant.
2.2 Modern THOUGHTSTICKER Software
The current THOUGHTSTICKER software was developed originally
by PANGARO Incorporated under research consultancy contracts,
PANGARO Incorporated and its sister company, PANGARO Limited,
were formed in 1982; they perform contracts in the US and UK
for clients such as A T & T, the US Army Research Institute,
Niagara Mohawk Power Company and the UK Admiralty Research Establishment.
THOUGHTSTICKER has been re-written and extended by PANGARO Incorporated
for commercial requirements. Written with all of the power of
modern software environments, THOUGHTSTICKER makes extensive
use of windows, menus and object-oriented programming.
Today's THOUGHTSTICKER is an intelligent software system for
training and information management that represents the most
powerful computer-based training system available.
First Screen to explain Symbolics Zmacs
The power of THOUGHTSTICKER derives from:
- A theoretical basis in cybernetics and learning theory. The
advantages of Conversation Theory as a model for learning have
been supported by experiments in cognitive style. THOUGHTSTICKER
is derived directly from these ideas.
- Evolutionary development in application to complex training
problems, including those with training in the performance of
a task. Extensions for job aiding and expert advising have also
2.3 Existing Applications
Prototype knowledgebases have been constructed in the subjects
of AI and cybernetics, naval strategy, introduction to computer
usage, and word processing.
For the Behavioural Science Division of the UK Admiralty, THOUGHTSTICKER
has been integrated into an Expertise Tutor, consisting of a
naval simulation and expert knowledgebase. The Tutor provides
tactical training as well as basic rules and operations of the
game. This system is effective because it provides the user with
equal access to descriptive knowledge (elements, relations, goals),
prescriptive knowledge (methods, tactics), and the environment
(the simulation itself).
For the US Army Research Institute, a videodisc interface controlled
by THOUGHTSTICKER has been developed to demonstrate training
of a vehicle identification task.
Most recently a prototype training course has been developed
for Symbolics Education Services. (Symbolics, Inc. is the manufacturer
of advanced software engineering and Artificial Intelligence
workstations; the most advanced implementation of THOUGHTSTICKER
runs on this hardware. ) Derived from an introductory, paper-based
workbook, this course presents basic components of the Symbolics
computer, concepts of symbolic processing, and how to use certain
features of the machine such as the editor and command processor.
The learner can immediately practice what is to be learned via
the "hands-on" capability: in the course of learning
about the editor (for example) the editor window is automatically
displayed and commands may be tried step-by-step by the learner
concurrently with their presentation in the training material.
Second Screen to explain Zmacs
Symbolics, Inc. has also contracted for a demonstration to be
developed by PANGARO Incorporated for use in Symbolics Sales
Offices throughout the US. This demonstration will convey marketing
information about the Symbolics environment, its capabilities
and options, and will compare it to other systems. Symbolics
chose THOUGHTSTICKER to demonstrate its powerful features because
THOUGHTSTICKER is the only tool that can easily handle large
quantities of information, and in an intelligent manner: a THOUGHTSTICKER-based
presentation learns about the user as the user learns the material.
This allows for the presentation to be targeted more accurately
to what the user needs to know, avoiding material the user does
not need. Further details on the nature of this quality of THOUGHTSTICKER
can be found in Section 3.
2.4 New Applications
Recently Niagara Mohawk has contracted with PANGARO Incorporated
to tailor THOUGHTSTICKER to its needs in the construction of
nuclear power plants. Under federal regulations, any design changes
must be documented, tracked and Justified as maintaining safety
standards. Given the long time span, the large number of changes
required and the turn-over of employees, the problem is intractable
without computer support. THOUGHTSTICKER was chosen for a number
of reasons, and the details of how it handles the issues are
found in the next section, especially sub-sections 3.3 and 3.4.
THOUGHTSTICKER Mode for training in
In summary, conventional database systems do not provide automatic
management of components such as time-of-entry and user identity
with the sophistication of THOUGHTSTICKER. New entries are compared
to old and possible relations and conflicts are drawn to the
immediate attention of the user. Queries are easily made and
the context of a query maintains a focus for the user. Different
users can specify different approaches, and THOUGHTSTICKER maintains
these differences as well as an individual history, in all cases
choosing specific retrievals based on the combination of these
criteria. The same user can assert a variety of goals and switch
between or combine them at will. Flexibility for different applications
and capability for very large databases are further advantages
This particular example from industry is only one such application.
Because of its basis in cognitive theory, THOUGHTSTICKER can
be used as a vehicle for delivering training or manipulating
a database in any subject matter. THOUGHTSTICKER can be viewed
as a modular and extensible system that is easily configured
to respond to the specific needs of particular applications.
The following are broad areas of suitable application in training:
- Computer-based tasks: training in the use of software applications
programs. THOUGHTSTICKER is particularly suited to applications
where hands-on practice is an important component of training.
Learning programming languages and software development techniques
are excellent applications. Third-party software, such as expert
system shells, computer-aided design systems, financial advisors
and management tools, can also be substantially enhanced by embedded
training based on THOUGHTSTICKER. This can also be extended to
provide expert advice, aiding the user in the proper execution
of the task at a higher level than simple commands and functions.
Systems for maintenance and repair that contain diagnostic aids,
especially for critical situations, are examples where THOUGHTSTICKER
provides exceptional advantages over other training systems.
- Non-computer skills: Management training, sales support,
office procedures and Job responsibilities are all efficiently
learned from THOUGHTSTICKER because of its allowance for heterogeneous
user populations and the directedness with which users can focus
on particular aspects of the training course. Subjects that require
large databases or require sensitivity to the learners' background
are also very suitable, such as English as a second language
Screen: Allowing deeper exploration
depending on skill level
Screen: Still further exploration to
obtain instructions on how to perform a specific command
3 The Strengths of THOUGHTSTICKER
Screen: THOUGHTSTICKER explains
how it moves through its domain
3.1 The User Experience
THOUGHTSTICKER facilitates the user in any training and information
management activities by:
- Allowing a mixed-initiative dialogue so that the user may
either give the system control, or direct the conversation based
on immediate needs (e.g. uncertainty or current goal).
- Producing distinctly different actions and responses for
different individuals, based on the background, purposes, context
and cognitive style of the user.
Thus the user is provided with more focused and efficient
interaction than conventional computer-aided instruction and
information management systems.
These results can be achieved because THOUGHTSTICKER "models
the user" throughout the interaction, creating a history
with each individual that is maintained even across sessions.
Because this user model is the basis of all actions by THOUGHTSTICKER,
the interaction has more of the qualities of human conversation:
context, focus, and shared vocabulary.
Screen: Explore Mode self-explained
The following is a brief comparison of conventional computer-aided
instruction techniques and THOUGHTSTICKER.
The comments about computer-aided instruction can stand as generalizations
across a number of commercial products, because they characterize
a field which is substantially homogeneous. Although specific
features of training packages vary, the instructional model and
the organization of the subject matter does not.
Conventional Computer-Aided Instruction
- Based on concepts of "programmed instruction" developed
in the 1950s and substantially unchanged since then.
- The subject matter is given a pre-ordained sequence in which
it is to be learned; there is no other structure to the material.
- All users are treated identically, and thereby are presumed
to have the same cognitive learning style.
- The author of the subject matter makes assumptions of prior
knowledge of the user; very little variation of material is possible
despite differing backgrounds in the user population.
- Additional questioning by the user is limited or not allowed.
Remedial material is offered to the user upon supposition of
reasons for user's failure and usually from a static model based
on averages or likelihood.
- Based on a cognitive theory of human conversation developed
over the period of 1955 to the present, and affirmed in empirical
- Uses a robust knowledge representation scheme to provide
a true knowledgebase; all conceptual dependencies are represented
in a network structure with no fixed paths.
- Sensitive to an individual's cognitive style, modifying responses
- Sensitive to individual variation in user's prior knowledge
and can be tuned by a variety of user profiles (for example,
naive computer users; experienced computer users but not of this
particular type; users of another particular vendors' hardware
- User is free to ask questions and explore throughout the
knowledgebase at any time. The user helps direct the remedial
dialogue, which is derived from a combination of user's focus,
the structure of the knowledgebase, and the history of the interaction.
The driving force of the interaction is the user's interests
and uncertainties. THOUGHTSTICKER has specific features that
help the user discover these interests and uncertainties, and
then explore or resolve them. By allowing such strong initiative
on the part of the user, THOUGHTSTICKER provides an effective,
efficient and supportive training experience.
3.3 The THOUGHTSTICKER Knowledgebase
Screen: THOUGHTSTICKER briefly
explains its knowledgebase
THOUGHTSTICKER is constructed as a generalized information
management system. Its internal database, called a knowledge
representation or knowledgebase in modern parlance, supplies
a flexible, "relational" format that is suitable for
any subject matter.
Screen: How THOUGHTSTICKER responds
individually to a user's requests
To describe the format briefly: topics are defined and associated
in relations by the author or expert. These objects together
define a network or mesh of "knowledge" and thus determine
the structure of the knowledgebase. There are no pre-defined
types of relation; the author is free to create relations as
desired. THOUGHTSTICKER contains heuristics, many concerned with
the user's purpose and conceptual style, for moving over this
structure. The conditions which determine the action of these
- The User Profile: A preset stereotype of the background of
the trainee. The author pre-determines what classes of users
are expected to interact with THOUGHTSTICKER. For example, these
classes may represent a particular range: novices at a particular
task, individuals with some exposure to comparable tasks, and
experts. The User Profile can be made a default chosen by the
author, or chosen from a descriptive list by the user, or determined
with highest accuracy and detail from a pre-test. Given such
a User Profile for a particular user m the choices THOUGHTSTICKER
makes are more directed to that individual's level. However,
the Profile is only a starting basis and the two mechanisms described
next provide further refinement of THOUGHTSTICKER's actions.
- The User History: A tracking of all actions and results since
the user started, whether at the present session on the machine
or in the user's history. with THOUGHTSTICKER over time. The
history consists of, among other details, a record of terms used
by the user and the system, topics and explanations shown m and
the current context of conversation. This shared history is used
by THOUGHTSTICKER at each moment to choose an explanation or
a new focus of attention. The result is more directed for the
user and hence more efficient and satisfying. The disk requirement
for storing this User History is modest.
- The User Model: A representation of the user's conceptual
learning style. As in the User History, the User Model influences
THOUGHTSTICKER's choices at each moment but by applying criteria
associated with the user's preferred modes of learning. For example,
these may include a preference for examples before general descriptions;
or preference for thoroughly completing current areas of learning
before touching on n* areas; or preference for graphics over
text. The User Model can be configured by the author, the user,
or by the results of a pre-test. It can even be modified on the
fly, provided the user is imposed upon to give feedback on the
effectiveness of explanations. In addition, the User Model may
include the broader components of the user's purpose. Thus THOUGHTSTICKER
can respond differently if the user wishes to learn the entire
subject, or the performance of a specific task, or a single precise
3.4 Aids to Authoring
It is widely reported that the major expense in using computer-aided
instruction is the cost of "authoring" the material,
that is, creating the subject matter that the learner is to see.
Conventional computer-aided instruction provides basic utilities
for the creation of text and graphics to be assembled into frames
for the user to view. In addition, features for managing the
user's records, keeping statistics across groups, etc., are generally
Like conventional CBT, THOUGHTSTICKER can provide any "management"
functions relevant to a particular site; for example, tracking
a student population, creating output reports, or collecting
feedback on the effectiveness of any aspects of the course. These
requirements are best defined for the specific needs of a CBT
application, and tailored accordingly.
Unlike CBT, THOUGHTSTICKER is exceptionally strong in providing
tools for creation and maintenance of the knowledgebase. The
power of its environment for providing such features, utilizing
the bit-map display, menus, the mouse, etc., is unrivaled. The
author uses a full-feature editor to create text material to
be integrated into the knowledgebase. Graphics functions or particular
devices (such as videodisc) can also be provided for specific
training areas. A variety of tools provide views of the resulting
structure and show the implications for the learner. In addition,
semi-automatic tools are used to convert pre-existing, machine-readable
text of the subject matter into THOUGHTSTICKER data files.
Conventional computer-aided instruction systems provide authoring
tools that are basically passive so far as the content of the
presentation to the learner is concerned. THOUGHTSTICKER provides
a number of active tools that facilitate the authoring process:
THOUGHTSTICKER suggests key topics by which to represent the
explanation in the knowledgebase; it searches the text as provided
by the author, looking for variations and similar terms in the
current author's, as well as other authors', knowledgebase.
THOUGHTSTICKER checks the existing knowledgebase of all authors
and reports how its contents relate to the new statement. It
suggests how the statements might be related (identical, containing,
In certain cases THOUGHTSTICKER can detect a possible conflict
between statements (technically speaking, it does this not by
the semantics of the text but the structures of the knowledgebase
the text expresses; THOUGHTSTICKER does not yet contain natural
language processing). *e system offers a series of methods to
resolve the conflict depending on the structures: statements
may be declared "not accepted", they may be merged
with others, distinctions may be added, etc.
In all cases the author's input is tagged to that author and
other key parameters such as time of entry. (The complete list
of criteria and the associated heuristics are proprietary to
PANGARO Incorporated.) Some THOUGHTSTICKER user interfaces provide
the identity of the author at all times; others display it when
the distinction is required. Any authors' denials of a statement
are also so tagged, and hence many-valued disagreement and consensus
may be stored. In this way, local extension or modification of
the contents of the knowledgebase is easily achieved while still
preserving the original.
To stimulate the author to add further structure and material
to the knowledgebase, THOUGHTSTICKER will propose new structures
which do not yet exist and which, if instated by the author,
will not conflict with existing structures. This process can
be focused by having the author indicate areas to extend or areas
to avoid. Alternatively, THOUGHTSTICKER can suggest areas that
are "thin" compared to others; in this way the author
is encouraged to achieve a uniform level of detail.
Unique to THOUGHTSTICKER, the combination of these features make
the process of creating the subject matter much more efficient.
In addition, multiple authors, possibly at different sites, can
contribute to the same knowledgebase without interfering with
each other. The original knowledgebase can be augmented and tailored
to differing needs at different locations.
4 The THOUGHTSTICKER Implementation
The following refers to the implementation running on Symbolics
computers, with notations regarding implementations on other
Under the newest system software of the Symbolics, Genera
7, a complete authoring environment for use at customer sites
provides advanced tools to speed the creation process. Frame-based
CAI courseware and pre-existing databases can be converted into
THOUGHTSTICKER's knowledge representation structure via semi-automated
THOUGHTSTICKER has been used with text, computer graphics, simulation,
and videodisc media, and has been customized to interact with
systems written in the Symbolics or systems running in external
machines and attached via network or serial line. Software "hooks"
are provided for executing applications software and administering
tests in conjunction with the tutorial presentations.
THOUGHTSTICKER runs in the Symbolics hardware and software environment
because it represents the most powerful software development
and delivery environment available. For some applications, however,
it may be appropriate to consider alternatives for use of THOUGHTSTICKER.
Since it is written in the new language standard of Common LISP,
THOUGHTSTICKER may be easily potted to many other systems. However
such a potting may be more or less necessary depending on certain
Screen: THOUGHTSTICKER briefly explains
its programming environment
For example, in some cases a pre-existing network of hardware
is available for low-cost delivery of training. THOUGHTSTICKER
running on a single Symbolics system can fulfill the roles of
authoring station and file server while driving the network of
student terminals to provide the full advantages of THOUGHTSTICKER
to each student at minimal additional cost per student. The best
course for the creation of such a configuration is to design
and test the final delivery system on the Symbolics, because
implementation, testing and modification is very swift in that
environment. Thereafter, moving the software to target hardware
is straightforward given that the prototype on the Symbolics
is implemented with knowledge of the limits of the target hardware.
If owing to other constraints it is necessary to provide authoring
capabilities on other hardware, transfer can be achieved; however
this is not recommended until a final and approved version of
the authoring features has been developed on the Symbolics.
Finally, the cost of existing Symbolics systems is falling rapidly,
and the company's commitment to low-cost (80386 based) compatible
systems may make it feasible to remain in their environment.
4.2 Implementation Details
Source Language: Common LISP
Distribution Medium: Cartridge Tape
Processor Type(s): Any of the Symbolics 3600 Family
Minimum Memory: Standard Configuration
Minimum Disk: Standard Configuration
Software Prerequisites: Genera 7
Binary License: By quotation depending on options. Authoring
and tutoring modules available individually.
Availability: North America and United Kingdom
Support: By quotation
Customization & Training: Yes
Other Services: Creation of courseware. Writing system extensions,
e.g. for additional I/O devices, graphics routines, simulations,
and tests including performance measures and psychological profiles.
Creation of new features for specific requirements, e.g. authoring
and/or tutoring over distributed sites, low-cost networks for
5 Appendix: Glossary of Terms
Author: A term from computer-based instruction, the author
is the creator of the subject matter and usually a teacher or
subject matter expert. In THOUGHTSTICKER however, there are situations
where the knowledgebase needs to be extended locally by users,
in order to customize it to local practices or needs, or extend
its contents. In this situation, the user, even possibly the
learner, may take the role of author; the system maintains the
identity of each author and hence can control access to the material
Authoring or To Author: The act of creating the subject matter.
Authoring Module: That part of the THOUGHTSTICKER systems which
allows a user to create or extend the knowledgebase. See Author,
Branching: This is the primary format for conventional computer-aided
instruction. The subject matter is arranged in a "tree"
of fixed routes which the learner follows. The results of tests
of the learner determine "branching" through the structure.
THOUGHTSTICKER removes the restrictions of branching by utilizing
a knowledge representation for the subject matter, freeing the
learner to explore the subject based on individual experience,
needs, and conceptual style. THOUGHTSTICKER can also be used
in a sequential mode for convenient incorporation of existing
computer-based instructional material, but still with liberal
opportunities for the learner to be driven by uncertainty and
Browser: That part of THOUGHTSTICKER that allows inspecting the
knowledgebase. This term reflects the application of THOUGHTSTICKER
to information management, where the user is accessing, rather
than extending, the knowledgebase.
CBT/CAI: Computer-Based Training and Computer-Aided Instruction
are terms from the training industry. The former is concerned
with all aspects of training whether pedagogical or not, including
managing the records of a student population and tracking the
progress of individual students. The latter emphasizes the pedagogical
component, especially in how the delivery of training via computer
can be made different than other forms of training (classroom,
self-study from books). THOUGHTSTICKER goes far beyond existing
systems in the effectiveness of its pedagogical techniques and
it maintains a complete knowledgebase of the learner's progress
which is available for use at all times during the interaction.
Courseware: The subject matter as created by the author, represented
in the training software, and delivered to the student. It may
consist of any combination of text, graphics, simulation, and
Frames: The fundamental unit of experience for the learner in
computer-aided instruction. Usually text or some combination
of text and graphics, frames are linked in a fixed structure
within which the learner "branches". Frames are a gross
accumulation of many features of the knowledge to be learner
which are neither broken down by the author nor distinguishable
by the system. Hence a CAI system cannot learn very much about
the individual learner, nor individualize its interaction very
much, because it can distinguish very little of the learner's
attention or uncertainty.
Knowledge Representation or Knowledgebase: Term from the field
of artificial intelligence referring to a software structure
that is intended to represent knowledge, often of an expert.
A number of approaches exist and none are considered to solve
the problem for the general case. THOUGHTSTICKER uses a knowledge
representation that was developed from a cognitive theory especially
for the purpose of representing knowledge to be learned. Hence
the heuristics that operate on the knowledge structure are well-suited
to variations in conceptual style and provide highly individualized
interaction for each user.
Narrative: The term for a THOUGHTSTICKER sequence that tells
a story and has some of its import conveyed by the particular
order it is seen in; hence its name. The THOUGHTSTICKER features
which are concerned with providing conventional computer-based
instruction as part of THOUGHTSTICKER use the Narrative facilities
for implementing a frame sequence. The learner is still free
to explore away from the Narrative and to return easily to it
Learner: In computer-based instruction, this term takes on its
usual meaning. However, the learner may be focused on the subject
matter for a variety of purposes: to cover the entire subject
to acquire general skills; to perform a specific task requiring
a subset of skills; or to answer a specific question or perform
a single operation. THOUGHTSTICKER reacts differently for each
of these purposes (see Persona, below).
Persona: A term unique to THOUGHTSTICKER, the persona refers
to (1) the individual currently using the system, and (2) the
current goal of that use (see Learner, above). The persona can
be used by THOUGHTSTICKER to guide its heuristics and present
information in an adaptive way for this individual with a current
goal. The user, whether author or learner, is identified to the
system, and all history is attached to, the persona.
Tutoring Module: That part of the THOUGHTSTICKER system which
allows a user to explore the knowlegebase. This term reflects
the application of THOUGHTSTICKER to training, where the user
is in the role of student.
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