Attribute Details Panel

(Page under construction.) This panel shows all the details of an attribute in Istar.

Att Details Panel Label Wee OK button Meaning Domain (Value Type) Value of Att Extra Value Information Value to be shown Infinite Value is unknown Must 
be Known Waiting Answered Error How Derived Async Inference Method Inference Cutoffs Question Value Can Override Overridden Status Topics References Parent Item DSAP Visual Appearance Exit Buttons List of Antecedents and Consequents Default

Click on a gadget and I will explain it.

Row 1

Row 1 identifies the attribute, with:

In addition, in the middle of row 1 is a wee OK button which acts exactly like the main one further down the panel. It is here for your convenience for when you are merely filling in label and meaning and no other details.

Row 2

Leftmost in row 2 is the domain of the attribute, that is, what type of value it is. It has two parts: the main window in which the name of the domain is shown, and a wee button to hit with the mouse to alter the domain.

In the middle area of row 2 is the current value of the attribute. It might be just a checkbox as here, or a longer gadget such as a slider for bayesians or probabilities, a number for an integer or twin numbers as for a ratio.

Over the right hand side of row 2 you sometimes get extra information about the value type:

Row 3: More about the Value

These relate to the value.

Status of Attribute

This is on the fourth row of the panel from version 1.1 (and lower down in previous versions).

The Derivation

This radio button, over the left side of the panel and nearly half way down, shows how this attribute's value is to be derived. There are four options:

Inference Method for Attribute. This is a type gadget lying alongside the Infer radio button. Its window shows the current method, and hitting the wee button to its left brings up a list of inference methods appropriate to the domain of this attribute.

In this area you sometimes get extra information about the inference mechanism. For bayesians there are two cutoffs, lower and upper, whose purpose is to ignore minor antecedent factors. Suppose a bayesian attribute has a lower cutoff set at 10% and four antecedents A,B,C,D. A, B are answered with low values and the weights on C,D are such that however high they are answered the result cannot exceed 10% then the attribute is considered answered and C and D are ignored. Conversely for upper cutoff.

Question Value

Sometimes called 'Reset Value', 'RV'. This controls the default value that is shown to the user in a question panel, that is the value that will be taken if they click 'OK' without setting the value. (Used to be called 'reset value', as the value the attribute was reset to before the inference session began, but in fact it is now only the value shown in the panel that is set to this; so better called 'question value'.)

Normally the question value is the current value of the attribute. But sometimes you want to present a certain value every time, as a kind of default answer. When this is so, set the left-most checkbox and set the right-most gadget to the value you wish the user to see in a question panel.

Explanation/Help Text. The long string gadget preceded by 'X' or 'H' holds explanation or help text. This is text that is dsiplayed to the user if they hit the 'Help' button.

The Override Row

Can Override. Toggle the checkbox, to left end of override row, to say whether or not the attribute can have an override value.

Overridden Status. This checkbox says whether the attribute is currently overridden. In the present version of Istar, you can alter it.

Override Value

Overriding an attribute allows the user to temporarily insert a value of their choice that takes priority over the value obtained by the normal derivation. This might be used, for instance, if the user is to be given the chance to say that they do not like the value that was inferred. Normally you would place overridable attributes into one or more override lists.

Other Info on Attribute

Next row: Other information.

Visual Appearance

This row deals with the visual appearance:

Exit Buttons

These buttons exit this panel. They include:

Antecedents and Consequents

Bottom of panel, left for antecedents, right for consequents, are two lists with buttons. These are underneath the exit buttons because anything you do with these lists will not be cancelled if you hit the 'Cancel' button.
24 December 1997. Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 1997.