How WYSIWYM works

The basic idea of WYSIWYM is the use of abstract phrases to represent points where further information can be added. These phrases, known technically as anchors, are distinguished by a colour code: red if the information is obligatory, or green if it is optional. A knowledge base is thus potentially complete when all anchors are green. For example:

Your medicine is a coloured substance

Anchors are mouse-sensitive. When the user clicks on an anchor, the system presents a menu of choices allowing the abstract concept to be replaced by a specific one. The following is as close as we could get to this if using the HTML forms interface (unfortunately the red and green colours were lost):

Your medicine is a

Each time an option is chosen, a feedback text is then regenerated to present the user's choice, along with any further options that result. When the knowledge base is complete, the system can also generate an output text which shows the knowledge that has been defined but omits the options for extending it. Thus if the colour of the medicine had been left unspecified by the user, the feedback text would be

Your medicine is a coloured cream

while the output text would be

``Your medicine is a cream''

This simple example might suggest to you that the user is just selecting words, and that the feedback and output texts differ only in that the latter omits any highlighted words. But this is not the case. The user is actually selecting concepts, not words. The output and feedback texts are not simply concatenated words, but are automatically generated from the chosen concepts. These two types of texts can be generated in different styles or even different languages. To get a better idea of how WYSIWYM works, we strongly suggest that you have a look at our demos.

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