School of Engineering and Advanced Technology

Personal Webpage for Paul Lyons

 

Conference Presentations

What is Computer Science? (smaller version)

CS Seminars
I arrange seminars for the CS teaching group. If you'd like to present a seminar about a Computer Science topic at Massey, contact me, and I'll find a place for you in the schedule. There are plans to automate the schedule so that you can add a proposal to the list and get email reminders when seminars that you've indicated an interest in are about to occur. But that hasn't happened yet - the schedule is static and maintained by hand.

HR_ colour conversion routines

sample recorded lecture (for something easy to relate to, choose the slide called A Fast Multiplier)

Current Teaching

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Computer Architecture
    159.102 (Computing Fundamentals)
    159.233 (Computer Architecture: Course Controller)
 

HCI
    158.359 (Human-Computer Interaction: Course Controller)
    159.410/710 (User Interface Design: Course Controller)
    158.360 (Computer Graphics and User Experience Design: Course Controller)

 

Research
    I used to run 159.799 (Honours Project: Course Controller). I'm no longer in charge, but I wrote some documents that  are still used for the course, and are relevant to writing about research in general: 

Writing Reports

Writing In The Passive Voice

Restrictives (when to use the words "the", "a" and "an", amongst others)

Visual Programming Languages
    159.776 (Visual Languages and Computer Graphics: Course Controller)

Previous Teaching

Visual Programming Languages, Data communications, Boolean algebra, Digital Logic, HCI, Processor Design, Microcode, Compiler Construction, Silicon Compilation, C, VHDL, Memory Management, Operating Systems, Delphi, Fortran, Cobol, Pl/1, Snobol, Lisp, Small, Basic, Pascal

Research

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Research projects available

Event Booking Site     |     Hotel (Event) finder     |     Itinerary Planner     |     Investigating the Senseg     |     Parameter Dialog     |     Photo Tagger     |     Photo Viewer     |     Proofer tool    |     Recipe tool     |     Recorder's Assistant     |     Student/Supervisor "Dating" site     |     TV Guide

 

Proofer tool
subject area HCI A tool that would facilitate the cooperation between a writer and a proof-reader. Proofing a document involves a lot of busy-work - selecting pieces of text, choosing a way of commenting about it, making the comments (often repeatedly). The structure of the original document is generally (always?) maintained, so that the proofer's comments have to fit around the original text. In addition, proofing is an iterative process; often a document is sent back and forth from author to proofer many times before a final version is agreed upon.

The tool would be designed to reduce the amount of busy-work and to make it easy for users to read the proposed version of the document in as seamless a manner as possible. 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required graphic design

interface development 

Supporting documents Proofer Tool Justification
Proofreader's Application
Screen design
ProoferTool first pass specs
A proofing example

 

Recipe tool
subject area HCI A  system that would allow users to upload recipes and would make it easy for cooks to follow recipes while cooking.

Recipes are traditionally printed in books, where the amount of space is constrained by the size of the pages and the number of pages that the book can reasonably contain. Screen space would be limited on a computer-based system, but the information on the screen does not have to be static, so the nature of the constraint is subtly different. In addition, in a computer-based system there is a computer, which can process data during the activity and can present data in a variety of formats. 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required  
Supporting documents o Functions of a  recipe tool
o Recipe syntax
o Best Peach Cobbler Ever
o Deriving a recipe similarity measure for recommending healthy meals
o User's Food Preference Extraction for Personalized Cooling Recipe Recommendation
o Picture Recipe Cards as an Approach to Teaching Severely and Profoundly Retarded Adults to Cook
o Three Internet Sites for Recipe and Menu Development
o Multiple Recipe Merge with Feedback

 

Itinerary planner
subject area HCI When planning a big overseas trip, one is juggling places, times, durations, possible meetings with friends and shared parts of a trip. It's a complicated business. A typical itinerary from a travel agent is a long document with a great deal of information, but it's not all that easy to interpret. A stay of a week in a major destination looks pretty much identical to a lay-over of a couple of hours in an airport.

It could be tempting to produce an itinerary planner that represented the world (or a part of it) on a map, and show flights/train trips etc as lines from place to place, but I feel that is too literal an representation of the data. Instead, it seems to me that a representation in which time is represented proportionally, but distance is represented schematically might be more useful. In some respects, the visualisation I have in mind resembles the representation invented by Alfred Inselberg for data-mining high-dimensional datasets, for which there are a number of publications.

The idea is that time is represented vertically down the screen, and various destinations are represented as vertical location-lines. The distances between the vertical location-lines are not proportional to the real distances between the locations, but the distances down the screen are proportional to times spent in transit and at a particular location. Lines drawn (at an angle to the horizontal, to represent the passage of time) between the location-lines represent segments of travel. Information about flights, reporting times, accommodation addresses and so on can be shown by hovering over the appropriate item on the "map." 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required graphic design
interface development 
Supporting documents Stresa-Lille Itinerary

 

Parameter dialog
subject area HCI Many systems provide a large number of functions, and minimal information about the parameters that can be used when they are called.

This system would replace the standard hints that IDEs provide (listing the alternative set of parameter names that a function can be called with) witha  dialog that woudl give the user not just the parameter names and their types, but also a description of the parameters, and when it would be appropriate to use one set of parameters or another. It could also list the default values for the parameters. 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required Compiler construction
interface design 
Supporting documents Parameter Dialogs

 

Hotel (Event) finder
subject area HCI How do I get there from here?

Imagine you're a weary traveller flying into in Paris, arriving at midnight. How do you get to your accommodation at that time of night?

The application would allow a hotel or an event organiser to generate instructions for travellers to get to their destination without having to learn everything about the public transport system instantly 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required  
Supporting documents  

 

Recorder's assistant
subject area HCI Recording a script to a professional standard is a surprisingly stressful activity, because we make errors while reading, and the cost of making an error is quite high. It's necessary to rewind to a suitable place in the recording, to start recording again over the top of the material that had the error. It's all a bit tedious.

Imagine a system that has access to the script from which the reader is reading, recognises when the reader goes back to repeat a section, and automatically re-records the section that has been repeated. Then the process would be much less stressful; a reader would go back to the start of the current sentence or paragraph and re-read it, but there would be no messy fiddling around to synchronise the repeated section with the rest of the recording. 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required familiarity with speech recognition systems, audio
Supporting documents  

 

Investigating the Senseg
subject area HCI Blind users have a difficult time in the modern computer environment. Graphical user interfaces are ubiquitous, and they make very little allowance for people who cannot process a two-dimensional display of information.

The Senseg tablet has been produced with an electrovibration screen. When a user strokes the screen with her or his finger, the tablet can turn on a feature that produces is a sensation of vibration. This sensation is capable of a certain amount of variation, so that the tablet can produce a variety of "images" for the user.

This immediate goal of this project would be to investigate the use of the Senseg to generate images of statistical data for the benefit of a blind statistics lecturer on campus. A broader goal would be to generate some software tools that could be of use to the blind community in general. 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required  
Supporting documents  

 

TV guide
subject area HCI TV recorders tend to present information about upcoming programmes on a per-channel basis, but from the user's point of view, the channel on which a particular programme is broadcast is (largely) irrelevant. As a non-Chinese speaker, I do not wish to select programmes from the Chinese-language channel, so it would be good to be able to block certain channels, but I don't care whether <my favourite programme> is on TV1, TV3, Prime or Sky - I simply want it to be recorded.

Similarly, the distinction  that the HDD recorders make between future and past programmes is artificial; they're all part of the same timeline - there's just more choice amongst the future programmes (and you can't actually see them yet). So they should all appear in the same display (although with some indication as to whether they are actually stored on the device or yet top be recorded).

Should the system automatically discard programmes that have been viewed (and would it deal with multiple-viewer households?).  Or prompt the user at the end of the programme? 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required  
Supporting documents TV guide
TV amalgamator
TV scheduler

 

Student/supervisor "dating" site
subject area HCI It isn't always easy for students to find a suitable supervisor for their research degree. In this project you would develop a website for helping students and supervisors to match up their interests and get in contact.
700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required  
Supporting documents  

 

Event Booking Site
subject area HCI Events such as movie screenings are often poorly presented. From a user's point of view, it's important to see which movies are showing at which times on which days.

This site would present a set of events on a calendar-style grid, with overlapping events displaced horizontally so that the underlying event is not hidden. Moving the cursor over an event would display more information about it.

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required graphic design, scraping
Supporting documents Event Display

 

Photo Viewer
subject area HCI A system for allowing users (tourists) to take a huge number of photos as they drive through photogenic surroundings and sort through them easily to find the good ones they want to keep.

 

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required Interface design
Supporting documents CRC
Task Cases
Car Camera specification 2015
Thoughts about Tourist Camera interface

 

Photo Tagger
subject area HCI A system for allowing users to tag a large number of semi-related photos efficiently
700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level  
Competencies required Interface design
Supporting documents  

 

Colour tweaking
subject area HCI The Colour Harmoniser - developed here at Massey by Giovanni Moretti under my supervision - uses a genetic algorithm rto produce "raw" colour schemes that rank as highly as those produced by people who self-classify as artists. After subsequent tweaking by humans, the colour schemes are ranked more highly than those produced by people who self classify as artists.

It is possible that analysis of the changes between raw and tweaked colour schemes could produce a set of rules that could be used to augment the genetic algorithm, so that the software could achieve the same results as the tweaking process. In this project, you would examine pre and post-tweaking colour schemes to extract those rules and would implement them in software and would compare the results of the software tweaking with those produced by humans to validate the rules.

700-level Yes
masters-level Yes
PhD-level Yes
Competencies required Interface design
Supporting documents  

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Paul Lyons is a member of the Institute of Information Science and Technology's

Human Computer Interaction Research Group,

EMERG (Electronics and  Microprocessor Engineering Research Group).and

Data Communications Research Groups.

 

Previous research projects

Current HCI Research

Colour Harmony

A Ph.D. student (Computer Science Senior Lecturer Giovanni Moretti) is working on the Colour Harmoniser. This device is a software tool designed to enable colour-naive programmers to choose aestheticaly pleasing colour schemes for applications without having to learn  colour theory. It automates a number of standard heuristics for achieving colour harmony, but the colour schemes it produces are not completely fixed; the user has a chance to alter the scheme in a restricted way, to apply her or his colour preferences, without upsetting the colour harmony or the usability of the resulting interface.

The thesis underlying the research is threefold; 

  • that a usable tool for choosing colour combinations can be based on a mathematical model of colour that incorporates practical constraints and aspects of the human colour aesthetic
  • that the mathematical model should be founded on empirical measurements of human response to colour stimuli 
  • that, in use, the model should be complemented by human input, via an interface that facilitates the expoloration of a three-dimensional colour space. 

We describe foundation of the work in this paper.  

 

Net Worker

This research was initiated by Jaimee Alam, a Masterate student in Computer Science. She invented an idea for a value-added web browser that facilitates the capture of information from multiple sites, and makes it easy for the user to combine the information and manipulate it in a single text document.

In the first instance, I got involved in the project in a consultative capacity. Now I've taken over the implementation, and I'm working with Jaimee's research supervisors, my colleagues Chris Phillips and Elizabeth Kemp, on the further design of the system.

More information about Net Worker

HyperPascal

HyperPascal is a Visual Programming Language which has been under development for several years. A pilot version was implemented to prove the concepts. It worked, but was impossibly slow. Current work is centred on developing a base version that can support later developments, and implementing Active Templates - a graphical representation of dynamic data structure (linked lists, binary trees, etc.) manipulation. The overall project is an ambitious one, and any number of Honours projects, Masters theses and Ph.D.s could be carved out of it. Talk to me if you're interested.

Files for Todd Cochrane.

 

Flexible Music playback

Popular musicians often have difficulties in rehearsing and performing because of lack of availability of some members of the group. Recorded accompaniments can help in these circumstances, but they are very inflexible; a taped accompaniment plays through from the beginning to the end, without any variation. Human musicians are more accommodating. One member of the band can signal the others to repeat the chorus if the audinece really enjoys a particular song, or to cut it short if the audience looks like rioting.    This project is developing a  system that allows a MIDI accompaniment to be split into sections that are strung together in a default order that can be redefined while a performance is occurring. Thus a chorus or a verse could be repeated, or a section of the music omitted. This isn't quite as flexible as a group of musicians improvising Jazz, but it's a lot better than a totally predefined recorded accompaniment.

Autowiring

In a previous industrially-sponsored project, I designed and supervised the implementation of a specialised CAD package for capturing electronic circuits. One aspectof the design that was not implemented was a system for automatically laying out interconnecting wires in an aesthetically pleasing, and easily followed way. This is widely regarded as a difficult problem. Frezza has published an algorithm for wire layout that takes a more global view of the problem than standard algorithms such as the A* algorithm, and is consequently more likely to find an acceptable route in a reasonable number of steps. The algorithm does not use a grid, unlike most other layout algorithms. Consequently it is not afflicted by the tradeoff that afflicts grid-based algorithms; closely spaced wires can only be achieved with a fine grid, and a fine grid implies long search times.

In this project a student is implementing Frezza's algorithm, and incorporating it into the VISTA software as a real-time background task, to minimise the impact of long search times - which are expected to occur in spite of the reduced number of steps of the algorithm. The HCI aspect of the project is to determine whether this arrangement produces a usable system.

Current Data comms Research

The ATMSWITCH achitecture

Based on previous work on MasseyNet, the current ATMSWITCH (ATM Switch With Integrated Trigger and Chandelier Hardware) architecture has been designed for 1.2Gbps links, and incorporates two distinct hardware modules to provide ATM's Classes of Service, which divide into two types of operation which have mutually contradictory requirements; a single service algorithm is not able to handle both type of traffic effectively.

 

 

 

Telephone interface

HyperPascal Compiler

IDE for HyperPascal

High-quality expressions in HyperPascal

Modern I/O in HyperPascal

Distortion-oriented Display in HyperPascal

Tree layout in HyperPascal

Parser from tramline diagrams

Colour Harmony for graphic displays

User action lookahead

Prototype ATMWSITCH

 

 

PhD student application first response

 

Publications

(List in pdf format)

Books - Patents - HCI and CSE papers - Smart Environments papers - Networking papers - Miscellaneous - Chemistry

(the list below contains descriptions of some publications, they're also listed separately in a pdf file)

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Books

Doing Battle with the Delphi IDE (2nd Edition, 2001)

Philip Roy, Jason Smith and Paul Lyons

Book: ISBN 0-473-06716-1, published by Massey University

The previous edition of this book was troubled by production problems; the index file that was printed was incorrect, and index entries were out by two or three pages after about page 50. There were numerous typos, and formatting inconsistencies. These errors were largely eliminated in the second edition.
Doing Battle with the Delphi IDE

Philip Roy, Jason Smith and Paul Lyons

Massey University, 2000

ISBN 0-473-06716-1

This book was written as a course text for an HCI class. the students are stage III Computer Science and Information Systems students who have varying amounts of programming experience. Some have had a brief exposure to Visual Basic; others have significant experience with Visual C++.

Delphi is a serious commercial programming system with specialst features to handle database programming, internet programming, ActiveX components, OLE programming, and visual interface design. Consequently there's a great deal of Delphi to learn. Faced with the problem of producing something of manageable size, authors of books about Delphi, generally find that they have to leave things out. Now this causes  a problem. How can they claim to have written a book about Delphi when they've left some of it out? By leaving out the elementary stuff. They assume their readers are already experienced programmers, and can absorb information about Delphi by making analogies between Delphi and other programming languages - or even the current version of Delphi and a previous version.

For example, one of the best books in the field, Marco Cantu's book, Mastering Delphi 4 (the version of Delphi that is current as I write this) addresses itself to a readership of Delphi programmers. And even though it actually omits to describe Object Pascal (the actual programming language), it still fills 1275 pages. I sprained my wrist picking it up.

Doing Battle... takes a different approach. Because of the varying ability of the intended readership, it begins with a tutorial on the IDE (Interactive Development Environment), and it concentrates on aspects of Delphi and the Windows environment that are relevant to interface programmers. That is, it deals mainly with the development of Graphical User Interfaces. Two types of interfaces are covered: first, interfaces made up from standard components, and secondly, interfaces that incorporate special-purpose graphical components that have been designed specifically for use in a particular application, or class of applications.

Even so, the current edition omits a discussion of Object Pascal, the textual programming language that the Delphi development environment supports. That's covered in the HCI course that the text accompanies (though I may put a chapter about Object Pascal into a future edition of Doing Battle...). The result is a book of less than 250 pages - a much more manageable (and cheaper) document than many of the other tomes that are currently available.

 

Patents

A Multipath Local Area Network

P.J. Lyons and A.J. McGregor

New Zealand Patent Number 221572 December 1990

Patent, explaining the things that the MasseyNet packet switching architecture does that are new.
A Multipath Local Area Network

Paul J. Lyons and Anthony J McGregor

United States Patent Number 4,953,162, August 28, 1990

Similar patent, issued in the US

Smart Environments papers

Use Cases for Abnormal Behaviour Detection in Smart Homes

An C.Tran, Stephen Marsland, Jens Dietrich, Hans W. Guesgen, Paul Lyons

ICOST 2010 8th International Conference on Smart Homes and Health Telematics, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, 22-24 June, 144-151

Abstract. While people have many ideas about how a smart home should react to particular behaviours from their inhabitant, there seems to have been relatively little attempt to organise this systematically. In this paper, we attempt to rectify this in consideration of context awareness and novelty detection for a smart home that monitors its inhabitant for illness and unexpected behaviour. We do this through the concept of the Use Case, which is used in software engineering to specify the behaviour of a system. We describe a set of scenarios and the possible outputs that the smart home could give and introduce the SHMUC Repository of Smart Home Use Cases. Based on this, we can consider how probabilistic and logic-based reasoning systems would produce different capabilities.

Exploring The Responsibilities Of Single-Inhabitant Smart Homes With Use Cases

Paul Lyons, An Tran Cong, H. Joe Steinhauer, Stephen Marsland, Jens Dietrich, and Hans W. Guesgen

Journal Of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments special issue on Smart Homes, June 2010, 2, 3, 211-232.

Abstract. This paper makes a number of contributions to the field of requirements analysis for Smart Homes. It introduces Use Cases as a tool for exploring the responsibilities of Smart Homes and it proposes a modification of the conventional Use Case structure to suit the particular requirements of Smart Homes. It presents a taxonomy of Smart-Home-related Use Cases with seven categories. It draws on those Use Cases as raw material for developing questions and conclusions about the design of Smart Homes for single elderly inhabitants, and it introduces the SHMUC repository, a web-based repository of Use Cases related to Smart Homes that anyone can exploit and to which anyone may contribute.

 

 

HCI and CSEpers

Computational Production of Colour Harmony I:  A Prototype Colour Harmonisation Tool

Giovanni Moretti, Paul Lyons and Stephen Marsland

Color Research and Application, 28, 3, 203-217, June 2013

Abstract:      Although webpage and computer interface developers generally have little experience at generating effective colour schemes, colour selection appears rarely in user interface design literature, and there are few tools available to assist in appropriate choice of colours. This paper describes an algorithmic technique for applying colour harmony rules to the selection of colour schemes for computer interfaces and web pages. Our software implementation of this approach – which we term the Colour Harmoniser – adapts and extends classical colour harmony rules for graphical user interfaces, combining algorithmic techniques and personal taste. A companion paper presents the experimental evaluation of the system presented here. 

Our technique applies a set of rules for colour harmony to specific features of the interface or web page to create abstract colour schemes; the user then modifies the overall colour cast, saturation, and light-dark distribution, producing colourings that are both harmonious and usable. We demonstrate experimentally that the software is relatively simple to use and produces colourings that are well-received by humans. 

In this paper we define a fitness function that numerically evaluates the colour harmony of a user interface and underpins a genetic algorithm for creating harmonious schemes. We show how abstract, hue-independent, colour schemes may be mapped to real colour schemes, leaving the abstract colour harmony unchanged, but accommodating the developer’s personal preferences for overall colouring, light-dark contrast, and saturation. This abstract/concrete separation automates the creation of harmonious schemes, and allows unskilled developers to express their aesthetic preferences using simple direct manipulation controls.

Computational Production of Colour Harmony II: Experimental Evaluation of a Tool for GUI Colour Scheme Creation

Giovanni Moretti, Stephen Marsland, and Paul Lyons

Color Research and Application, 28, 3, 218-228, June, 2013

Abstract:      Although webpage and computer interface designers generally have little experience at generating effective colour schemes, colour selection appears only rarely in user interface design literature. This paper describes the experimental evaluation of an algorithmic technique applies colour harmony rules to the selection of colour schemes for computer interfaces and web pages. The technique uses a genetic algorithm to evolve colour schemes; the evolutionary path is determined by a quantitative colour harmony evaluation function.

Our technique first creates abstract colour schemes by applying those rules to specific features of the interface or web page; the user then holistically modifies the scheme's overall colour cast, overall saturation, and light-dark distribution, producing colourings that are both harmonious and usable. We demonstrate experimentally that the software is relatively simple to use and produces colourings that are well-received by humans.

In an earlier paper, the criteria for a colour harmony tool for computer interfaces and websites were described and used in the design of the Colour Harmoniser, our software implementation of a system that is based on classical rules of colour harmony, adapted and extended to suit graphical user interfaces.

In this paper we describe two sets of experiments that have demonstrated the usability and effectiveness of the Colour Harmoniser tool, compared with standard methods of colour selection. These experiments suggest that the tool functions somewhat more effectively than we originally anticipated, producing colour schemes that were rated more highly on several quality scales than those produced by random choice, by humans who self-classify as non-artists, and by humans who self-classify as artists.

TrekWizard
A GIS Interface That Adds Value To A Small-Screen GPS

Ken York, Paul Lyons, John Gawith and Arthur Todd

Proc. CHINZ 2011 (12th International Conference of the NZ Chapter of the ACM Special Interest Group on Human Computer Interaction (SIGCHI-NZ)), 4-5 July 2011, 81-88

Abstract:
 

We present a description and an evaluation of the interface for the TrekWizard, a tool that adds value to raw location information available to trekkers from the GPS system. The interface has a novel component for providing distance and time readouts, including ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) and ETT (Estimated Time to Travel) information.

PowerPoint Presentation used at conference

PowerPoint Presentation with cardsort slide used subsequently in lectures

ADEPT - An Interface for Organising Simulations

Ben Jolly, Paul Lyons, Val Snow

CHINZ 2010 Proceedings of the 11th International Conference

NZ Chapter of the ACM Special Interest Group on

Human-Computer Interaction (SIGCHI-NZ 8 July 2010), Albany, New Zealand, 1-4
Abstract: ADEPT is a visual tool for creating and managing groups of related biophysical systems simulations that are run by the  agricultural modelling framework 'APSIM.' It was written in Java on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform. It features a user-friendly and novel GUI that aids agricultural systems modellers by presenting information about their simulations in a useful and meaningful format and allows them to manipulate that information.

User evaluation and overview of a visual language for real-time image processing on FPGAs

C.T.Johnston, P.Lyons, and D.G.Bailey

Proc CHINZ 2009, (10th International Conference of the NZ Chapter of the ACM Special Interest Group on Human Computer Interaction (SIGCHI-NZ)), 6-7July 2009, 85-92

Abstract: FPGAs are often used for image processing, but existing FPGA design tools lack syntactic constructs for some specialized activities that are important in this field, such as timing, resource handling and scheduling. This forces the developer to work at too low a level and makes it difficult to produce a genuinely hierarchically decomposed design. This paper outlines these deficiencies, as the background for an overview of and justification for each of three views in VERTIPH, a visual programming language for defining image processing algorithms on FPGAs. This updates the overview presented in [1]. The paper then presents the results of two user evaluations of VERTIPH, a pre-implementation paperbased user evaluation which found no major changes were required and a post-(partial)-implementation user evaluation.

The latter evaluated the novel parts of the language using participants experienced in the field. The key parts of VERTIPH were found to be useful visualisations for the developers, and the only major problem was the interaction required for defining type-connections between views.

PowerPoint presentation

Approximate Graphical Methods for Inverse Regression

Geoffrey Jones and Paul Lyons

Journal of Data Science, 7, 1, 2009

 

Abstract: Graphical procedures can be useful for illustrating and evaluating the process of inverse regression. We first review some simple and well-known graphical approaches for univariate linear and nonlinear models. We then propose a new graphical tool applicable to situations where the response is bivariate and repeated measures data are available. The proposed method is illustrated with an example of the age determination of tern chicks using measurements on body weight and wing length.
A Visual Notation for  Processor and Resource  Scheduling

Chris Johnston, Paul Lyons, and  Donald Bailey

4th IEEE International

Symposium on

Electronic Design,

Test & Applications DELTA 2008 on 23-25 January 2008 in Hong Kong

Abstract: FPGAs offer an excellent platform for use in real-time video processing applications. There are several modes of operation that can be used to implement image processing algorithms; streamed, offline or a hybrid of the two. We discuss these and consider the suitability of the present types of languages for the implementation of image processing algorithms on FPGAs. Examples of Hardware Description Languages, Language Extensions, and Hardware compliers are discussed along with their strengths and weaknesses. We propose VERTIPH, a new multiple-view visual language that is designed for image processing on FPGAs avoid these weaknesses. Three views show different parts of the system; an overall architectural view, a computation view and a scheduling view.

 

A Visual Environment for Real-Time Image Processing in Hardware (VERTIPH)

C. T. Johnston, D. G. Bailey, and P. Lyons

EURASIP Journal on Embedded Systems
Volume 2006 (2006), Article ID 72962, 8 pages

Abstract: FPGAs offer an excellent platform for use in real-time video processing applications. There are several modes of operation that can be used to implement image processing algorithms; streamed, offline or a hybrid of the two. We discuss these and consider the suitability of the present types of languages for the implementation of image processing algorithms on FPGAs. Examples of Hardware Description Languages, Language Extensions, and Hardware compliers are discussed along with their strengths and weaknesses. We propose VERTIPH, a new multiple-view visual language that is designed for image processing on FPGAs avoid these weaknesses. Three views show different parts of the system; an overall architectural view, a computation view and a scheduling view.
Towards a Visual Notation for Pipelining in a Visual Programming Language for Programming FPGAs

C.T. Johnston, D.G. Bailey and P. Lyons

CHINZ 2006; Design Centred HCI, 7th International Conference of the NZ Chapter of the ACM Special Interest Group on Human Computer Interaction (SIGCHI-NZ) 6-7 July 2006, 1-10

Abstract: VERTIPH is a visual language designed to aid in the development of image processing algorithms on FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). We justify the use of a visual language for this purpose, and describe the key  parts of VERTIPH. One aspect of importance is how to clearly and efficiently represent a pipeline of processors and in particular, distinguish a pipeline from the simpler serial or parallel structures. This paper develops a number of pipeline representations, discussing the rationale behind and limitations associated with each representation. The culmination of this development is the Sequential Pipeline with Detailed Bars, visually an efficient and unambiguous representation.

PowerPoint Presentation (written and presented by Chris Johnston)

Four and Twenty Tern Chicks Plotted in a Pie: A graphical interface for predicting chick ages with a confidence estimate

Paul Lyons and Geoff Jones

CHINZ 2006; Design Centred HCI, 7th International Conference of the NZ Chapter of the ACM Special Interest Group on Human Computer Interaction (SIGCHI-NZ) 6-7 July 2006, 11-16

Abstract: We present a computer interface that represents the age of chicks as dynamically-generated chromatic bands on a set of plots drawn on conventional Cartesian axes. The chromatic information allows us to increase the number of variables on the plot from two to three, so that the user can infer a chick’s age from two easily obtained body measurements. The overall image contains a number of realisations of a non-linear multivariate hierarchical model of chick growth; the model is parametric, and each plot is produced by running the model with a different combination of parameters. Even with chromatic banding, the plots can be difficult to interpret because, when many plots overlap, later plots obscure earlier ones. To reveal the information hidden thereby, the interface incorporates a component that allows the user to generate a pie-chart showing all the ages that fall within a 95% confidence ellipse around any point on the plot.

Incorporating Groups into a Mathematical Model of Color Harmony for Generating Color Schemes for Computer Interfaces

Paul Lyons and Giovanni Moretti

VECIMS 2005 (Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE conference on Virtual Environments, Human-Computer Interfaces, and Measurement Systems,80-85, Giardini Naxos, Italy, 18-20 July 2005

 

When applying Munsell's (or anyone  else's) rules for colour harmony to a computer interface, one is faced with the problem of characterising large numbers of identical items (buttons, check boxes, and radio buttons, for example). It is possible to  group such items and colour them as a unit. However, there are isuues to be solved; for example, should one aggregate the area ofthe items (which would result in a darker, less saturated colour) or treat them as though they had the area of a single item (which could result in a garish appearance if the number of items was very large)? Grouping may also be used to handle a set of items that should be coloured differently, but need to be related by having similar colours. Here we describe these issues, and one possible solution. 

Abstract – We describe an approach to developing a mathematical model of color harmony. This will be applied in the Color Harmonizer, an automated tool for coloring computer interfaces and websites. The tool will incorporate a color harmony engine that can incorporate a variety of theories for color harmony, and in the first instance, will use the rules proposed by Munsell and adapted to use in computer displays. We describe abstract and concrete color schemes, the Chromotome (a tool developed to facilitate the selection of colors) and techniques for grouping interface elements.  

PowerPoint presentation

Controlling the Complexity of Grouped Items in Colour Interfaces

Giovanni Moretti
Paul Lyons

Proc. CHINZ 2005 (6th International Conference NZ chapter of ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction), pps 19-23

 

Abstract: In this paper we describe a method of managing the complexity that arises when automatically colouring a realistic GUI interface. This complexity primarily comes from two sources, from the number of items to be coloured - which in interfaces of realistic complexity grows very quickly - and from the interactions between both the items’ colours themselves and their background colour. Attempting to satisfy the relationships between the colours of items in an interface, their backgrounds, whether items may be coloured identically or must be distinct, and all the while creating a colour scheme that is harmonious requires multiple constraints be satisfied simultaneously. The addition of visually related groups of screen elements complicates this optimization. The use of spring-based algorithms will allow groups to have their own local colour schemes (sub-schemes) while still satisfying the need for overall colour harmony.

 
HyperPascal with a persistent memory manager: why and further developments

Todd Cochrane, Paul Lyons and Giovanni Moretti

Proc NACCQ 2005

 

Nine Tools for Generating Harmonious Colour Schemes

Paul Lyons and Giovanni Moretti

6th Asian Pacific Conference on Computer Human Interaction (APCHI 2004), Rotorua, New Zealand, June 29 - July
2, 2004
, pps 241-251

 

Surveys nine pieces of software that have been designed to generate harmonious colour schemes, most often by rotating wireframes superimposed over colour wheels, and choosing the colours where the wireframes and the colour wheels intersect.

Abstract. We survey a number of tools that have been developed for generating sets of colours according to commonly accepted rules for colour harmony. Informal manual techniques for generating harmonious sets of colours have been known and used for at least a century. Although superficially simple, they have not been precise techniques, as pigment-based and dye-based colouring techniques are not susceptible to accurate measurement, in terms of area of colour used or mathematical relationships between colours, and mathematical analysis does not appeal strongly to the design community. Now the historical separation between engineering and design has narrowed. First, the development of colour television brought numerical precision into colour specification. Secondly, in computers, the medium for colour representation and the tool for calculating colour parameters have been integrated. Consequently, it has also become feasible to derive sets of harmonious colours automatically

Chromotome: A 3D Interface for Exploring Colour Space 

Moretti, G, Lyons, P and Wilson, M.

6th Asian Pacific Conference on Computer Human Interaction (APCHI 2004), Rotorua, New Zealand, June 29 - July
2, 2004

Outlines the design of Chromotome, an interface component for exploring a 3D colour space

Abstract. When continuous 3D shapes or enclosed structures, such as solid objects or skeletons, are mapped onto a 2D screen, simplifications such as hulls and wire frames are suitable visualization tools, because most or all of the information is concentrated along discontinuities that occupy only a small proportion of the space. Visualizing a colour space is more difficult. Colour spaces are three-dimensional solids with no discontinuities, and every point in such a space represents a unique colour. A colour space visualization tool must therefore facilitate the exploration of a solid, continuous, three-dimensional shape. Here we describe Chromotome, a software tool that has been developed for this purpose. Chromotome provides a cutaway view of a spherical colour space, and has controls for rotating the space (to alter the hues displayed), for altering the shape of the cutaway, and for visualizing sets of colours positioned according to simple geometrical relationships within the space.the interior of a 3D colour space.

NetWorker: A Practical Web-Based Tool to Support the Collect-Compare_Choose cycle

Lyons, P.J., Phillips, C, Kemp, E.A., and Alam, J

6th Asian Pacific Conference on Computer Human Interaction (APCHI 2004), Rotorua, New Zealand, June 29 - July 2, 2004, pps 231-240

Describes the design, evaluation and modification of a Networker, a specialised browser tool. The tool allows a user to download information from a number of sites (the Collect phase) to extract and view relevant subsets of the information they contain (the Compare phase) and to make choices based on this integrated presentation of the information  (the Choose Phase)

Abstract. An earlier paper has covered the development of a paper prototype of NetWorker, a tool designed to facilitate a Web usage referred to as the Collect-Compare-Choose cycle. Here we describe an initial implementation of the tool, a small scale evaluation, and modifications that were implemented subsequent to the evaluation. NetWorker is a PC application with a single window containing multiple web browsers and a text pane. It allows users to download and view pages from multiple web-sites in parallel, to drag text from the web pages into a working area (the WorkPad) and to edit and rearrange information within the WorkPad.  The browsers and the WorkPad can be rearranged in various ways to make optimum use of the available screen space.

Tools for the Selection of Colour Palettes

Moretti, Giovanni & Lyons, Paul

CHINZ 2002 ACM SIGCHI_NZ, 11-12 July 2002, Hamilton, NZ. Eds: S. Jones & M. Masoodian

 
Colour in Computer Interfaces

Paul Lyons and Giovanni Moretti

IEEE Symposia on Human-Centric Computing Languages and Environments, Stresa, Italy, September 2001

 
Colour in Computer Interfaces

Paul Lyons and Giovanni Moretti

Proc IHM-HCI 2001, (Vol II) (Treizièmes journées sur l’ingénierie de l’Interaction Homme-Machine de l’AFIHM, 15th Annual Conference of the Human-Computer Interaction Group of the British Computer Scieiety ), 227-228, September 2001

A tutorial presented in Lille, 2001. Available for presentation at other conferences.
Colour Group Selection for Computer Interfaces

Paul Lyons and Giovanni Moretti

Proc IHM-HCI 2001, (Vol II) (Treizièmes journées sur l’ingénierie de l’Interaction Homme-Machine de l’AFIHM, 15th Annual Conference of the Human-Computer Interaction Group of the British Computer Society), 21-24, September 2001

 
Some Possibilities of Visual Programming Languages

Paul Lyons, Giovanni Moretti, and Chrissy Reeves

Proc NZ HCI Symposium 2001

 
Industry tutorial on colour use in Computer Interfaces

Giovanni Moretti and Paul Lyons

The Use of Colour in Interface Design, OZCHI, December 4-7, 2000 . Separately distributed document

 
Chromatic Interpolation for Interface Design

Giovanni Moretti, Paul Lyons and Mark Wilson

Proc. OZCHI 2000 “Interfacing Reality in the New Millenium” December 4-7, 2000 , pps 154-161

 
Colour Group Selection for Computer Interfaces

P.J. Lyons, G. Moretti, and M. Wilson

Proc Conf Human Vision and Electronic Imaging (SPIE2000), Jan 24-27 2000 , San Jose , pps 302-313

 
Visualising Music for Performance Flexibility

Paul Lyons and Yiding Zhang

Proc. SoftVis ‘99, (ed. A Quigley), December 3-4, 1999, 31-39

 
Programming in Several Dimensions

Paul Lyons

Proc. SoftVis ‘99, (ed. A Quigley), December 3-4, 1999, 31-39

A paper summarising the state of the HyperPascal language at December 1999

PowerPoint Presentation

ACCOMPANIST (Adaptable Computer-Controlled Output of a MIDI Prerecorded Accompaniment, Not In Strict Time) and TRAINEE (This Rendition of ACCOMPANIST Is Not Entirely Evolved)

Paul Lyons and Yiding Zhang

Proc. First Iteration, Monash University, December 1-3, 1999, eds. A. Dorin and J. McCormack, CEMA, Melbourne, 116-125

This paper contains a description of a system for presenting a musicaccompaniment to a performer in sucha  way that she or he can control the structure of the performance as it occurs. It is based on the availability of a MIDI representation of the accompaniment which has been divided into sections that can be manipulated via a direct-manipulation graphical display on a touchscreen. The paper describes both ACCOMPANIST,  a design for a complete version of the system, and TRAINEE, a prototype implementation.
 

Using Object Flows to specify Communication in a Visual HDL

M.Pearson and P.J. Lyons

Proceedings of the Fourth Asia-Pacific Conference on Hardware Description Languages (APCHDL '97), Hsinchu, Taiwan, 1997, 32-37

In this PICSIL-related paper, it is proposed to associate the intelligence required for controlling links between dataflows with the dataflows themselves, so that it does not have to be replicated in each of the communicating processes. This association of processing power with a link - which has a data type definition - is analgous to associating methods with data in an object-oriented programing langauge, and the name Object Flow is therefore used to describe the resulting diagrammatic components.
The Oval Menu - Evolution and Evaluation of a Widget

P.J. Lyons, M. Pitchforth, D. Page, T. Given, and M.D. Apperley

OZCHI '96, 252 - 259

VISTA, a specialised circuit design application constructed for PDL Eectronics, contains a component-selection widget called the Oval Menu. It is intended to allow a circuit designer to keep her or his attention on the insertion point in the circuit diagram, and to allow the circuit construction activity to seem as much like dawing with a pencil as possible, but a with pencil which is capable of drawing complex structures with a single stroke. This paper considers the decisions which were made in designing the Oval Menu and describes a programme of interviews with users which was undertaken after the first version of the application had been implemented, and the improvements which were suggested as a result of these interviews.
High-level Graphical Abstraction in Digital Design

M.W. Pearson, P.J. Lyons, and M.D. Apperley

VLSI Design , 5, 1, 101 - 110, 1996

This is the first major publication describing the PICSIL dataflow-based VLSI design system. PICSIL is designed to allow a VLSI designer to take advantage of the particular ability of two-dimensional diagrams to reveal relationships between circuit modules. Each module is represented by a process in a dataflow diagram. Communication between the processes is represented by dataflows. Abstracting these functions into graphical elements assists the designer to separate the design of a device's dataprocessing (which is defined textually) from the design of its modular architecture.
Surveying the VISTA - A Report to PDL Electronics

P.J. Lyons

Computer SciencDepartment, Massey University, May 1996

 This confidential report summarises an interview programme which was undertaken with number of users of the VISTA special-purpose circuit-design application, and describes a number of proposed improvements to the first release of the application, based on those interviews.
PICSIL: Integrating Graphic System Design and Automatic Synthesis

Pearson, M.W., Lyons, P.J., and Apperley, M.D

Working Paper 95/3, Department of Computer Science, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 1995

Based on Murray Pearson's completed Ph.D. research, this paper presents a description of PICSIL, an IC design system which separates the design of an IC into two distinct categories; the first concerns dataprocessing activities, and is described in PPTL (PICSIL Process Transform Language), a textual language based on, and extending HardwareC; the second concerns interactions between dataprocessing modules - their communication, their control, and the data they store - and is described diagramatically in the PICSIL dataflow notation. A variety of designs have been synthesised (converted to CIF, the standard low-level IC design language, equivalent to conventional programming's assembly language level) and verified by simulation. One chip has been fabricated and verified in operation.
Designing with PREVAIL

Lyons, P.J., in consultation with Apperley, M.D

Massey University Computer Science Department, December, 1994

A confidential report containing a semi-formal definition of the interface to the PREVAIL (later called VISTA) software designed and later implemented for PDL Electronics Ltd.
Active Templates: Manipulating Pointers with Pictures

P.J. Lyons, M.D. Apperley, A.G. Bishop

OZCHI '94 Proceedings, November 1994, pps 93-98

A paper outlining a diagrammatic notation for defining dynamic data structure manipulations, such as linked list insertions, binary tree searches, AVL tree maintenance. The notation is based on the concept of defining data sructure manipulations using before- and after-pictures of the appearance of the affected part of the data structure. To define a data structure, the programmer draws a picture of a standard element. This is equivalent to, and replaces, a conventional type declaration; the picture can be used as a drawing template by the IDE whenever the programmer references an instance of the structure. The word active is applied to the notation because the IDE can use references to particular configurations of the data structure to prompt the programmer to specify what to do when the data structure exists in other configurations. This allows complete algorithms to be constructed pictorially with minimal input from the programmer, but without the need for the IDE to infer parts of the algorithm, as would be the case in systems based on the programming-by-demonstration paradigm.
Automating Digital Design using PICSIL

Murray Pearson, Paul Lyons, and Mark Apperley

Proceedings of the First Electronics New Zealand Conference (ENZCon), August 1994, pps pp 87 - 92

One of two conference papers (see also Synthesis of Digital ICs from Data Flow Diagrams) describing the planned PICSIL system, an IC design environment based on the use of dataflow diagrams to describe the IC's funcional modules, and their relationships to each other. Essentially a progress report midway through Murray Pearson's Ph.D. research.
Synthesis of Digital ICs from Data Flow Diagrams

Murray Pearson, Paul Lyons, and Mark Apperley

Proceedings of the First Asian Pacific Conference on Hardware Description Languages, Standards and Applications; December 1993, 84-88

 One of two conference papers (see also Automating Digital Design using PICSIL) describing the planned PICSIL system, an IC design environment based on the use of dataflow diagrams to describe the IC's funcional modules, and their relationships to each other. Essentially a progress report midway through Murray Pearson's Ph.D. research.
HyperPascal: A Visual Language to Model Idea Space

Paul Lyons, Craig Simmons, and Mark Apperley

Proceedings of the 13th New Zealand Computer Society Conference, August 1993, 492-508

 A paper describing the philosophical underpinnings of, and some of the simpler concepts involved in the design of a picture-based general-purpose programming language. It covers the use of structure diagrams to represent data manipulations and control structures, the "porthole" notation (since superceded by Active Templates) for dynamic data structures, hyperlinks within the program to connect instances of a variable with its declaration, subprogram invocation, the Scope Tree for representing declarations in context, and it introduces the State Tree, a concept which did not achieve a practical form until the Active Template notation was devised.
PICSIL - A Data Flow Approach to Silicon Compilation

M.W. Pearson, P.J. Lyons, and M.D. Apperley

Proceedings of the 28th National Electronics Conference August 1991, 168 - 173

 An early paper describing Murray Pearson's Ph.D. research project, an experiment in applying Visual Programming language ideas to the design of Integrated Circuits. Preliminary notions of defining circuits in terms of Algorithmic State Machine diagrams (essentially Finite State Automata) had by this stage been superceded by the idea of borrowing the dataflow notation to describe the major functional units of the circuit, and the communication paths between them. The synthesis tool based on capturing this modified dataflow notation was called PICSIL, for PICtorial SILicon compiler. The notation has the same name.
An Overview of GED, A Language- independent Syntax- directed Editor

G.S. Moretti and P.J. Lyons

Australian Computer J., 18, 2, 61 - 66, May 1986

 A paper describing Giovanni Moretti's M.Sc. research. GED is a system which accepts a BNF language definition, and generates a syntax-directed editor. GED worked, but it was unexpectedly difficult to use, so from an HCI perespective, it might seem at first blush to have been unnsuccessful. However, an understanding of why it was difficult to use has informed much of the authors' later HCI research work.

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Data comms papers

 

Simulation Studies of two ATM Switch Architectures

P.J. Lyons, S. Evans and D. Ferry

Proc. NETWORKS 3 (the Third New Zealand ATM and Broadband Workshop), January 21-22, 1999, 30-38.

 Simple simulation studies were performed on two approaches to output scheduling in ATM , the ATMSWITCH regular triggering mechanism and the Queue Prediction algorithm. It was found that the triggering mechanism produces zero jitter for certain types of CBR circuit, bu appreciable jitter int he general case, whereas the Queue prediction algorithm produced less jitter in general, but had no "zero jitter mode." Both approaches performed well with ABR and UBR circuits.
Estimating Clock Speeds for the ATMSWITCH Architecture

P.J. Lyons and Bo Yan

Proc. NETWORKS 3 (the Third New Zealand ATM and Broadband Workshop), January 21-22, 1999, 39-53

The ATMSWITCH architecture relies on a single shared buffer memory, which has sufficient bandwidth to transfer information continuously via 14 1.2 Gbps ports. The centralised controller for this device must run at a high clock speed, in order to accomplish all the housekeeping associated with the ATMSWITCH's sophisticated output scheduling hardware. This paper reports on a behavioural VHDL simulation which was carried out on the architecture to determine the number of controller clock cycles required to perform each data-buffer read and write, and hence (since the buffer memory takes 12ns to perform each read and write operation), the speed at which the controller clock will need to run. It was found that the controller performs 10 clock cycles during the read or write operation, and another 2 beforehand, in preparation for the read or write. Consequently a 1.2 ns clock would be suitable.
Output Triggering adds Classes of Service to the Associative Chandelier

P.J. Lyons

Proc. ATMWORKS 2, February 1997, 99-116. Eds A.J. McGregor and J. Cleary.

 Regularly triggered output events, keyed to a particular channel and its the bandwidh requirement, are used to schedule output from CBR and VBR channels. The chandelier, running at a lower priority, is used to schedule access to the remaining bendwidth, for ABR and UBR channels, thereby making efficient use of the bandwidth, and allocating ir vary to the ABR and UBR channels.
Bandwidth Reservation in an ATM switch using the Associative Chandelier

P.J. Lyons

FIMS Report Series A: 96/1, May 1996

 A modificaton to the behaviour of the associative chandelier, which would allow ABR and UBR channels to reserve bandwidth, is proposed. The modification affects the design of the chandelier's control algorithm, but not the chandelier; the control algorihm simply keeps track of the number of output slots which each channel should have used, according to its reserved bandwidth , and removes cells from its buffer queue until the difference between the number of cells which it ought to have output and the numer of cellswhich it has output, at that time, is zero.
The Associative Chandelier - Fair, Efficient, Prioritised Buffering in ATM Switches

P.J. Lyons, A.J. McGregor and G.S.Moretti

Proceedings of the First New Zealand ATM and Broadband Workshop,

 A modificaton to the behaviour of the associative chandelier, which would allow ABR and UBR channels to reserve bandwidth, is proposed. The modification affects the design of the chandelier's control algorithm, but not the chandelier; the control algorihm simply keeps track of the number of output slots which each channel should have used, according to its reserved bandwidth , and removes cells from its buffer queue until the difference between the number of cells which it ought to have output and the numer of cellswhich it has output, at that time, is zero.
MasseyNet Administration Documentation - Release 2.1

P.J.Lyons

Computer ScienceDepartment, February 1998

 
Performance Measurements in the Masseynet Local Area Packet Switching Network

P.J. Lyons, A.J. McGregor, and E. van Oeveren

Proceedings of the 1987 NZ Computer Society Conference, R126-R125

 
Masseynet: A University-oriented Local Area Network

P.J. Lyons and A.J. McGregor

MICROS PLUS: Educational Peripherals; Proceedings of the IFIP Working Conference on the Educational Implications of Connecting Tools and Devices to Micro-computers, August 1986, 155 - 167

 
Masseynet - Current Development

P.J. Lyons, A.J. McGregor, B. Meads, E. van Oeveren, C. Eagle, and L. Gill

Nelcon Proceedings, 23, 107 - 112, August 1986

 
Masseynet - A Local Network Using Wider Area Techniques

M. Murphy, A.J. McGregor and P.J.Lyons

Nelcon Proceedings, 23, 107 - 112, August 1986

 
Networking Research Group 1986 Report

P.J. Lyons

Massey Computer Science Report 85/8, October 1985

 
Preliminary Specifications for a Data Communications Exchange

P.J. Lyons and A.J. McGregor

Massey Computer Science Report 85/7, October 1985

 
Computing Equipment RS232 Interconnection Standard

T.W. Livingstone, P.J. Lyons and A.J. McGregor

Massey Computer Science Report 85/7, October 1985

 

 

 

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Miscellaneous papers and confidential reports

Report on Computing Equipment supplied by NZ Police: Confidential Expert opinion

P.J. Lyons

April 1997

 Short description.
Report on Computing Equipment supplied by NZ Police: Confidential Expert opinion

P.J. Lyons

July 1996

 Short description.
Some Aspects of Prime's PRIMOS Operating System

A.J. McGregor, P.J. Lyons and T.W.G. Docker

Massey Computer Science Report 85/8, October 1985

 Short description.
Strong Typing and Related Issues

J. Ansell and P.J. Lyons

Massey Computer Science Report 86/6, May 1986

 Short description.
Writing Reports and Theses

P.J. Lyons

Computer Scence Department, Massey University

There are lots of documents that offer advice to research students about how to undertake research and how to write their theses. Nearly all of them have an innate bias that reflects their author's personal area of specialisation. This gives rise to advice which is often wildly inappropriate for Computer Scientists.

 This document was written primarily for Computer Science Honours students. It suggests appropriate structure for reports, length, citation syle, how to avoid common mistakes, and a variety of other similar things. Although I haven't published it outside the Computer Science group, I occasionally receive requests for copies by reseaerch students in other departments, and believe it has been used by at least one other department in the university (though, for all I know, it could be as an example of how not to write!)

 

Chemistry papers

The Conformation of Malformin-A

D. Hall, P.J. Lyons, N. Pavitt, and J.A. Trezise

J. Comput. Chem. 3, 1, 1982

 Short description.
An Appraisal of the Applicability to Molecular Packing Analysis of some Global Minimisation Techniques

David Hall and Paul John Lyons

Computers and Chemistry, 4, 69-73, 1980

 Short description.
An Investigation of the Application of some Optimisation Methods to Molecular Packing Analysis

P.J. Lyons

M.Sc. Thesis, Auckland University, November 1976.

Molecules are characterised by their shape, and the way they pack toegether in crystals. It's really quite difficult to "see into" a crystal to find out how the atoms are dispersed. The standard technique, crystallograpy, is expensive and time-consuming. There have been various attempts to integrate our understanding of how atoms interact in order to predict how the atoms of a compound with a known chemical formula will be arranged in space.

One technique, molecular conformational analysis, predicts the arrangement of atoms within the molecule.

Another technique, molecular packing analysis, predicts the arrangement of molecules in a crystal structure. I  investigated several numerical optimisation techniques that had been proposed to make this prediction more rapid. The investigation showed that one of the techniques was as effective as the old war-horse of optimisation, least-squares minimisation. (It might have been possible to pursue the research further, but I moved to computing instead.)

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Acting

Actor/singer/director/set designer/set painter in more than 70 theatrical activities during the last 30 years- plays, operas, musicals, ballet, TV.

Singing

Formerly a bass singer in the close-harmony group Not Just Jazz and the jazz choir Fascinatin' Rhythm. Cathedral cantor. Currently getting a new group going that could possibly end up being called  "May Include Nuts." In 2005, appeared in the dual roles of Alcindoro and Benoit in a production of La Boheme.

Painting

Watercolour paintings in a style that ranges from naturalistic to semi-abstract.


Spring (Port Wine Magnolia)

Rocks In The River 4

 

Have a look at my gallery website.

Leadlight

An occasional hobby activity. At the start of 2002, I designed and built some leadlight panels for the front door of our house. The picture was taken with a cheap camera and is somewhat distorted; the doors aren't actually warped. When we bought the house, the estate agent told us it had a name ("Okioki," a   Maori word meaning "restful place"). I thought that was just a tall tale, till I found a tatty old name-plate in the attic with the name on it. So the name got incorporated into the leadlight.