18. modelling rich interaction


Brian wants to make a dinner date with Alison. He knows she will not be able to read email, as she is away for a few days, and he doesn't have her hotel number. He types and prints a letter, which he puts in her pigeonhole. Alison's secretary always checks the pigeonhole several times a day, and when she finds the letter she reads it and rings Alison and tells her.
Analyse this story using a status-event description.

answer available for tutors only

There are many levels of detail. It would be possible to use S-E analysis to describe even the act of typing, etc. However, the following is a high-level description:

  1. Brian intends to make a dinner date (an event in the future).
  2. His intention is also an actual event.
  3. His posting of the letter in the pigeonhole is an actual event.
  4. The letter changes the status of the pigeonhole
    (noting that a mediating status is a common way to communicate events).
  5. Alison's secretary polls the pigeonhole (a common way to find out about status change).
  6. When Alison's secretary finds the letter there is a perceived event for the secretary (this is delayed from the event at (3), as is normal with polling).
  7. Alison's secretary rings Alison causing a perceived event for Alison.

N.B. the data flow of information in the content of the letter is largely irrelevant for the S-E description.

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.18.1 (ans), ex.18.2 (tut), ex.18.3 (tut), ex.18.4 (tut), ex.18.5 (tut), ex.18.6 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter