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How to use

The Concurrent Task Tree Environment is a tool realised by the Human Computer Interaction Group - ISTI (Pisa) . With this editor you can build a task model and generate an interactor-based architectural model (this beta version does not support it yet). It is possible build Cooperative Tasks Models or Single User Task Model.

To start the tool enter in the " Ctte " directory and execute the command 

  • ctte (for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME) 
  • java DrawTree (for Unix) 


With this tool you can:

1. Build a new single-user task model
2. Build a new cooperative task model
3. Edit an existing single-user/cooperative task model
4. Save a single-user/cooperative task model in different formats
5. Check the single-user/cooperative task model structure
6. Obtain a task model starting from an informal description of the system
7. Simulate the behaviour of the specification within the CTT Environment


1. Build a new single-user task model
  • The first screenshot
    When you start CTTE, the "Root" node of a new single-user task model is shown, and its category is set by default to "abstraction" (a cloud-shaped icon is used). At that moment the root is the only node in the task model: within the editor panel it is highlighted as the "current" task (see the black frame around its icon).
  • Focus on the  "current"  task
    Apart from very few exceptions, at any time while you use CTTE only one task will be highlighted as the "current" task, meaning that every action you do will be referred to this task. Changing the current task is easy: select the icon of the concerned task. Some information about the current task is shown in the main window to allow you quick access and editing. 
  • Adding new tasks: the insertion mode 
    A new task can be added according two possible insertion modes (the current insertion mode is represented by a two-state button included in the CTTE global toolbar):
    • as the farthest right child of the currently selected task. This insertion mode is selected by default and in this case the two-state button displays the following downward arrow:  
    • as the left sibling of the currently selected task. In this case the two-state button displays the following leftward arrow:
  • In order to change the insertion mode you can use the two-state button displayed within the toolbar, or alternatively use the menubar and select  Insert |Below(child) or  Insert |To the left(sibling) depending on the desired insertion mode.

    If you want to add a new task as the farthest right child of a task T do the following 1.-3. steps: 

    1. make sure that the appropriate insertion mode is selected within the tool (namely, the two-state button displays a downward arrow); 
    2. select task T (namely, click on its icon); 
    3. select the icon associated with the appropriate task category within the related toolbar

    If you want to add a new task as the left sibling of task T: make sure that the appropriate insertion mode is selected within the tool (namely, the two-state button displays a leftward arrow), then follow the previous 2.-3. steps.

  • Add operator between tasks
    You can add a temporal operator on the right side of the  currently selected  task. Thus, if you have two sibling tasks, Task1 and Task2 and you want to specify Task1 op Task2 (where op is a CTT operator) you have to click on the icon associated with Task1, then select (within the operator toolbar) the button associated with the desired operator .
  • Changing properties of a task
    To change the properties of a task, double-click on its icon. A new window will be displayed making you able to change the properties you are interested in. A subset of relevant properties about the  current  task is also displayed within the main window in order to give you quick access to them.

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2. Build a new cooperative task model

  • Enable "Cooperative mode" option
    When you start CTTE, by default you are supposed to build a single-user task model. If you want to create a cooperative task model you have to enable the View|Cooperative mode option. As a result, the root of the Cooperative task model ("Cooperative root") will be displayed in the editor panel and the "Cooperative" label is displayed in the tabbed panel within the main window, meaning that the task of the "Cooperative" task model is currently shown.
  • Add new roles
    Before building the cooperative task model, you should specify the task model of the involved "roles", so you have to add new roles to the cooperative task model. In order to do it select the "New Role" button in the bottom-right hand corner of the window displayed when the tabbed panel selects the "Cooperative" task model. As a result, the tabbed panel is automatically switched to the brand-new role task model allowing you to edit the task model of a single-user role.
  • Focus on the  "connection tasks"
    If you are building a cooperative task model, you are supposed to have specified -within the task model of each role- some  "connection tasks" Such tasks are displayed -for each role- when the Cooperative task model is selected in the right-hand part of the main window and they are useful to build easily the cooperative task model. 
  • Building the cooperative task model: set connection tasks
    All the leaves of the cooperative task model have to be connection tasks previously defined in the task model of the involved role. If you want to add a (connection) task in the cooperative task model you have to add the task in the cooperative task model as usual (that is by selecting the appropriate icon in the left-hand part of the window). Then, make this task the current task and select the appropriate role/task in the lists displayed in the right-hand part of the window, then click "Set Connection" button.
3. Edit an existing single-user/cooperative task model
  • General commonly-used editing operations are available within the CTTE
    a) Cut/copy either the current selected task (Edit|Cut Selection) or the whole task tree having the current task as its root (Edit|Cut Subtree); Paste the task currently saved in the clipboard (Edit | Paste)
    b) Undo the last editing action performed (Edit | Undo)
    c) Insert a task whose specification is stored in a separate file (Insert|Subtree from File) 
    d) Make a new task father of a number of tasks: with the "^Control" key pressed, select such tasks, then Insert | New Level
  • Some other features are available in order to support users while editing their task models
    a) Find a task (Edit | Find...)
    b) Hide some parts of a task model (Edit | Hide Subtree), justify a task tree, line up different tasks at the same level,
    c) Drag a task (select the task with the left button of the mouse and drag it) or a whole task tree (select the root of the concerned task tree with the right button of the mouse and drag) 
  • Obtain some information about the task models
    a) Get general information about the number/type of tasks (Info| Task Model Statistics...)
    b) Compare two task models (Info| Compare...) to get their differences.
4. Save a single-user/cooperative task model in different formats
    There are three main file formats in which you can save a task model (or a part of it):
     
  • ".cctt"/".ctt" formats
    The extension of a CTT specification is ".ctt" for single-user task models and ".cctt" for cooperative task models. By default you save the entire task model, but you can also save only a part of it (by selecting the root of the concerned subtree: File | Save Subtree as)
  • ".jpg" format
    The CTTE give the users the possibility to save their task models in ".jpg" format (File| Save Tree as JPG to save a whole tree,  ile| Save Subree as JPG to save the subtree whose root is the current task). This capability is very handy to manage task model specifications. 
  • ".xml" format
    A CTT specification can be saved also in XML format to enhance the interchange with other commonly-used notations and formats (File | Save CTT as XML).
5. Check the single-user/cooperative task model structure

In order to facilitate the users to build correct task model specifications, the CTTE offers the possibility to perform some automatic checks on the specification itself, regarding all the possible errors which might make the specification incomplete or ambiguous (i.e.: a task with only one child, lack of temporal operators between two children, a connection task which does not appear in the cooperative task model, ...). To enable such functionality select  Tools | Check Model Structure. A window appears with the list of errors (if any) together with the possibility of having quick access to the task referred by a specific error (by double-click on the error itself)

6. Obtain a task model starting from an informal description of the system
Sometimes users might have available an informal description of a system, or some sample scenarios describing tipical behaviour of the system itself. The CTT Environment offers the useful capability of supporting users while they extract relevant information from such scenarios in order to build a more formal specification (Tools | Informal to Formal Description).
7. Simulate the behaviour of the specification within the CTT Environment
Especially with large specifications it is very useful to have the possibility to generate and follow some specific execution sequences or paths that are possible within a task model. Once you have specified the behaviour of a specific system, the Ctt Environment allow you to "simulate" some behaviour by means of the Task Model Simulator (Tools | Start Task Model Simulator). The main feature of the simulator is to enable from time to time only the tasks which is possible to execute according to the model specification and depending on the previously selected tasks.