Using Formal Specification Techniques for Advanced Counseling Systems in Health Care

  • Dominikus Herzberg
  • Nicola Marsden
  • Corinna Leonhardt
  • Peter Kübler
  • Hartmut Jung
  • Sabine Thomanek
  • Annette Becker
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4799)


Computer-based counseling systems in health care play an important role in the toolset available for doctors to inform, motivate and challenge their patients according to a well-defined therapeutic goal. In order to study value, use, usability and effectiveness of counseling systems for specific use cases and purposes, highly adaptable and extensible systems are required, which are – despite their flexibility and complexity – reliable, robust and provide exhaustive logging capabilities. We developed a computer-based counseling system, which has some unique features in that respect: The actual counseling system is generated out of a formal specification. Interaction behavior, logical conception of interaction dialogs and the concrete look & feel of the application are separately specified. In addition, we have begun to base the formalism on a mathematical process calculus enabling formal reasoning. As a consequence e.g. consistency and termination of a counseling session with a patient can be verified. We can precisely record and log all system and patient generated events; they are available for advanced analysis and evaluation.


Human-Computer Interaction in Health Care Counseling Systems Formal Methods Usability Engineering 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominikus Herzberg
    • 1
  • Nicola Marsden
    • 1
  • Corinna Leonhardt
    • 2
  • Peter Kübler
    • 1
  • Hartmut Jung
    • 2
  • Sabine Thomanek
    • 3
  • Annette Becker
    • 3
  1. 1.Heilbronn University, 74081 Heilbronn, Germany, Faculty of Informatics, Department of Software Engineering 
  2. 2.Philipps-University Marburg, 35032 Marburg, Germany, Department of Medical Psychology 
  3. 3.Philipps-University Marburg, 35032 Marburg, Germany, Department of General Practice/Family Medicine 

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