Towards a pattern library for algorithmic affordances

Authors Erik Hekman, Dennis Nguyen, Marcel Stalenhoef, Koen van Turnhout
Published in Joint Proceedings of the ACM IUI Workshops 2022
Publication date 27 March 2022
Research groups Human Experience & Media Design
Type Lecture


The user experience of our daily interactions is increasingly shaped with the aid of AI, mostly as the output of recommendation engines. However, it is less common to present users with possibilities to navigate or adapt such output. In this paper we argue that adding such algorithmic controls can be a potent strategy to create explainable AI and to aid users in building adequate mental models of the system. We describe our efforts to create a pattern library for algorithmic controls: the algorithmic affordances pattern library. The library can aid in bridging research efforts to explore and evaluate algorithmic controls and emerging practices in commercial applications, therewith scaffolding a more evidence-based adoption of algorithmic controls in industry. A first version of the library suggested four distinct categories of algorithmic controls: feeding the algorithm, tuning algorithmic parameters, activating recommendation contexts, and navigating the recommendation space. In this paper we discuss these and reflect on how each of them could aid explainability. Based on this reflection, we unfold a sketch for a future research agenda. The paper also serves as an open invitation to the XAI community to strengthen our approach with things we missed so far.

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Language English
Published in Joint Proceedings of the ACM IUI Workshops 2022
ISBN/ISSN URN:ISBN:978-1-4503-9144-3
Key words Algorithmic Affordances, Explainable AI, Interactive Recommendation Systems, Computer Science

Human Experience and Media Design