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On the expressiveness of links in hypertext systems

On the expressiveness of links in hypertext systems
On the expressiveness of links in hypertext systems
In this paper, we study how linking mechanisms contribute to the expressiveness of hypertext systems. For this purpose, we formalise hypertext systems as abstract machines. As the primary benefit of hypertext systems is to be able to read documents non-linearly, their expressiveness is defined in terms of the ability to follow links. Then, we classify hypertext systems according to the power of the underlying automaton. The model allow us to compare embedded vs separate links and simple vs generic links. Then, we investigate history mechanisms, adaptive hypertexts, and functional links. Our conclusion is that simple links, whether embbeded or separate, generic links, and some adaptive links all give hypertext systems the power of finite state automata. The history mechanism confers them the power of pushdown automata, whereas the gener al functional links give them Turing completeness.
459-473
Moreau, Luc
033c63dd-3fe9-4040-849f-dfccbe0406f8
Hall, Wendy
11f7f8db-854c-4481-b1ae-721a51d8790c
Moreau, Luc
033c63dd-3fe9-4040-849f-dfccbe0406f8
Hall, Wendy
11f7f8db-854c-4481-b1ae-721a51d8790c

Moreau, Luc and Hall, Wendy (1998) On the expressiveness of links in hypertext systems. The Computer Journal, 41 (7), 459-473. (doi:10.1093/comjnl/41.7.459).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In this paper, we study how linking mechanisms contribute to the expressiveness of hypertext systems. For this purpose, we formalise hypertext systems as abstract machines. As the primary benefit of hypertext systems is to be able to read documents non-linearly, their expressiveness is defined in terms of the ability to follow links. Then, we classify hypertext systems according to the power of the underlying automaton. The model allow us to compare embedded vs separate links and simple vs generic links. Then, we investigate history mechanisms, adaptive hypertexts, and functional links. Our conclusion is that simple links, whether embbeded or separate, generic links, and some adaptive links all give hypertext systems the power of finite state automata. The history mechanism confers them the power of pushdown automata, whereas the gener al functional links give them Turing completeness.

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Published date: 1998
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

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Local EPrints ID: 252753
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/252753
PURE UUID: 23a738c5-8925-467a-bd94-bf3228a59666
ORCID for Luc Moreau: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3494-120X
ORCID for Wendy Hall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4327-7811

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Date deposited: 20 Mar 2000
Last modified: 19 Nov 2019 02:04

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Author: Luc Moreau ORCID iD
Author: Wendy Hall ORCID iD

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