Law Encoding Diagrams, LEDs, are a class of representation that use constraints to encode laws of domains in the geometric, topological and spatial structure of diagrams, such that each diagram corresponds to a single instance of a phenomenon in a domain. The potential of LEDs as representations for expert reasoning and problem solving is explored by examining how LEDs can be used in a range of problems in a particular domain from physics. Comparisons are made between LEDs and conventional Cartesian graphs to show the benefits and limitations of these diagrammatic representations. LEDs appear to be useful because they are representations at an intermediate level of abstraction.
To receive an off print, please email Irene Jackson, or download the postscript version.