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Although the goal of autonomic computing is to make systems that work continuously, robustly, and simply, no one imagines that people can be excluded entirely. Whether it is end-users getting their jobs done by interacting with autonomic systems or system administrators maintaining, monitoring, and debugging large-scale systems with autonomic components, humans will always be part of the computational process. As autonomic systems become part of the computing infrastructure, new demands will be placed on all users. How do users understand what autonomic systems are trying to do? How should systems portray themselves to users? How can we design the experience of autonomic computing to amplify user capabilities? This paper presents an analysis of the user experience (UE) challenges of autonomic computing and discusses design requirements for user interaction. Our main point is that autonomic computing makes effective design of the user experience even more challenging and critical than it is now. This is because autonomic actions taken by the system must be understandable by the user, and capable of review, revision, and alteration. Because such actions are often made autonomously, this places a heavy burden on the ability of the system to explain what it is doing and why.
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