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CRIWG Tables of Contents: 02030405060708091011121314

CRIWG 2003: Groupware: Design, Implementation, and Use 2003-09-28

Fullname:CRIWG 2003: Groupware: Design, Implementation, and Use: 9th International Workshop
Editors:Jesús Favela; Dominique Decouchant
Location:Autrans, France
Dates:2003-Sep-28 to 2003-Oct-02
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2806
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/b13235; ISBN: 978-3-540-20117-5 (print), 978-3-540-39850-9 (online); hcibib: CRIWG03
Links:Online Proceedings
  1. Opening Keynote
  2. Workspaces and Groupware Infrastructure
  3. Tailoring
  4. Evaluating Groupware
  5. Flexible Workflow
  6. CSCL
  7. Awareness
  8. Supporting Collaborative Processes
  9. Workflow Management Systems
  10. Context in Groupwarey
  11. Supporting Communities

Opening Keynote

Enhancing Creativity with Groupware Toolkits BIBAFull-Text 1-9
  Saul Greenberg
Effective groupware toolkits not only make it possible for average programmers to develop groupware, but also enhance their creativity. By removing low-level implementation burdens and supplying appropriate building blocks, toolkits give people a 'language' to think about groupware, which in turn allows them to concentrate on creative designs. This is important, for it means that programmers can rapidly generate and test new ideas, replicate and refine ideas presented by others, and create demonstrations for others to try. To illustrate the link between groupware toolkits and creativity, I describe example toolkits we have built and how others have leveraged them in their own work.

Workspaces and Groupware Infrastructure

MARS: Modelling Arenas to Regulate Collaborative Spaces BIBAFull-Text 10-25
  Carmen Mezura-Godoy; Michel Riveill; Stephane Talbot
Social regulation is the process by which a workgroup create and negotiate rules controlling their collaborative activities. Although regulation is an intrinsic aspect of collaborative work, most existing contributions ignore it, and in the cases where regulation is considered, it is confined to a single workspace. This paper proposes the MARS regulation model which enables users to define their workspace (arena) and the rules governing it. A key feature of this model is that it allows one to create complex arenas by composing simple ones. In order to validate our approach, a java-based prototype supporting the MARS model has been implemented. This prototype ensures that the group activity is executed according to the current regulation.
Transparent Latecomer Support for Synchronous Groupware BIBAFull-Text 26-41
  Stephan Lukosch
In a collaborative session users may join and leave. A user who joins a session is called a latecomer. A latecomer needs the current state of the collaborative session to participate in the session. There exist different approaches to accommodate a latecomer. The runtime system can, e.g., transfer the state to the latecomer or replay how the session state was reached. If the state is maintained on a well-known server, it is quite simple to supply the latecomer with the current state. However, if the server is not available, the latecomer cannot join. To increase the fault-tolerance, the runtime system has to use a decentralized approach. In this case, race conditions must be taken into account. DreamObjects is a platform that simplifies the development of shared data objects. It supports a direct state transfer as well as a replay and lets a latecomer choose how to join a session. Both approaches are completely integrated in the runtime system, work completely decentralized, and do not block the other participants in their current work.
COVE: A Design and Implementation of Collaborative Object-Oriented Visualization Environment BIBAFull-Text 42-57
  Hyung-Jun Kim; So-Hyun Ryu; Young-Je Woo; Yong-won Kwon; Chang-Sung Jeong
In this paper, we present a collaborative visualization environment (COVE). Our COVE provides not only collaborative but also paralleled computing environments based on distributed object model at once. It is built as a collection of concurrent objects which interact each other and consist of two types of objects: collaborative object and application object, which are used to construct collaborative and paralleled computing environments respectively. Collaborative objects enable COVE to execute various collaborative functions, while application objects enable it to execute various visualization modes in a parallel computing environment. COVE provides a flexible and extensible framework by plugging the proper application objects into COVE, and making them interact with one another through collaboration objects. COVE is built on DOVE (Distributed Object-oriented Virtual computing Environment), a new parallel programming environment based on distributed object model. In DOVE, virtual environment is constructed as a collection of concurrent objects, each of which has its own computing power, interacts with one another by remote method invocation and those objects can be handled as the same way as local objects. Also, heterogeneity, object group, multiple method invocation to object group, object life management, and naming service of object manager are supported to provide a transparent programming environment for parallel and distributed application. We designed collaborative work manager, session manager and application manager for managing cooperative work and ray casting algorithm is adapted for visualization algorithm. Our implementation result shows that various DOVE functionalities make COVE more extensible, scalable and efficient in distributed computing environment.


Designing Tailorable Groupware for the Healthcare Domain BIBAFull-Text 58-73
  Robert Slagter; Margit Biemans
In this paper we present a theory-based approach to designing tailorable groupware for the healthcare domain. Both literature and empirical data show the need, and difficulty, of designing groupware that is adaptable to match the dynamic requirements of real-life co-operation in telemedicine. We apply an existing social theory, the Information Foraging Theory, to explain natural tailoring behaviour and state the implications for groupware design. To improve the usability of tailoring, we integrate this theoretical foundation with a groupware design approach to compose groupware behaviour out of individual building blocks and apply this to the healthcare domain. The results are a conceptual architecture and design guidelines that help groupware developers create tailorable groupware. An important contribution of our research is the concept of task-oriented groupware patches that help co-operating healthcare professionals in selecting, combining and fine-tuning those groupware services that fit their evolving needs and requirements.
Two-Level Tailoring Support for CSCL BIBAKFull-Text 74-81
  Jörg M. Haake; Till Schümmer; Anja Haake; Mohamed Bourimi; Britta Landgraf
At the FernUniversität Hagen, we develop a collaborative learning platform, which supports a variety of collaborative distance learning scenarios through the provision of groups, tailorable adjacent rooms associated to groups, and networked content pages and group communication media contained within rooms. Learners can add and manipulate content within rooms and may add/remove rooms. Experts (teachers), in addition, can define and manipulate templates for the content allowed on pages in rooms, and may also add or change the group tools available in rooms. This supports tailoring of learning environments at two levels: at the structural and functional level and at the content level. The current system is presented, and an example of use is discussed.
Keywords: collaborative learning; collaborative learning platform; shared workspaces; collaborative learning services; tailorability
The Reciprocity Project. A P2P Meta-groupware Supporting Co-evolution and Reciprocity BIBAFull-Text 82-89
  Frédéric Hoogstoel; Ludovic Collet; Alain Derycke; Xavier Le Pallec
Despite our efforts for ten years to identify and to take into account the issues of CSCW, the tailorable collaboration environments we have designed are not yet fully appropriated by final users.
   Among the issues we have identified, the lack of user implication in centralized systems seems the main obstacle today. Moreover, the inter-organisational context in which CSCW systems will be more and more used has serious impact on this issue and other ones, especially resource sharing, organisation and cohesion. The goals of the Reciprocity project are to develop a peer-to-peer meta-groupware supporting co-evolution and to evaluate its adequacy to address better the implication issue and the inter-organizational context impact. On top of the JXTA peer to peer middleware, we are building an XML middleware distributed on a network of web servers to manage distributed co-operative activities and resources.
Symba: A Tailorable Framework to Support Collective Activities in a Learning Context BIBAFull-Text 90-98
  Marie-Laure Betbeder; Pierre Tchounikine
We present an approach that aims at introducing tailoring capacities in a framework designed to support collective activities in a learning context: students state their organization (using a task conceptual notion modelled following Engeström's triangle) and are then proposed with a reification of the adopted organization, and, in particular, the set of tools they have asked for. This approach has a double advantage, making students achieve a reflective analysis of their activity and enabling them to tailor the activity-level environment without having to cope with a programming-like tailoring language.

Evaluating Groupware

The Impacts of Awareness Tools on Mutual Modelling in a Collaborative Video-Game BIBAFull-Text 99-108
  Nicolas Nova; Pierre Dillenbourg; Thomas Wehrle; Jeremy Goslin; Yvan Bourquin
This paper describes the findings of an experimental research concentrating on collaboration in a multi-player video game. The overall goal is to study the cognitive impacts of the awareness tools. The focus is in finding an effect on performance as well as on the representation an individual build of what his partner knows, plans and intends to do (i.e. Mutual Modelling). Using an awareness tools has a significant effect by improving task performance. However, the players who were provided with this tool did not show any improvement of their mutual modelling. Further analysis on contrasted groups revealed that there was an effect of the awareness tool on mutual modelling for players who spent a large amount of time using the tool.
Perceived Value: A Low-Cost Approach to Evaluate Meetingware BIBAFull-Text 109-125
  Pedro Antunes; Carlos J. Costa
Meetingware supports, manages, guides and stimulates participation in meetings. The evaluation of meetingware has not yet produced concluding results due to many reasons, one of them concerning the high cost (in time, money and logistics) of the evaluation process. This paper proposes a low-cost approach to evaluate meetingware. The approach is centered on a variable -- Perceived Value -- measuring several external product attributes of meetingware that can be negotiated between developers and users. The proposed approach was used by an organization with the purpose of evaluating a meetingware prototype developed by the authors.
Exploring Interaction Behaviour and Performance of Online Collaborative Learning Teams BIBAFull-Text 126-134
  Thanasis Daradoumis; Fatos Xhafa; Joan Manuel Marquès
Studying and analysing the collaborative behaviour of online learning teams and how this behaviour is related and affects task performance is a complex process. This paper presents an integrated approach that analyzes the participatory attitudes of group members in collaborative learning activities (group functioning) in relation to the individual and group learning outcomes (task performance). To that end, we first provide principled criteria and methods for evaluating collaborative problem-solving situations and then we identify different group types in terms of their degree of success at group functioning and task levels. Our objective is two-fold: assessing the effectiveness and adequacy of the evaluation criteria and methods, and exploring the interaction behaviour of different collaborative group types with respect to their performance.

Flexible Workflow

A New Language to Support Flexible Failure Recovery for Workflow Management Systems BIBAFull-Text 135-150
  Gwan-Hwan Hwang; Yung-Chuan Lee; Bor-Yih Wu
In this paper, we propose a new failure-recovery model for workflow management systems (WfMSs). This model is supported with a new language, called the workflow failure-handling (WfFH) language, which allows the workflow designer to write programs so that s/he can use data-flow analysis technology to guide the failure recovery in workflow execution. With the WfFH language, the computation of the end compensation point and the compensation set for failure recovery can proceed during the workflow process run-time according to the execution results and status of workflow activities. Also, the failure-recovery definitions programmed with the WfFH language can be independent, thereby dramatically reducing the maintenance overhead of workflow processes. A prototype is built in a Java-based object-oriented workflow management system, called JOO-WfMS. We also report our experiences in constructing this prototype.
Constraint-Based Flexible Workflows BIBAFull-Text 151-158
  Jacques Wainer; Fábio de Lima Bezerra
This work presents the idea and a prototype of workflow systems defined through constraints. We think that in many domain areas, such as health care, workflow systems are too inflexible. One does not know in advance what activities does the patient has to go through. Actually a new form of interaction with the workflow is needed, in which a controller asks the systems which precondition activities are necessary in order to execute a target activity and schedule the target activity. We also present Tucupi, a prototype of such constraint based WFMS.
Workflow Recovery Framework for Exception Handling: Involving the User BIBAFull-Text 159-167
  Hernâni Mourão; Pedro Antunes
Unexpected exceptions in WfMS are situations not predicted during the design phase. Human involvement in handling this type of exceptions has been recognized to be a crucial factor. We developed a framework to support the user in handling these situations by redesigning the flow, ad hoc executing the affected tasks, and manipulating engine status. A good characterization of the exception is needed to help the user identifying the best executable solution. The proposed characterization results from integrating operational, tactical and strategic perspectives over unexpected exceptions. An open source platform was selected to establish a test base on which the framework will be tested.


COW, a Flexible Platform for the Enactment of Learning Scenarios BIBAFull-Text 168-182
  Thomas Vantroys; Yvan Peter
Open and Distance Learning platforms are more than systemis delivering pedagogical resources. They require mechanisms for the enactment and coordination of pedagogical modules and learning activities. A common solution to express learning paths in learning management systems (LMS) can be the use of Educational Modelling Languages (EML). The next step will be the enactment of these models. For that purpose, workflow management systems can be used. These systems formerly reserved for highly structured procedures can be used in dynamic and reactive environments such as virtual campuses platforms, thanks to an enhanced flexibility in the execution of models and in the management of exceptions. In this article we shall present COW our flexible workflow engine dedicated to open and distant learning. We will compare EML and workflow approach and see how to pass from a pedagogical modelisation to a workflow modelisation. We shall see how it is possible to organize the pedagogical modules and the learning paths to answer the expectation within the framework of individual courses (lifelong learning orientation) or within the framework of group courses (closer to the traditional face to face learning).
Competency Management for Group Formation on the AulaNet Learning Environment BIBAFull-Text 183-190
  Hugo Fuks; Luís Henrique Raja Gabaglia Mitchell; Marco Aurélio Gerosa; Carlos José Pereira de Lucena
The IMS Project uses the notion of competency to model educational objectives. In the AulaNet learning environment competency management is used to form subgroups that, in the case of this article, are assigned to generate new educational content for the Information Technologies Applied to Education course. The purpose of this course is to get learners to learn to work with information technology as a group, turning them into Web-based educators.
Dynamic Generation of Adaptive Web-Based Collaborative Courses BIBAFull-Text 191-198
  Rosa M. Carro; Alvaro Ortigosa; Estefanía Martín; Johann H. Schlichter
In this paper we present the use of adaptation techniques to dynamically generate adaptive collaborative Web-based courses. These courses are generated at runtime by selecting, at every step and for each student, the most suitable collaborative tasks to be proposed, the time at which they are presented, the specific problems to be solved, the most suitable partners to cooperate with and the collaborative tools to support the group cooperation. This selection is based on the users' personal features, preferences, knowledge and behavior while interacting with the course. The advantages of this approach and the peculiarities of combining individual adaptation with collaboration seamlessly are also presented.
Collaborative Authoring, Use, and Reuse of Learning Material in a Computer-Integrated Classroom BIBAFull-Text 199-207
  Nelson A. Baloian; José A. Pino; Olivier Motelet
Reuse of computer based learning material is a key requirement for any practical approach to support adaptive and dynamic teaching/learning inside and outside the classroom. Unlike hardware technology innovations, the software support for reuse inside the classroom is still not satisfactory. We present an approach to reuse material based in the Computer-integrated Classroom (CiC) environment and a special type of active documents used for containing learning material defined by the user to fit the particular needs of a lecture. This approach allows collaboration at two levels. The first one involves learning unit authors, who can jointly develop a course and teach it independently. The second level of collaboration refers to teacher and students exchanging and sharing documents. This framework does not impose a certain teaching/learning style. It rather supports the seamless transition from one teaching/learning mode to another one, using the same material.


Supporting Collaborative Drawing with the Mask Versioning Mechanism BIBAFull-Text 208-223
  Alexandre Pereira Meire; Marcos R. S. Borges; Renata Mendes de Araujo
This work presents a synchronous collaborative graphical editor that implements a proposal of an awareness mechanism of a collaborative artifact evolution. The graphical editor allows real-time, highly interactive collaborative work, using the mask metaphor to help participants in creating new diagram versions without interrupting the interaction as also to provide awareness of the diagram versions created. This paper describes the mask metaphor, the collaborative editor that implements this metaphor and discusses a case study conducted with the use of the tool.
An Agent Framework to Support Opportunistic Collaboration BIBAFull-Text 224-231
  Melfry Moreno; Adriana Santarosa Vivacqua; Jano Moreira de Souza
In increasingly networked times, CSCW systems have become more common. In most of these, individuals work collaboratively from their personal computer terminals, unaware of their peers. In this scenario, opportunities for collaboration often go unnoticed. In this paper, we investigate aspects of unplanned cooperation and how it might be encouraged. We propose an agent framework to encourage and support unplanned cooperation between people not necessarily in the same team. Agents build user profiles and match users according to their interests, activities and opportunities for cooperation. By matching users' work contexts, needs and resources, we expect to uncover opportunities for collaboration that might otherwise go unnoticed. We believe that the notification of users of these opportunities will lead to more frequent collaboration between them.

Supporting Collaborative Processes

Groupware Support for Cooperative Process Elicitation BIBAFull-Text 232-246
  Rosa M. de Freitas; Marcos R. S. Borges; Flávia Maria Santoro; José A. Pino
We propose an alternative approach to the usual business process improvement, in which company workers play an active role in re-designing the organization's processes in a cooperative style. We present the CEPE tool -- Cooperative Editor for Processes Elicitation -- which is a cooperative graphic editor that supports the building of the knowledge about the current process and reports associated problems. Moreover, this paper presents the results of a case study in which the editor was used.
Improving the Use of Strategies in Computer-Supported Collaborative Processes BIBAFull-Text 247-260
  César A. Collazos; Luis A. Guerrero; José A. Pino; Sergio F. Ochoa
The members of a work group need to apply a common strategy to collaboratively solve a problem. A good strategy will mainly depend on the collaboration scenario, participants' background, and available tools. This paper presents two widgets that have been useful to help to define and use good group members' strategies in collaborative learning scenarios. The concepts behind these widgets can be reused to support strategy definition processes in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of computer-supported collaborative processes.
Supporting Complex Decision Making Processes with Collaborative Applications -- A Case Study BIBAFull-Text 261-276
  Patrick Brézillon; Frédéric Adam; Jean-Charles Pomerol
There has been much research on the design of Groupware, its potential benefits and the methods used to develop systems to support groups. However, in many real life cases, identifying tangible benefits and demonstrating improvements in the quality of decision making after introducing such systems has proven difficult. In this paper, we present the case study of a newspaper firm in order to analyse the impact of a recently introduced collaborative computer system, implemented to support the information search, storage, organisation and dissemination activities of organisational actors. We found that the implementation of the new groupware systems has revolutionised the process of creation of the newspapers and given more time and greater control to the Editorial team. We conclude that when collaborative systems are designed that are closely matched to the needs of the group they serve, tangible benefits should be clearly observable. However, the development of these systems may take much time as the idiosyncratic manner in which specialised groups operate can be very difficult to properly and completely analyse.

Workflow Management Systems

An Architecture for Supporting Disconnected Operation in Workflow: An XML-Based Approach BIBAFull-Text 277-292
  Pedro Arroyo-Sandoval; Ana I. Martínez-Garcia; Cristina Ramirez-Fernandez
Nowadays, there exist few options to support workflow and cooperation among mobile users using non-traditional computing platforms such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). Considering the growing need for mobility and the more frequent use of mobile devices, it is necessary to provide support for the integration of these to the work environments. In this work, we present the development of the SysCoor Workflow Management System (WFMS) architecture, which provides support for the semi-automatic generation of Web-based workflow systems and disconnected workflow through the use of models described in the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and also considers the use of image, video and multimedia presentations as part of the workflow information entities. We present a scenario that illustrates a disconnected process and how it could benefit by this approach. We establish the requirements for supporting disconnected workflow and discuss the architecture of the system that is based in the use of XML for the specification of the workflow systems and disconnected operations. The workflow systems' specification is generated in XML to enable interoperability with other WFMS engines. The development of the disconnection mechanism is presented in terms of a lightweight architecture for PDA devices developed using the SuperWaba programming language, however, the architecture described can be implemented using other programming tools.
Interoperability of Workflow Engines Based on Agents Using Semantics BIBAFull-Text 293-299
  Gabrielle D'Annunzio Cavalcanti; Pedro Porfírio Muniz Farias
Workflow environments produced by different manufacturers with different implementation characteristics do not share information regarding the control of the execution of process instances, except when developing specific applications. Although some manufacturers have adopted standards such as the Workflow Management Coalition -- WFMC, there are still products of which the structure does not support such definitions, making information exchange between workflow engines a problem. A semantics-based approach enhances interaction between computer environments and is essential for an adequate understanding of the environment by the components involved. The present study presents a model for the process of interoperation between workflow engines applicable to the control of the execution of workflow instance processes on the internet. The model is based on agents, web services architecture and semantics for the handling of documents in the Wf-XML grammar standard.

Context in Groupwarey

A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing the Use of Context in Groupware BIBAFull-Text 300-313
  Márcio G. P. Rosa; Marcos R. S. Borges; Flávia Maria Santoro
This article presents a conceptual framework for the identification and classification of contextual elements included in groupware applications. Contextual elements store information that helps group members to characterize and to understand the interaction and its associate information. The conceptual framework can be used not only to guide the development of new groupware applications but also to analyze existing groupware. We illustrate the use of the framework in the analysis of three groupware tools.
Application Design Based on Work Ontology and an Agent Based Awareness Server BIBAFull-Text 314-329
  Rosa Alarcón; David A. Fuller
Collaborative Systems support user groups enabling a shared environment and informing of its state and changes through a mechanism called awareness. We believe that these changes and their consequences can be understood from an interpretation context, this approach allows us to infer the relevance of the awareness information and control its delivery trough different channels. The mechanism is enabled through a Multi-Agent System (MAS). We built a collaborative scheduler to test these ideas and we present a case study based on its use. We found that those ideas significantly ease the construction of different interfaces for the same problem while application usability is not impacted.
Supporting Context-Aware Collaboration in a Hospital: An Ethnographic Informed Design BIBAFull-Text 330-344
  Miguel A. Muñoz; Víctor M. González; Marcela Rodríguez; Jesús Favela
This paper reports the development of a context-aware messaging system to support the intensive and distributed nature which characterizes information management and collaboration in a hospital setting. Our design was based on a set of findings gathered during a workplace study conducted in a hospital. We identified that collaboration in the hospital is highly based on a set of contextual elements: (1) the location of people and devices, (2) the timing of messages to be delivered, (3) the role-oriented nature of the work and (4) the artifact-mediate nature of information gathering. Those elements were validated and their support analyzed with hospital's staff through a session where scenarios of use where created, refined, and evaluated. The results of this study allowed us to inform the design process of a context-aware architecture to support collaboration in a hospital setting. The architecture allows for the implementation of applications that respond in accordance to the context surrounding the activities performed at the hospital, thus enhancing information exchange, collaboration, and ultimately, decision making. In particular, we focus our attention on a context-aware messaging system developed on top of this architecture, and which allows health care workers to exchange messages that depend, for their delivery, on the status of people, resources and/or devices.

Supporting Communities

MADE -- A Groupware Application to Support Real-Time Activities of Distributed and Cooperating Communities BIBAKFull-Text 345-355
  Samuli Pekkola; Arto Rikalainen; Tero Toivonen; Saku Hujala; Niina Kaarilahti; Risto Lintinen; Pasi Pohjola
Abstract. Distributed work has increased during the last few years. Employees travelling around in different countries still need access to information and must be reachable by their colleagues. A variety of mobile devices have been utilised for this purpose. However, often, when using multiple devices, the information is available to the appropriate device only. Transferring data between the devices is not always an intuitive or easy thing to do -- not while conversing at least. This paper presents a groupware application to support real-time actions of distributed communities. The problem of separate devices is addressed by combining multiple tools, media, into a platform independent aggregate. This allows users to utilise the medium according to their personal preferences or the work situation -- regardless of the device they may have.
Keywords: groupware; CSCW system; distributed and real-time group work; ad hoc communication; mobile communities
Collaborative Scenarios to Promote Positive Interdependence among Group Members BIBAFull-Text 356-370
  César A. Collazos; Luis A. Guerrero; José A. Pino; Sergio F. Ochoa
Positive interdependence is the heart of collaborative activities that define collaboration and transform group work into teamwork. To achieve positive interdependence among students, just putting them in group and telling them to work together may not be sufficient. Previously, several types of positive interdependencies have been identified for unsupported group activities. These kinds of interdependencies are now instantiated for the case of computer-supported group learning. The examples we show in this paper are taken from computer games and other tools we have developed to set students in a scenario in which they must collaborate in order to succeed. This paper also presents diverse forms of structuring positive interdependence in software tools based on the interface design to ensure that students think we instead of me.
Building Virtual Communities for Information Retrieval BIBAFull-Text 371-379
  Daniel Memmi; Olivier Nérot
The search for relevant information is often hindered by the initial difficulty in formulating precise requests, and because much knowledge is actually tacit and thus not easily accessible. Asking for human assistance is the usual response to these problems, but one can develop computer systems to help locate the right persons in the search for information. We describe the structure and functioning of a collaborative, distributed search system designed to emulate the information-gathering functions of social communities. Such systems can be used to create virtual communities as well as to improve information retrieval.