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CSCW Tables of Contents: 868890929496980002040608101112-112-213-113-214-114-215-1

Proceedings of ACM CSCW'06 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Fullname:Proceedings of ACM CSCW'06 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
Editors:Pamela Hinds; David Martin
Location:Banff, Alberta, Canada
Dates:2006-Nov-04 to 2006-Nov-08
Standard No:ACM ISBN 1-59593-249-6; ACM Order Number 612061; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: CSCW06
Links:Conference Home Page
  1. Displays
  2. Collaborative software engineering
  3. Healthcare
  4. Collaborative notification and awareness
  5. Performance & architecture
  6. Supporting social play
  7. Social tagging and recommending
  8. Lending a helping hand: using technology to assist
  9. Displays
  10. Algorithms for concurrent editing
  11. Reflecting on CSCW
  12. The ears and eyes have it: supporting audio & video
  13. Social networks and coordination patterns
  14. Conversation and referential communication
  15. A picture is worth a thousand words: using video & photography to support collaboration
  16. Enhancing the email experience
  17. Privacy
  18. Knitting together disparate collaborations
  19. Crossing language and culture


SIDES: a cooperative tabletop computer game for social skills development BIBAFull-Text 1-10
  Anne Marie Piper; Eileen O'Brien; Meredith Ringel Morris; Terry Winograd
This paper presents a design case study of SIDES: Shared Interfaces to Develop Effective Social Skills. SIDES is a tool designed to help adolescents with Asperger's Syndrome practice effective group work skills using a four-player cooperative computer game that runs on tabletop technology. We present the design process and evaluation of SIDES conducted over six months with a middle school social group therapy class. Our findings indicate that cooperative tabletop computer games are a motivating and supportive tool for facilitating effective group work among our target population and reveal several design lessons to inform the development of similar systems.
Exploring the effects of group size and display configuration on visual search BIBAFull-Text 11-20
  Clifton Forlines; Chia Shen; Daniel Wigdor; Ravin Balakrishnan
Visual search is the subject of countless psychology studies in which people search for target items within a scene. The bulk of this literature focuses on the individual with the goal of understanding the human perceptual system. In life, visual search is performed not only by individuals, but also by groups -- a team of doctors may study an x-ray and a team of analysts may study a satellite photograph. In this paper, we examine the issues one should consider when searching as a group. We present the details of an experiment designed to investigate the impact of group size on visual search performance, and how different display configurations affected that performance. We asked individuals, pairs, and groups of four people to participate in a baggage screening task in which these teams searched simulated x-rays for prohibited items. Teams conducted these searches on single monitors, a row of four monitors, and on a single horizontal display. Our findings suggest that groups commit far fewer errors in visual search tasks, although they may perform slower than individuals under certain conditions. The interaction between group size and display configuration turned out to be an important factor as well.
Enlightening a co-located community with a semi-public notification system BIBAFull-Text 21-24
  Goldie B. Terrell; D. Scott McCrickard
This work seeks to strengthen interaction within a research community through a centrally-located physical device that presents online presence information in a semi-public space. The device uses a map metaphor to represent a set of connected labs. As people move within the lab, those who wish to interact with lab users can use the display to guide their interaction approaches, by supporting educated guesses as to arrivals, departures, and work patterns. The paper reports on the lessons learned about the device's characteristics, and provides anecdotes and observations on ways in which this type of device can improve communication and enhance community.
Not all sharing is equal: the impact of a large display on small group collaborative work BIBAFull-Text 25-28
  Stephanie Wilson; Julia Galliers; James Fone
Large, shared displays are used in support of many forms of collaborative work and are generally assumed to benefit the work. We investigate this in a qualitative study of an intervention to introduce such a display to support the work of shift handover in a medical setting. Results suggest that the consequences of introducing a shared display can be more subtle than expected. In particular, we highlight the fact that the common distinction between private and public information is too coarse-grained and discuss the importance of considering how access to public information is initiated. We briefly touch upon implications for interaction design.

Collaborative software engineering

Interruptions on software teams: a comparison of paired and solo programmers BIBAFull-Text 29-38
  Jan Chong; Rosanne Siino
This study explores interruption patterns among software developers who program in pairs versus those who program solo. Ethnographic observations indicate that interruption length, content, type, occurrence time, and interrupter and interruptee strategies differed markedly for radically collocated pair programmers versus the programmers who primarily worked alone. After presenting an analysis of 242 interruptions drawn from more than 40 hours of observation data, we discuss how team configuration and work setting influenced how and when developers handled interruptions. We then suggest ways that CSCW systems might better support pair programming and, more broadly, provide interruption-handling support for workers in knowledge-intensive occupations.
Designing task visualizations to support the coordination of work in software development BIBAFull-Text 39-48
  Christine A. Halverson; Jason B. Ellis; Catalina Danis; Wendy A. Kellogg
Software development tools primarily focus on supporting the technical work. Yet no matter the tools employed, the process followed, or the size of the team, important aspects of development are non-technical, and largely unsupported. For example, increasing distribution of development teams highlights the issues of coordination and cooperation. This paper focuses on one area: managing change requests. Interviews with industry and open-source programmers were used to create designs for the visual inspection of change requests. This paper presents fieldwork findings and two designs. We conclude by reflecting on the issues that task visualizations that support social inferences address in software development.
CVS integration with notification and chat: lightweight software team collaboration BIBAFull-Text 49-58
  Geraldine Fitzpatrick; Paul Marshall; Anthony Phillips
Code management systems like Concurrent Version System (CVS) can play an important role in supporting coordination in software development, but often at some time removed from original CVS log entries or removed from the informal conversations around the code. The focus of this paper is one team's long term use of a solution where CVS is augmented with a lightweight event notification system, Elvin, and a tickertape tool where CVS messages are displayed and where developers can also chat with one another. Through a statistical analysis of CVS logs, and a qualitative analysis of tickertape logs and interview data, there is evidence of the tool transforming archival log entries into communicative acts and supporting timely interactions. Developers used the close integration of CVS with chat for growing team culture, stimulating focused discussion, supplementing log information, marking phases of work, coordinating and negotiating work, and managing availability and interruptibility. This has implications for consideration of more lightweight solutions for supporting collaborative software development, as well as managing awareness and interruptions more generally.


Formalizing work: reallocating redundancy BIBAFull-Text 59-68
  Glenn Munkvold; Gunnar Ellingsen; Hege Koksvik
This paper reports from an introduction of the electronic patient record for nurses in a Norwegian hospital. In addition to establish electronic written accounts of nurses' reports, a major aim was to formalize nurses' work, related to handover conferences. Despite the projects proclaimed success, like reduced overtime, improved quality of the written documentation and eliminated redundancy, our analysis demonstrates an opposite effect. Formalizing the nursing handover and thus reduce redundancy, in fact resulted in a reintroduction of redundancy, although at another time and place. We found that work (and redundancy) in fact had moved, to another time (i), into different artifacts (ii), or old artifacts that now were used/annotated differently (iii).
Representations at work: a national standard for electronic health records BIBAFull-Text 69-78
  Claus Bossen
Representations are at work in IT technology. As plans of and for work, they enable cooperation, coordination, accountability and control, which have to be balanced off against each other. The article describes a standard developed for electronic health records (EHR) and the results of a test of a prototype built on that standard at a department of internal medicine in 2004. It is argued that the prototype did not support clinical work, which is attributed to the model of work embedded in the standard, called Basic Structure for EHR (BEHR). The article concludes by calling for critical conceptualizations of the relations between representation, work and knowledge production.
Of pill boxes and piano benches: "home-made" methods for managing medication BIBAFull-Text 79-88
  Leysia Palen; Stinne Aalokke
We report on the results of an ethnographic study of how elders manage their medication with the objective of informing the design of in-home assistive health technology to support "medication adherence." We describe the methods by which elders organize and remember to take their medication-methods that leverage a kind of distributed cognition. Elders devise medication management systems that rely on the spatial features of their homes, the temporal rhythms of their days, as well as the routines that occasion these places and times to help recall and prospective remembering. We show how mobile health care workers participate in the development and execution of these systems, and "read" them to infer an elder's state of health and ability to manage medication. From this analysis, we present five principles for the design of assistive technology that support the enhanced but ongoing use of personalized medication management systems, and that also allow for remote health care assistance as it becomes needed.

Collaborative notification and awareness

FeedMe: a collaborative alert filtering system BIBAFull-Text 89-98
  Shilad Sen; Werner Geyer; Michael Muller; Marty Moore; Beth Brownholtz; Eric Wilcox; David R. Millen
As the number of alerts generated by collaborative applications grows, users receive more unwanted alerts. FeedMe is a general alert management system based on XML feed protocols such as RSS and ATOM. In addition to traditional rule-based alert filtering, FeedMe uses techniques from machine-learning to infer alert preferences based on user feedback. In this paper, we present and evaluate a new collaborative naive Bayes filtering algorithm. Using FeedMe, we collected alert ratings from 33 users over 29 days. We used the data to design and verify the accuracy of the filtering algorithm and provide insights into alert prediction.
Providing artifact awareness to a distributed group through screen sharing BIBAFull-Text 99-108
  Kimberly Tee; Saul Greenberg; Carl Gutwin
Despite the availability of awareness servers and casual interaction systems, distributed groups still cannot maintain artifact awareness -- the easy awareness of the documents, objects, and tools that other people are using -- that is a natural part of co-located work environments. To address this deficiency, we designed an awareness tool that uses screen sharing to provide information about other people's artifacts. People see others' screens in miniature at the edge of their display, can selectively raise a larger view of that screen to get more detail, and can engage in remote pointing if desired. Initial experiences show that people use our tool for several purposes: to maintain awareness of what others are doing, to project a certain image of themselves, to monitor progress and coordinate joint tasks, to help determine when another person can be interrupted, and to engage in serendipitous conversation and collaboration. People also balance awareness with privacy by using several privacy protection strategies built into our system.
AwareMedia: a shared interactive display supporting social, temporal, and spatial awareness in surgery BIBAFull-Text 109-118
  Jakob E. Bardram; Thomas R. Hansen; Mads Soegaard
Several CSCW studies have shown that coordination of work in hospitals is particular challenging, and that clinicians put much effort into maintaining mutual awareness on the flow of work. Despite these apparent challenges, very little work has been done to design technology which helps people coordinate highly cooperative work in such a critical setting. In this paper we propose a novel way of supporting coordination in this hectic and time-critical environment. AwareMedia is a system which promotes social, spatial, and temporal awareness in combination with a shared messaging system. AwareMedia runs on large interactive displays situated around the hospital, and it is designed especially to support coordination at an operation ward. We present the design, implementation, and deployment of AwareMedia and based on preliminary data from our on-going deployment, we discuss how AwareMedia is working in-situ.

Performance & architecture

Improving network efficiency in real-time groupware with general message compression BIBAFull-Text 119-128
  Carl Gutwin; Christopher Fedak; Mark Watson; Jeff Dyck; Tim Bell
Groupware communicates by sending messages across the network, and groupware programmers use a variety of formats for these messages, such as XML, plain text, or serialized objects. Although these formats have many advantages, they are often so verbose that they overload the system's network resources. Groupware programmers could improve efficiency by using more compact formats, but this efficiency comes at the cost of increased complexity, reduced convenience, and reduced readability. In this paper we propose an alternate approach for improving efficiency -- an automatic compression system that transparently minimizes verbose formats. Our general message compressor -- GMC -- automatically finds and removes redundancy in message streams, without any knowledge of the contents or structure of the message, and without any need for the programmer to change the way they work. In tests with realistic message traces, GMC reduced text messages to 20% of their original size, XML messages to 8% of the original, and serialized objects to 9%. Although not as compact as a hand-coded representation, GMC provides most of the compression benefits with almost none of the work -- it allows groupware programmers to use convenient message formats without compromising transport efficiency.
Response times in N-user replicated, centralized, and proximity-based hybrid collaboration architectures BIBAFull-Text 129-138
  Sasa Junuzovic; Prasun Dewan
We evaluate response times, in N-user collaborations, of the popular centralized (client-server) and replicated (peer-to-peer) architectures, and a hybrid architecture in which each replica serves a cluster of nearby clients. Our work consists of definitions of aspects of these architectures that have previously been unspecified but must be resolved for the analysis, a formal evaluation model, and a set of experiments. The experiments are used to define the parameters of and validate the formal analysis. In addition, they compare the performances, under the three architectures, of existing data-centric, logic-centric, and stateless shared components. We show that under realistic conditions, a small number of users, high intra-cluster network delays, and large output processing and transmission costs favor the replicated architecture, large input size favors the centralized architecture, high inter-cluster network delays favor the hybrid architecture, and high input processing and transmission costs, low think times, asymmetric processing powers, and logic-intensive applications favor both the centralized and hybrid architectures. We use our validated formal model to make useful predictions about the performance of the three kinds of architectures under realistic scenarios we could not create in lab experiments.
A lightweight approach to transparent sharing of familiar single-user editors BIBAFull-Text 139-148
  Du Li; Jiajun Lu
Special-purpose group editors remain underused despite significant work over the past two decades.
   This paper proposes a novel approach to transparently adapting familiar single-user editors for group editing without modifying their source code. It only needs to adapt single-user editors to support two simple interfaces that get and set their states; edit scripts are derived between document states by diffing and concurrent scripts are merged on the fly. The approach is significantly less expensive than recent alternatives because it no longer needs to translate editing operations at the windows event level. The users are free to use any editing commands and even heterogeneous single-user editors can be used in the same group editing task. This work is part of a project called intelligent collaboration transparency (ICT).

Supporting social play

Strangers and friends: collaborative play in world of warcraft BIBAFull-Text 149-158
  Bonnie Nardi; Justin Harris
We analyze collaborative play in an online video game, World of Warcraft, the most popular personal computer game in the United States, with significant markets in Asia and Europe. Based on an immersive ethnographic study, we describe how the social organization of the game and player culture affect players' enjoyment and learning of the game. We discovered that play is characterized by a multiplicity of collaborations from brief informal encounters to highly organized play in structured groups. The variety of collaborations makes the game more fun and provides rich learning opportunities. We contrast these varied collaborations, including those with strangers, to the "gold standard" of Gemeinschaft-like communities of close relations in tightknit groups. We suggest populations for whom similar games could be designed.
Sounds good to me: effects of photo and voice profiles on gaming partner choice BIBAFull-Text 159-162
  Jens Riegelsberger; Scott Counts; Shelly D. Farnham; Bruce C. Philips
In an empirical study we investigated how matchmaking for online gaming platforms could benefit from additional implicit information conveyed in profiles that include photos or voice recordings. We used 150 real online gamer profiles (50 text-only, 50 text & photo, 50 text & voice) to elicit gaming partner preferences from 267 online gamers. We found profiles with photos to lead to lower overall preference, indicating that people used them to reject potential partners. Voice recordings did not reduce overall preference but gave participants relevant information for gaming partner choice. We close with recommendations for the design of profile-based matchmaking systems.
Sandboxes: supporting social play through collaborative multimedia composition on mobile phones BIBAFull-Text 163-166
  David Fono; Scott Counts
Media sharing over mobile devices is quickly becoming a common practice, used to support a variety of social processes. Most existing systems employ a model of sharing that treats each shared item as a distinct message. We argue that there are compelling reasons to utilize a more flexible, cohesive approach to media sharing. To test this idea, we developed Sandboxes, a prototype application for mobile phones that goes beyond basic media sharing to offer a form of collaborative multimedia composition. The design of Sandboxes is based upon three primary themes: interactivity, flexibility and cohesiveness.
A face(book) in the crowd: social Searching vs. social browsing BIBAFull-Text 167-170
  Cliff Lampe; Nicole Ellison; Charles Steinfield
Large numbers of college students have become avid Facebook users in a short period of time. In this paper, we explore whether these students are using Facebook to find new people in their offline communities or to learn more about people they initially meet offline. Our data suggest that users are largely employing Facebook to learn more about people they meet offline, and are less likely to use the site to initiate new connections.

Social tagging and recommending

Don't look stupid: avoiding pitfalls when recommending research papers BIBAFull-Text 171-180
  Sean M. McNee; Nishikant Kapoor; Joseph A. Konstan
If recommenders are to help people be more productive, they need to support a wide variety of real-world information seeking tasks, such as those found when seeking research papers in a digital library. There are many potential pitfalls, including not knowing what tasks to support, generating recommendations for the wrong task, or even failing to generate any meaningful recommendations whatsoever. We posit that different recommender algorithms are better suited to certain information seeking tasks. In this work, we perform a detailed user study with over 130 users to understand these differences between recommender algorithms through an online survey of paper recommendations from the ACM Digital Library. We found that pitfalls are hard to avoid. Two of our algorithms generated 'atypical' recommendations recommendations that were unrelated to their input baskets. Users reacted accordingly, providing strong negative results for these algorithms. Results from our 'typical' algorithms show some qualitative differences, but since users were exposed to two algorithms, the results may be biased. We present a wide variety of results, teasing out differences between algorithms. Finally, we succinctly summarize our most striking results as "Don't Look Stupid" in front of users.
tagging, communities, vocabulary, evolution BIBAFull-Text 181-190
  Shilad Sen; Shyong K. Lam; Al Mamunur Rashid; Dan Cosley; Dan Frankowski; Jeremy Osterhouse; F. Maxwell Harper; John Riedl
A tagging community's vocabulary of tags forms the basis for social navigation and shared expression.
   We present a user-centric model of vocabulary evolution in tagging communities based on community influence and personal tendency. We evaluate our model in an emergent tagging system by introducing tagging features into the MovieLens recommender system.
   We explore four tag selection algorithms for displaying tags applied by other community members. We analyze the algorithms 'effect on vocabulary evolution, tag utility, tag adoption, and user satisfaction.
What goes around comes around: an analysis of del.icio.us as social space BIBAFull-Text 191-194
  Kathy J. Lee
An emergent class of web applications blurs the boundary between single user application and online public space. Recently popular web applications like del.icio.us help manage information traditionally kept on personal machines, while allowing for sharing with the community at large. An analysis of del.icio.us, a web-based bookmarks manager, shows that users who perceive greater degrees of social presence are more likely to annotate their bookmarks with information that could facilitate the sharing and discovery of bookmarks for other del.icio.us users. The design principles of del.icio.us and similar systems along with the findings of the present analysis reveal useful implications for the design of information sharing systems and knowledge repositories.
Shared waypoints and social tagging to support collaboration in software development BIBAFull-Text 195-198
  Margaret-Anne Storey; Li-Te Cheng; Ian Bull; Peter Rigby
This paper presents the conceptual design of TagSEA, a collaborative tool to support asynchronous software development. Our goal is to develop a lightweight source code annotation tool that enhances navigation, coordination, and capture of knowledge relevant to a software development team. Our design is inspired by combining "waypoints" from geographical navigation with "social tagging" from social bookmarking software to support coordination and communication among software developers. We describe the motivation behind this work, walk through the design and implementation, and report early feedback on how this lightweight tool supports collaborative software engineering activities. Finally, we suggest a number of new research directions that this topic exposes.

Lending a helping hand: using technology to assist

Technology in spiritual formation: an exploratory study of computer mediated religious communications BIBAFull-Text 199-208
  Susan P. Wyche; Gillian R. Hayes; Lonnie D. Harvel; Rebecca E. Grinter
In this paper, we report findings from a study of American Christian ministers' uses of technologies in religious practices. We focus on the use of technologies for spiritual purposes as opposed to pragmatic and logistical, but report on all. We present results about the uses of technologies in three aspects of religious work: religious study and reflection, church services, and pastoral care. We end by examining how the collaborative religious uses of technologies cross and blend work and personal life.
From the war room to the living room: decision support for home-based therapy teams BIBAFull-Text 209-218
  Julie A. Kientz; Gillian R. Hayes; Gregory D. Abowd; Rebecca E. Grinter
Teams of therapists often provide targeted interventions for children with developmental disabilities. A common practice in these cases is one-on-one interaction between a therapist and the child together with occasional group meetings of the therapists to discuss progress and make informed decisions to modify the intervention plan. We designed a system called Abaris to support this form of collaborative decision-making for a particular intervention popular in the treatment of children with autism. Our system allows for the simultaneous use of trending data across therapy sessions and detailed session data that is automatically integrated with highly indexed video. We discuss the impact this system had on the team dynamics, the amount of collaboration, and the effect it had on the team using evidence and videos to make decisions about the care of the child.
The practical indispensability of articulation work to immediate and remote help-giving BIBAFull-Text 219-228
  Andy Crabtree; Jacki O'Neill; Peter Tolmie; Stefania Castellani; Tommaso Colombino; Antonietta Grasso
This paper argues that the design of remote help-giving systems should be grounded in articulation work and the methodical ways in which help-givers and help-seekers coordinate their problem solving activities. We provide examples from ethnographic studies of both immediate and remote help-giving to explicate what we mean by articulation work and to tease out common and characteristic methods involved in help-seeking and the giving of expert advice. We then outline how emerging technologies might best be used to support articulation work in the design and development of systems for remote troubleshooting of devices with embedded computing capabilities.


Making things work: dimensions of configurability as appropriation work BIBAFull-Text 229-238
  Ellen Balka; Ina Wagner
In this paper we discuss configurability as a form of appropriation work. We suggest that making technology work requires an awareness of the multiple dimensions of configurability carried out by numerous actors within and outside of the organizations in which new technologies are introduced in efforts to support cooperative work. Through discussion of the introduction of a wireless call system into a hospital, we provide an overview of these dimensions -- organisational relations, space and technology relations, connectivity, direct engagement, and configurability as part of technology use and work - and we suggest that in increasingly complex technological and organisational contexts, greater attention will need to be focused on these dimensions of configurability in order to make things work.
The wheel of collaboration tools: a typology for analysis within a holistic framework BIBAFull-Text 239-248
  Per Einar Weiseth; Bjorn Erik Munkvold; Bjorn Tvedte; Sjur Larsen
We present a holistic framework for analyzing and specifying collaboration solutions, developed by an oil and gas company in response to practical needs in supporting integrated collaboration and information management. A typology of collaboration tool capabilities, termed the Wheel of Collaboration Tools (WCT), is described. We assess its contributions, and discuss areas of application and potential further development. Our intent is to stimulate discussion and research related to this type of collaboration modeling.
The uses of paper in commercial airline flight operations BIBAFull-Text 249-258
  Saeko Nomura; Edwin Hutchins; Barbara E. Holder
Designers of commercial aviation flight decks have recently begun to consider ways to reduce or eliminate the use of paper documents in flight operations. Using ethnographic methods we describe the cognitive functions served by the paper-use practices of pilots. The special characteristics of flight deck work give a distinctive quality to pilots' paper-use practices. The complex high-stakes high-tempo nature of pilots' work makes shared understandings essential to safe flight. This means that representation of flight critical information must not only be available to both pilots, but available to the pilots jointly in interaction with one another. The cross-cultural component of our work shows how language and culture color all of the pilots' practices and how interaction with paper objects allows actors to build social identities and social relations.

Algorithms for concurrent editing

Data consistency for P2P collaborative editing BIBAFull-Text 259-268
  Gerald Oster; Pascal Urso; Pascal Molli; Abdessamad Imine
Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks are very efficient for distributing content. We want to use this potential to allow not only distribution but collaborative editing of this content. Existing collaborative editing systems are centralised or depend on the number of sites. Such systems cannot scale when deployed on P2P networks. In this paper, we propose a new model for building a collaborative editing system. This model is fully decentralised and does not depend on the number of sites.
Draw-together: graphical editor for collaborative drawing BIBAFull-Text 269-278
  Claudia-Lavinia Ignat; Moira C. Norrie
Collaborative object-based graphical editors offer good support for design teams to work concurrently on their design. However, not much research has been done on maintaining consistency when complex operations such as the grouping of objects or working on layers are involved. In this paper, we propose a novel operation serialisation algorithm for consistency maintenance based on the reordering of nodes in a graph. The nodes of a graph represent operations and the edges represent ordering constraints between operations. Users can specify types of conflicts between operations and the policy for the resolution of conflicts.
Operation context and context-based operational transformation BIBAFull-Text 279-288
  David Sun; Chengzheng Sun
Operational Transformation (OT) is a technique for consistency maintenance and group undo, and is being applied to an increasing number of collaborative applications. The theoretical foundation for OT is crucial in determining its capability to solve existing and new problems, as well as the quality of those solutions. The theory of causality has been the foundation of all prior OT systems, but it is inadequate to capture essential correctness requirements. Past research had invented various patches to work around this problem, resulting in increasingly intricate and complicated OT algorithms. After having designed, implemented, and experimented with a series of OT algorithms, we reflected on what had been learned and set out to develop a new theoretical framework for better understanding and resolving OT problems, reducing its complexity, and supporting its continual evolution. In this paper, we report the main results of this effort: the theory of operation context and the COT (Context-based OT) algorithm. The COT algorithm is capable of supporting both do and undo of any operations at anytime, without requiring transformation functions to preserve Reversibility Property, Convergence Property 2, Inverse Properties 2 and 3. The COT algorithm is not only simpler and more efficient than prior OT control algorithms, but also simplifies the design of transformation functions. We have implemented the COT algorithm in a generic collaboration engine and used it for supporting a range of novel collaborative applications.

Reflecting on CSCW

The chasms of CSCW: a citation graph analysis of the CSCW conference BIBAFull-Text 289-298
  Michal Jacovi; Vladimir Soroka; Gail Gilboa-Freedman; Sigalit Ur; Elad Shahar; Natalia Marmasse
The CSCW conference is celebrating its 20th birthday. This is a perfect time to analyze the coherence of the field, to examine whether it has a solid core or sub-communities, and to identify various patterns of its development. In this paper we analyze the structure of the CSCW conference using structural analysis of the citation graph of CSCW and related publications. We identify the conference's core and most prominent clusters. We also define a measure to identify chasm-papers, namely papers cited significantly more outside the conference than within, and analyze such papers.
Re-space-ing place: "place" and "space" ten years on BIBAFull-Text 299-308
  Paul Dourish
In the ten years since the distinction between "place" and "space" emerged as a consideration for CSCW researchers and designers, the concepts have proven useful across a range of domains. In that same period of time, wireless and mobile technologies have given us new sites at which to examine the issues of space, practice, and mobility. These changes suggest that it might be fruitful to re-examine the issues of place and space in light of recent developments. In particular, the nature of space and spatiality deserve further consideration.
Revisiting Whittaker & Sidner's "email overload" ten years later BIBAFull-Text 309-312
  Danyel Fisher; A. J. Brush; Eric Gleave; Marc A. Smith
Ten years ago, Whittaker and Sidner [8] published research on email overload, coining a term that would drive a research area that continues today. We examine a sample of 600 mailboxes collected at a high-tech company to compare how users organize their email now to 1996. While inboxes are roughly the same size as in 1996, our population's email archives have grown tenfold. We see little evidence of distinct strategies for handling email; most of our users fall into a middle ground. There remains a need for future innovations to help people manage growing archives of email and large inboxes.

The ears and eyes have it: supporting audio & video

Moving office: inhabiting a dynamic building BIBAFull-Text 313-322
  Holger Schnadelbach; Alan Penn; Phil Steadman; Steve Benford; Boriana Koleva; Tom Rodden
Mixed Reality Architecture (MRA) supports distributed teams in their everyday work activities by linking multiple physical spaces across a shared three-dimensional virtual world. User configurable audio-visual connections give the inhabitants of MRA full control over whom they want to be in contact with and when they make themselves available, as well as over the overall configuration. We report on the design of MRA, its deployment in an office environment and results from a long-term observational study. The study shows that MRA supports the management of awareness, social interaction and privacy well, that the architectural design features are crucial for this process and that the dynamic architectural topology of MRA and social interaction within it are linked in a fundamental way.
A comparison of chat and audio in media rich environments BIBAFull-Text 323-332
  Jeremiah Scholl; John McCarthy; Rikard Harr
This paper presents two case studies of informal group communication using multimedia conferencing that supports various media including video, audio and chat. The studies provide a comparison of audio and chat as communication medium and present data on usage patterns, user preferences and attitudes. The quantitative and qualitative data collected suggest that chat does have advantages in some situations when used for informal communication along with video. The results provide evidence against the hypothesis that chat is a low bandwidth alternative only used when audio communication is unavailable. This suggests that video mediated chat deserves further attention from designers and the research community, since it is often ignored as a "useful" scenario.
Improving audio conferencing: are two ears better than one? BIBAFull-Text 333-342
  Nicole Yankelovich; Jonathan Kaplan; Joe Provino; Mike Wessler; Joan Morris DiMicco
In this paper, we describe a range of audio problems that impact the effectiveness of audio conferences and detail the solutions we have devised to address these problems. We conducted an audio quality assessment to determine how differences in quality impact audio clarity, a remote person's experience connecting to a conference room, and social presence. Based on the results of this assessment, we examine the costs and benefits of increasing audio fidelity with respect to the network resources needed to support high-fidelity audio conferencing.

Social networks and coordination patterns

Structures that work: social structure, work structure and coordination ease in geographically distributed teams BIBAFull-Text 343-352
  Pamela Hinds; Cathleen McGrath
Scholars have recently argued for flatter, organic organizational structures that enable workers to deal more effectively with dynamic and uncertain environments. In a correlational study of 33 R&D teams, we find that although this network form is associated with more smooth coordination in collocated teams, the opposite is true for geographically distributed teams. In fact, an informal hierarchical structure was associated with more smooth coordination in distributed teams. These results add to the scant literature on networks in teams and provide insight into important differences in the structure of geographically distributed and collocated teams.
Identification of coordination requirements: implications for the Design of collaboration and awareness tools BIBAFull-Text 353-362
  Marcelo Cataldo; Patrick A. Wagstrom; James D. Herbsleb; Kathleen M. Carley
Task dependencies drive the need to coordinate work activities. We describe a technique for using automatically generated archival data to compute coordination requirements, i.e., who must coordinate with whom to get the work done. Analysis of data from a large software development project revealed that coordination requirements were highly volatile, and frequently extended beyond team boundaries. Congruence between coordination requirements and coordination activities shortened development time. Developers, particularly the most productive ones, changed their use of electronic communication media over time, achieving higher congruence. We discuss practical implications of our technique for the design of collaborative and awareness tools.
Actor centrality correlates to project based coordination BIBAFull-Text 363-372
  Liaquat Hossain; Andre Wu; Kenneth K. S. Chung
In this study, we draw on network centrality concepts and coordination theory to understand how project team members interact when working towards a common goal. A text-mining application based on the constructs of coordination theory was developed to measure the coordinative activity of each employee. Results show that high network centrality is correlated with the ability of an actor to coordinate actions of others in a project group. Furthermore, highly centralised actors coordinate better than others. In conclusion, we suggest implications of appropriate network structure for supporting organisational coordination more effectively and efficiently.

Conversation and referential communication

The mystery of the missing referent: objects, procedures, and the problem of the instruction follower BIBAFull-Text 373-382
  Timothy Koschmann; Curtis LeBaron; Charles Goodwin; Paul Feltovich
An omni-relevant issue for workplace studies is how participants engaged in joint activity make sense of the objects that constitute their shared material environment. In this study we examine a surgery taped in a teaching hospital to explore how formal procedures make relevant certain sorts of objects and, at the same time, are constituted through them. We proceed by unpacking one particular strip of talk and demonstrate how its determinate sense rests upon a vernacular understanding of unfolding procedure. We treat surgical procedures as sequences of projected instructions. Competent design of technologies intended to support cooperative work must rest ultimately on an intimate understanding of that work's organization. The practices of instantiating objects and followintg procedures are foundational to that organization. This paper is intended to provide method and vocabulary for studying and describing such matters.
HomeNote: supporting situated messaging in the home BIBAFull-Text 383-392
  Abigail Sellen; Richard Harper; Rachel Eardley; Shahram Izadi; Tim Regan; Alex S. Taylor; Ken R. Wood
In this paper we describe a field trial designed to investigate the potential of remote, situated messaging within the home. Five households used our "HomeNote" device for approximately a month. The results show a diversity of types of communication which highlight the role of messaging both to a household and to a place. It also shows the ways in which these kinds of messages enable subtle ways of requesting action, expressing affection, and marking identity in a household -- communication types which have received little attention in the research literature. These in turn point to new concepts for technology which we describe.
Where's the "party" in "multi-party"?: analyzing the structure of small-group sociable talk BIBAFull-Text 393-402
  Paul M. Aoki; Margaret H. Szymanski; Luke D. Plurkowski; James D. Thornton; Allison Woodruff; Weilie Yi
Spontaneous multi-party interaction -- conversation among groups of three or more participants -- is part of daily life. While automated modeling of such interactions has received increased attention in ubiquitous computing research, there is little applied research on the organization of this highly dynamic and spontaneous sociable interaction within small groups. We report here on an applied conversation analytic study of small-group sociable talk, emphasizing structural and temporal aspects that can inform computational models. In particular, we examine the mechanics of multiple simultaneous conversational floors -- how participants initiate a new floor amidst an on-going floor, and how they subsequently show their affiliation with one floor over another. We also discuss the implications of these findings for the design of "smart" multi-party applications.

A picture is worth a thousand words: using video & photography to support collaboration

An exploratory analysis of partner action and camera control in a video-mediated collaborative task BIBAFull-Text 403-412
  Abhishek Ranjan; Jeremy P. Birnholtz; Ravin Balakrishnan
This paper reports on an exploratory experimental study of the relationships between physical movement and desired visual information in the performance of video-mediated collaborative tasks in the real world by geographically distributed groups. Twenty-three pairs of participants (one "helper" and one "worker") linked only by video and audio participated in a Lego construction task in one of three experimental conditions: a fixed scene camera, a helper-controlled pan-tilt-zoom camera, and a dedicated operator-controlled camera. "Worker" motion was tracked in 3-D space for all three conditions, as were all camera movements. Results suggest performance benefits for the operator-controlled condition, and the relationships between camera position/movement and worker action are explored to generate preliminary theoretical and design implications.
Spatiality in videoconferencing: trade-offs between efficiency and social presence BIBAFull-Text 413-422
  Jorg Hauber; Holger Regenbrecht; Mark Billinghurst; Andy Cockburn
In this paper, we explore ways to combine the video of a remote person with a shared tabletop display to best emulate face-to-face collaboration. Using a simple photo application we compare a variety of social and performance measures of collaboration of a standard non-spatial 2D interface with two approaches for adding spatial cues to videoconferencing: one based on simulated immersive 3D, the other based on video streams in a physically fixed arrangement around an interactive table. A face-to-face condition is included as a 'gold-standard' control. As expected, social presence and task measures were superior in the face-to-face condition, but there were also important differences between the 2D and spatial interfaces. In particular, the spatial interfaces positively influenced social presence and copresence measures in comparison to 2D, but the task measures favored the two-dimensional interface.
Pele-Mele, a video communication system supporting a variable degree of engagement BIBAFull-Text 423-426
  Sofiane Gueddana; Nicolas Roussel
Pele-Mele is a multi-party video communication system that supports a variable degree of engagement. It combines computer vision techniques with spatial and temporal filtering of the video streams and an original layout to support synchronous as well as asynchronous forms of communication ranging from casual awareness to focused face-to-face interactions. This note presents the system's design concept and some of its implementation details.
Challenges in the analysis of multimodal messaging BIBAFull-Text 427-430
  Amy Voida; Elizabeth D. Mynatt
New forms of computer-mediated communication are increasingly multimodal, providing capabilities for communicating with some combination of text, image, audio, and video. In this paper, we point to the need to develop better methods for studying multimodal communication -- more specifically, for studying the communicative role of and relationships among differentnmodalities within their increasingly complex, multimodal semiotic landscapes. We present two challenges in the analysis of multimodal communication, point of view and unit of analysis, both encountered in the context of our study of the use of photo-enhanced instant messaging.

Enhancing the email experience

Email overload at work: an analysis of factors associated with email strain BIBAFull-Text 431-440
  Laura A. Dabbish; Robert E. Kraut
Almost every office worker can relate to feelings of email overload and stress, but in reality the concept of email strain is not well understood. In this paper, we describe a large-scale nationwide organizational survey examining the relationship between email use and feelings of email overload and task coordination. We found that higher email volume was associated with increased feelings of email overload, but this relationship was moderated by certain email management strategies. The contribution to the field of CSCW is a better understanding of the concept of email related stress, and initial scale development for the assessment of email-related overload and perceptions of the work-importance of email.
Going with the flow: email awareness and task management BIBAFull-Text 441-450
  Nelson Siu; Lee Iverson; Anthony Tang
Email use in the context of everyday work practices, or email flow, has not been heavily studied. We present the results of a pair of studies examining how users interlace email with their day-to-day, ongoing work processes. We demonstrate that our subjects use email as a tool for managing moment-to-moment attention and task focus. We also provide a model of this workflow that builds upon an existing model by Venolia et al. Finally, we provide specific design recommendations to enhance the usability of email clients in support of these modes of interaction.
Leveraging digital backchannels to enhance user experience in electronically mediated communication BIBAFull-Text 451-454
  Wendy A. Kellogg; Thomas Erickson; Tracee Vetting Wolf; Stephen Levy; Jim Christensen; Jeremy Sussman; William E. Bennett
Rendezvous is a conference call solution that leverages Voice over IP, enterprise calendaring, instant messaging, and rich client functionality to enhance the user experience and effectiveness of distributed meetings. We describe the service, and two of its user experience innovations -- the conference call proxy and iHelp -- which function as digital backchannels. We present results from a preliminary user evaluation, and discuss our notion of digital backchannels with respect to the social translucence framework.
Structuring and supporting persistent chat conversations BIBAFull-Text 455-458
  David Fono; Ron Baecker
Persistence of conversations has been found to be a useful feature in group chat tools. When conversations are stored and made accessible to all members of a group, they can facilitate organizational memory, group awareness, and other beneficial practices. However, the lack of structure in chat conversations makes it difficult for users to read and keep track of lengthy conversation histories. To contend with this problem, we have developed a persistent chat system that incorporates a number of features which facilitate participation in long, ongoing conversations.


A grounded theory of information sharing behavior in a personal learning space BIBAFull-Text 459-468
  Maryam N. Razavi; Lee Iverson
This paper presents a grounded theory of information sharing behavior of the users of a personal learning space. A personal learning space is an environment consisted of weblog, ePortfolio, and social networking functionality. It is primarily used within education as a tool to enhance learning, but is also used as a knowledge management tool and to develop communities of practice. Our results identify privacy as a main concern for users of a personal learning space and illustrate challenges users face in ensuring privacy of their information and strategies they employ to achieve the desired level of privacy. We then identify factors that affect users' decisions regarding disclosure of their personal artifacts to various people and groups in a personal learning space. The three main themes as emerged in our study include current stage in the information life cycle, the nature of trust between the owner and the receiver of information, and the dynamics of the group or community within which the information is being shared. Together, these themes portrayed a clearer picture of users' perspective on the privacy of their information in a personal learning space. The findings offer some ideas about how to create privacy management mechanisms for personal learning spaces that are based on users' mental model of information privacy. Practical implications of the results are also discussed.
Context-aware telephony: privacy preferences and sharing patterns BIBAFull-Text 469-478
  Ashraf Khalil; Kay Connelly
The proliferation of cell phones has led to an ever increasing number of inappropriate interruptions. Context-aware telephony applications, in which callers are provided with context information about the receivers, has been proposed as a solution for this problem. This approach, however, raises many privacy issues that may render it infeasible. In this paper, we report on an in-situ study of user privacy preferences and patterns of sharing different types of context information with different social relations. We found that participants disclosed their context information generously, suggesting that context-aware telephony is not only feasible, but also desirable. Our data shows a distinct sharing pattern across social relations and different types of context information. We discuss the implications of the results for designers of context-aware telephony in particular and context-aware applications in general.
Unobtrusive but invasive: using screen recording to collect field data on computer-mediated interaction BIBAFull-Text 479-482
  John C. Tang; Sophia B. Liu; Michael Muller; James Lin; Clemens Drews
We explored the use of computer screen plus audio recording as a methodological approach for collecting empirical data on how teams use their computers to coordinate work. Screen recording allowed unobtrusive collecting of a rich record of actual computer work activity in its natural work setting. The embedded nature of screen recording on laptops made it easy to follow the user's mobility among various work sites. However, the invasiveness of seeing all of the user's interactions with and through the computer raised privacy concerns that made it difficult to find people to agree to participate in this type of detailed study. We discuss measures needed to develop trust with the researchers to enable access to this rich, empirical data of computer usage in the field.

Knitting together disparate collaborations

The human infrastructure of cyberinfrastructure BIBAFull-Text 483-492
  Charlotte P. Lee; Paul Dourish; Gloria Mark
Despite their rapid proliferation, there has been little examination of the coordination and social practices of cyberinfrastructure projects. We use the notion of "human infrastructure" to explore how human and organizational arrangements share properties with technological infrastructures. We conducted an 18-month ethnographic study of a large-scale distributed biomedical cyberinfrastructure project and discovered that human infrastructure is shaped by a combination of both new and traditional team and organizational structures. Our data calls into question a focus on distributed teams as the means for accomplishing distributed work and we argue for using human infrastructure as an alternative perspective for understanding how distributed collaboration is accomplished in big science.
Conceptualizing common information spaces across heterogeneous contexts: mutable mobiles and side-effects of integration BIBAFull-Text 493-500
  Knut H. Rolland; Vidar Hepsp; Eric Monteiro
The design and conceptualization of Common Information Spaces (CIS) has long been recognized as an important research topic within CSCW. Informed by recent developments in Actor-Network Theory (ANT), this paper contributes to the conceptualization of CIS across heterogeneous contexts. In particular, the paper develops a dynamic perspective on CIS emphasizing how CIS is malleable, open and achieved in practice. Furthermore, we argue that large-scale CIS efforts inherently tend to re-produce fragmentation as an unintended consequence of integrating heterogeneous sources of information. Empirically, the research is grounded in extensive field work in a major international oil and gas company.
Forms of collaboration in high performance computing: exploring implications for learning BIBAFull-Text 501-504
  Catalina Danis
Successful collaboration is not only an occasion for the accomplishment of shared goals, but also provides opportunities for individual collaborators to learn from each other. Extended interaction allows for participants to resolve personal and professional differences and thus create a foundation for successful collaboration. This paper contrasts opportunities for learning in short-term and long-term collaboration in the context of scientists working with High Performance Computing (HPC) system experts. It explores how factors conducive to successful collaboration in longer, more tightly organized collaboration might be adapted in more transient collaboration between scientists and HPC consultants.

Crossing language and culture

Communication characteristics of instant messaging: effects and predictions of interpersonal relationships BIBAFull-Text 505-514
  Daniel Avrahami; Scott E. Hudson
Instant Messaging is a popular medium for both social and work-related communication. In this paper we report an investigation of the effect of interpersonal relationship on underlying basic communication characteristics (such as messaging rate and duration) using a large corpus of instant messages. Our results show that communication characteristics differ significantly for communications between users who are in a work relationship and between users who are in a social relationship. We used our findings to inform the creation of statistical models that predict the relationship between users without the use of message content -- achieving an accuracy of nearly 80% for one such model. We discuss the results of our analyses and potential uses of these models.
Effects of machine translation on collaborative work BIBAFull-Text 515-524
  Naomi Yamashita; Toru Ishida
Even though multilingual communities that use machine translation to overcome language barriers are increasing, we still lack a complete understanding of how machine translation affects communication. In this study, eight pairs from three different language communities -- China, Korea, and Japan -- worked on referential tasks in their shared second language (English) and in their native languages using a machine translation embedded chat system. Drawing upon prior research, we predicted differences in conversational efficiency and content, and in the shortening of referring expressions over trials. Quantitative results combined with interview data show that lexical entrainment was disrupted in machine translation-mediated communication because echoing is disrupted by asymmetries in machine translations. In addition, the process of shortening referring expressions is also disrupted because the translations do not translate the same terms consistently throughout the conversation. To support natural referring behavior in machine translation-mediated communication, we need to resolve asymmetries and inconsistencies caused by machine translations.
Cultural differences in the use of instant messaging in Asia and North America BIBAFull-Text 525-528
  Shipra Kayan; Susan R. Fussell; Leslie D. Setlock
Information technologies have the potential to facilitate cross-cultural collaboration, but this potential may be limited by different styles of IT use in different cultures. We report the results of a preliminary study and a larger follow-up study that focus on the use of Instant Messaging (IM) in North America and Asia. Consistent with the distinction between Western individualistic, low-context cultures and Eastern collectivistic, high-context cultures, we found that multi-party chat, audio-video chat and emoticons were much more popular in Asia than in North America. We conclude that cultural differences should be taken into consideration when designing tools for cross-cultural communication.