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CSCW Tables of Contents: 8688909294969800020406

Proceedings of ACM CSCW'86 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Fullname:ACM CSCW'86 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
Editors:Herb Krasner; Irene Greif
Location:Austin, Texas
Dates:1986-Dec-03 to 1986-Dec-05
Standard No:ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: CSCW86; ISBN: 1-23-456789-0
  1. I -- supporting face-to-face groups
  2. II -- empirical studies
  3. III -- supporting distributed groups
  4. Panel A: collaboration & offices: cooperative work in the office
  5. Panel B: collaboration design: technology futures
  6. IV -- hypertext systems
  7. V -- underlying technology for collaborative systems
  8. VI -- collaboration research
  9. Panel C: from theories to systems
  10. Panel D: computer-supported groups: trends & markets
  11. VII -- interfaces: multi-media and multi-user
  12. VIII -- industrial experiences with computer-supported groups
  13. IX -- coordination and decision making
  14. X -- invited speaker

I -- supporting face-to-face groups

Project Nick: meetings augmentation and analysis BIBFull-Text 1-6
  Michael Begeman; Peter Cook; Clarence Ellis; Mike Graf; Gail Rein; Tom Smith
Cognoter: theory and practice of a colab-orative tool BIBAFull-Text 7-15
  Gregg Foster; Mark Stefik
Cognoter is a program helps a cooperating group of people to organizing their thoughts for a presentation, e.g., a paper or talk. It is designed for use in the Colab, an experimental laboratory created at Xerox PARC to study computer support of cooperative real-time group problem-solving. Cognoter provides a multi-user interface and a structured meeting process. An annotated graph of ideas is built up by the group in three stages: brainstorming for idea generation, ordering for idea organization, and evaluation for choosing what will be finally be presented. Interesting aspects of Cognoter include direct spatial manipulation of ideas and their order relationships, support of parallel activity, and incremental progress toward a total ordering of ideas.
A group decision support system for idea generation and issue analysis in organization planning BIBAFull-Text 16-34
  Lynda M. Applegate; Benn R. Konsynski; J. F. Nunamaker
The increasing reliance on group decision-making in today's complex business environments and advances in microcomputer, telecommunications and graphic presentation technology have combined to create a growing interest in the design of group decision support systems (GDSS). Planning is an important group decision-making activity within organizations. Effective planning depends on the generation and analysis of innovative ideas. For this reason, the idea generation and management process has been chosen as the domain for the study of the design and implementation of a GDSS to support complex, unstructured group decision processes within organizations.
   The MIS Planning and Decision Laboratory has been constructed to provide a research facility for the study of the planning and decision process while top executives from a variety of organizations use the laboratory to conduct actual planning sessions for their organization. This paper presents the design of a system to support the idea generation and analysis process in organization planning. Results of research conducted in the MIS Planning and Decision Laboratory on the use of the Electronic Brainstorming system with over 100 planners from a variety of organizations are presented and discussed.
   The findings of the research indicate that computer brainstorming stimulates task oriented behavior, decreases group interactions and equalizes participation. Information presentation, network speed and typing skills of the upper level managers were identified as possible inhibitors of the idea generation process that must be considered in the design of the system and the methodology for its use. Planners using the GDSS reported high levels of satisfaction with the process and outcome of the planning sessions. They rated the computer as an important tool for idea generation and the computer brainstorming process as "Much Better" than manual brainstorming.

II -- empirical studies

The variable impact of computer technologies on the organization of work activities BIBAFull-Text 35-42
  Jeanette L. Blomberg
New computer tools are affecting the ways in which work is accomplished and, in turn, existing patterns of social interaction are shaping the evolution of these highly malleable tools. This paper explores the interplay between a computer-based design environment employed in the creation of machine interfaces and the "users" of this tool, including the user interface designers and the software engineers supporting the technology. The use of this has resulted in the restructuring the social organization of the design tasks.
Cognitive science and organizational design: a case study of computer conferencing BIBAFull-Text 43-61
  Kevin Crowston; Thomas W. Malone; Felix Lin
Many researchers have investigated and speculated about the link between information technology and organizational structure with very mixed results. This paper suggests that part of the reason for these mixed results is the coarseness of previous analyses of both technology and structure. The paper describes a new and much more detailed perspective for investigating this link. Using concepts of object-oriented programming from artificial intelligence, the information processing that occurs in organizations is characterized in terms of the kinds of messages people exchange and the ways they process those messages. The utility of this approach is demonstrated through the analysis of a case in which a reduction in levels of management is coupled with the introduction of a computer conferencing system. The detailed model developed for this case helps explain both macro-level data about the changes in the organizational structure, and micro-level data about individuals' use of the system.
Narratives at work: story telling as cooperative diagnostic activity BIBAFull-Text 62-72
  Julian E. Orr
The diagnostic process for copiers involves narration of the process, including a description of the state of the machine. This follows from the fact that copiers are elaborate assemblages of relatively simple mechanisms, and the problem in diagnosis is not so much the testing of components as keeping track of the tests and making sense of their results. The anecdotal re-telling of this narrative to one's associates constitutes the mechanism for incorporating the diagnostic experience into the community expertise. These anecdotes are remembered and used or referred to during the diagnosis of other difficult problems or when seeking help. Individual expertise is in part the ability to interpret the anecdotes, to abstract the information about the machine from the context of the story. The participation of the community in remembering and using these anecdotes gives the community the flexibility to adapt to the unforeseen problems which are necessarily part of the service function.

III -- supporting distributed groups

Constraints on communication and electronic mail BIBAFull-Text 73-90
  Martha S. Feldman
How information flows through an organization is important to many organizational processes. The information people receive influences the perceptions they have of the organization they work for and the tasks they are assigned. Electronic mail constitutes a new medium in organizational communication. It may alter some of the information flow in the organizations in which it is used. My analysis suggests that some new communication occurs in large organizations that have electronic mail. I suggest that this new communication occurs because the way electronic mail is organized allows people to find other people with common interests at a low cost to either party. This new communication creates links between people who would otherwise not share information. Granovetter's work on the significance of weak ties suggests that such connections may have substantial influence on the way in which behavior is shaped and constrained by one's network and in the manipulation of networks to achieve specific goals (1973, 1974). These processes are important to organizational socialization and problem solving, respectively. Other functions of large formal organizations may also be affected.
Evolving electronic communication networks: an empirical assessment BIBFull-Text 91-101
  J. D. Eveland; T. K. Bikson
Semi-structured messages are surprisingly useful for computer-supported coordination BIBAFull-Text 102-114
  Thomas W. Malone; Kenneth R. Grant; Kum-Yew Lai; Ramana Rao; David Rosenblitt
This paper argues that using a set of semi-structured message templates is surprisingly helpful in designing a variety of computer-based communication and coordination systems. Semi-structured messages can help provide automatic aids for: (1) composing messages to be sent, (2) selecting, sorting, and prioritizing messages that are received, (3) responding automatically to some messages, and (4) suggesting likely responses to other messages. The use of these capabilities is illustrated in a range of applications including electronic mail, computer conferencing, calendar management, and task tracking. The applications show how ideas from artificial intelligence (such as inheritance and production rules) and ideas from user interface design (such as interactive graphical editors) can be combined in novel ways for dealing with semi-structured messages. The final part of the paper discusses how communities can evolve a useful set of message type definitions.
The AMIGO Project: advanced group communication model for computer-based communications environment BIBAKFull-Text 115-142
  Thore Danielsen; Uta Pankoke-Babatz; Wolfgang Prinz; Ahmed Patel; Paul-André Pays; Knut Smaaland; Rolf Speth
In this paper we discuss and elaborate on the conceptual requirements as well as the tools of the General AMIGO Model for group communication. The special features of the model are examined with particular reference to the social and ethical implications in the communication process. The applicability of the AMIGO Model is demonstrated by examples, and we give indications of further work to refine and advance the model.
Keywords: Computer-Based Message Systems (CBMSs), Message Handling Systems (MHSs), X.400, activity, code of ethics, communication patterns, communication planning, computer conferencing, distributed office systems, electronic mail, functions, group communication, group communication model, information interchange/exchange, message descriptors, message types, office environment, roles, rules

Panel A: collaboration & offices: cooperative work in the office

Panel on alternative views of cooperative work in the office BIBFull-Text 143
  Clarence A. Ellis

Panel B: collaboration design: technology futures

Panel session on collaborative design: technology futures BIBFull-Text 144-145
  Herb Krasner; John Tang; Bill Curtis; Chris Bullen; Walt Scacchi

IV -- hypertext systems

Contexts: a partitioning concept for hypertext BIBAFull-Text 147-152
  Norman Delisle; Mayer Schwartz
A hypertext system makes a good information management system for a software development environment. However, existing hypertext systems provide poor support for collaboration among members of development teams. We examine several models for forming partitions in a hypertext data base and define our notion of contexts, a partitioning scheme that supports multi-person cooperative efforts.
Supporting collaboration in NoteCards BIBAFull-Text 153-162
  Randall H. Trigg; Lucy A. Suchman; Frank G. Halasz
This paper describes a project underway to investigate computer support for collaboration. In particular, we focus on experience with and extensions to NoteCards, a hypertext-based idea structuring system. The forms of collaboration discussed include draft-passing, simultaneous sharing and online presentations. The requirement that mutual intelligibility be maintained between collaborators leads to the need for support of annotative and procedural as well as substantive activities.
Intermedia: issues, strategies, and tactics in the design of a hypermedia document system BIBAFull-Text 163-174
  L. Nancy Garrett; Karen E. Smith; Norman Meyrowitz
A hypermedia system provides a tool for cooperative work by allowing writers and designers to share a network of linked documents where they can create documents, link their own and others' documents together, and leave notes for one another. This paper discusses issues that designers need to address in the development of hypermedia systems. Major issues involve what kind of linking, contexts, and visual modeling the system provides. The composite of the answers to these issues determines the nature of the hypermedia system and how useful it is to those using it as a tool for cooperative work. The following presents a variety of solutions including those that developers at the Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship implemented in the creation of Intermedia.

V -- underlying technology for collaborative systems

Data sharing in group work BIBAFull-Text 175-183
  Irene Greif; Sunil Sarin
Data sharing is fundamental to computer-supported cooperative work: 'people share information through explicit communication channels and through their coordinated use of shared databases. Database support tools are therefore critical to the effective implementation of software for group work. This paper surveys data sharing requirements for group work, highlighting new database technologies that are especially likely to affect our ability to build computer systems supporting group work.
Network-based systems for asynchronous group communication BIBAFull-Text 184-191
  N. Jarrell; W. Barrett
Current computer-based mechanisms for asynchronous communication include electronic mail and computer conferencing systems. Electronic mail supports one-to-many communication patterns and has serious drawbacks when used for group interaction. Computer conferencing systems are typically implemented to execute on a single processor and users at remote locations access the shared information by logging on from terminals connected by dial-up lines. This paper presents an architecture for a network-based system that models communication as group access to shared multimedia objects. It also describes the features of a computer conferencing system that was implemented for Bitnet, a network of academic computers, and Vnet, the IBM internal network.
Tools help people co-operate only to the extent that they help them share goals and terminology BIBAFull-Text 192-201
  Robert Neches
This paper describes two pieces of work on support tools: one for the construction of consistent and principled human-computer interfaces, and the other for the construction of AI knowledge bases. These tools support co-operation by providing a central repository for design knowledge that otherwise would not be easily shared between users. The paper first describes the AI knowledge representation technology upon which the tools are founded. It then discusses a knowledge-based approach to interface construction and illustrates how that approach would apply to detecting design conflicts and inconsistencies stemming from two different kinds of team communication failure. Next, we discuss a knowledge acquisition aid utilized within the interface construction paradigm, which also illustrates the same approach to supporting co-operative work. We conclude by reviewing four sources of difficulty in team design efforts which this approach seeks to address.

VI -- collaboration research

A language/action perspective on the design of cooperative work BIBAFull-Text 203-220
  Terry Winograd
In designing computer-based systems, we work within a perspective that shapes the design questions that will be asked and the kinds of solutions that are sought. This paper introduces a perspective based on language as action, and explores its consequences for practical system design. The language/action perspective is contrasted to a number of other currently prominent perspectives, and is illustrated with an extended example based on studies of nursing work in a hospital ward. We show how it leads to particular analyses of that work, which reveal potentials for creating new designs that can make the work (and the workers) more effective.
A framework for studying research collaboration BIBAFull-Text 221-228
  Lucy A. Suchman; Randall H. Trigg
This paper describes a methodological and topical framework for studying collaboration in research settings. The framework is intended to capture the central activities and issues in research collaboration, and to represent them in a way that can inform the design of computer support. In this paper we present our starting premises for studying collaboration, describe our use of qualitative and naturalistic methods, and report our preliminary findings.
Relationships and tasks in scientific research collaborations BIBAFull-Text 229-245
  Robert Kraut; Jolene Galegher; Carmen Egido
Most computer-based aids for researchers and other workers have had individuals rather than groups or teams as their beneficiaries. This is unfortunate, since much work in business, government, and academia is performed by groups of people. In this paper we examine research collaborations as a particularly informative example of group work and propose a model of research collaboration that should provide guidance to those developing technology to support collaborative work. The model is based on 50 semi-structured interviews with researchers in psychology, management science, and computer science. It focuses on the problems in forming and maintaining personal relationships and completing tasks that researchers must solve to have a successful collaboration. These problems occur when collaborators are initiating projects, executing them, and documenting results.
Collaboration research in SCL BIBAFull-Text 246-251
  George O. Goodman; Mark J. Abel
The System Concepts Laboratory (SCL) of Xerox PARC is in the second year of a research program investigating the support and enhancement of collaboration. To begin, we explain our research goals and operationally define "collaboration" as we have chosen to study it. Then, we describe the environment in which the research takes place, including the two-site, distributed organization of SCL. In our first year, we have had many experiences that are relevant to understanding collaboration and we present a few of them and discuss how they are affecting the course of our future research.

Panel C: from theories to systems

From theories to systems BIBFull-Text 253
  Anatol Holt; Thomas W. Malone; Ronald Stamper; Terry Winograd; Paul M. Cashman

Panel D: computer-supported groups: trends & markets

Computer-supported groups: trends & markets BIBFull-Text 254
  Robert Johansen

VII -- interfaces: multi-media and multi-user

A performing medium for working group graphics BIBAFull-Text 255-266
  Fred Lakin
Writing and drawing together on a common display often assist a working group in a task. For example, face-to-face groups have long enjoyed the richness of graphic communication found on blackboards. The spontaneous image manipulations which take place over time on a blackboard can be viewed as a text-graphic performance. A human performer generates and manipulates text and graphics for the purpose of assisting the working group in their task.
   The phenomenon of performed text-graphics presents opportunities for research in the area of computer-supported cooperative work. 1] Spontaneous generation demands a performing medium where the focus is on live manipulation of text and graphics. Design of a computer-based medium with enough agility and generality to support blackboard-like activity is a challenge for interface design. 2] Agility and generality must not be achieved at the expense of specializability. After a group has initially sketched an idea in text and graphics, then that same medium should also support refining the sketch according to formal schema. 3] The performing medium can also be used as a recording medium for studying image manipulation as part of the working group process.
   This paper presents a stepwise approach to the design of a performing medium for working group graphics. First, examples of non-computer text-graphics for groups are examined to get a preliminary idea of the underlying phenomenon: the performing of text-graphic manipulation to assist working groups. Next key features of that kind of text-graphic manipulation are isolated. Then, third, the architecture and behavior of a graphics editor providing those features is described.
An experiment in integrated multimedia conferencing BIBAFull-Text 267-275
  Keith A. Lantz
This paper deals with the integration of multimedia conferencing facilities into an existing software environment. We assume that the "semantics" of the conferencing facilities have already been defined and address only the issue of how to implement those semantics in such a way as to minimize the impact on existing software. In particular, users should be able to invoke any application from within the framework of a conference, and programmers should be able to develop new applications without having to deal explicitly with conferencing issues. We present the basic architectural approaches to this problem and discuss an early experiment with one of them.
WYSIWIS revised: early experiences with multi-user interfaces BIBAFull-Text 276-290
  M. Stefik; D. G. Bobrow; S. Lanning; D. Tatar; G. Foster
WYSIWIS (What You See Is What I See) is a foundational abstraction for multi-user interfaces that expresses many of the characteristics of a chalkboard in face-to-face meetings. In its strictest interpretation, it means that everyone can see the same written information and also where anyone else is pointing. We present several examples of multi-user interfaces that start from the WYSIWIS abstraction. In our attempts to build software support for collaboration in meetings, we have discovered that WYSIWIS is at once crucial and too inflexible in its strictest sense. WYSIWIS must be relaxed for all our software tools to better accommodate important interactions in meetings. Relaxations to WYSIWIS are characterized in terms of constraints on its four key dimensions: display space, time of display, subgroup population, and congruence of view.

VIII -- industrial experiences with computer-supported groups

Computer teleconferencing: experience at Hewlett-Packard BIBAFull-Text 291-306
  Tony Fanning; Bert Raphael
As part of a thrust to improve communication and collaboration among geographically separated groups of engineers, Hewlett-Packard in 1984 investigated computer teleconferencing. Most of that year was devoted to selection, acquisition, and limited pilot use of one such system (CONFER II), which has since been made widely available in the company. Today 1800 HP employees have registered to use the system. Hundreds of people from 15 countries on five continents sign on daily to participate in more than 50 active conferences; hundreds of others have tried to use the system once or a few times and then given up.
   This paper describes Hewlett-Packard's experience with the introduction and use of this system; its role in the corporate communications environment; some examples of prominent successes and failures; some heuristics for how to make the best of the technology available today; and some suggestions for future capabilities that would make such systems more widely useful.
Achieving sustainable complexity through information technology: theory and practice BIBAFull-Text 307-317
  Paul M. Cashman; David Stroll
A major challenge facing a business manager is to achieve a sustainable level of success, which in turn means being able to sustainably master the complexity with which s/he must deal. Information technology providers must understand the relationships between the levels of complexity with which managers deal, the value of information at each level, and the resulting information system requirements. In this paper we describe a theoretical framework which sheds some light on these relationships, and describe a real-life experiment in using advanced information technology to support strategic business unit management within a large corporation.
Computer-supported cooperative work: examples and issues in one federal agency BIBFull-Text 318-324
  Cathleen Stasz; Tora K. Bikson

IX -- coordination and decision making

Chaos as coordination technology BIBAFull-Text 325-342
  F. De Cindio; G. De Michelis; C. Simone; R. Vassallo; A. M. Zanaboni
The need of supporting office work with suitable computer based tools implies the investigation of the deep aspects of cooperation within the office. Cooperation, to the extent that is made up of communication and coordination, can be fully characterized under the assumption that an office is a special linguistic game, constituted by a set of rules defining the conversations possible within it, continuously changing under the perturbations created by the speech acts its member do performing the conversations. Within this conceptual context, a prototypal software package, CHAOS-1, is presented. CHAOS-1 aims both at supporting the conversations and at improving coordination of the office activities.
   This paper discusses CHAOS-1 with respect to similar proposals, presents its overall architecture, shows some examples of its use and sketches its new releases under development.
Using a computer-based tool to support collaboration: a field experiment BIBFull-Text 343-352
  Bonnie Johnson; Geraldine Weaver; Margrethe H. Olson; Robert Dunham; Grady McGonagill
Computer-based systems for cooperative work and group decisionmaking: status of use and problems in development BIBAFull-Text 353-375
  Kenneth L. Kraemer; John Leslie King
Application of computer and information technology to cooperative work and group decisionmaking has grown out of three traditions: computer-based communications, computer-based information service provision, and computer-based decision support. This paper provides an overview of the various kinds of systems that have been configured to meet the needs of groups at work, evaluates the status of these systems in the United States, evaluates the experience with them, assesses barriers to their further development and use, and draws conclusions about future work in this area that should be undertaken. An extensive set of references is provided.
Synview: the design of a system for cooperative structuring of information BIBAFull-Text 376-385
  David G. Lowe
The SYNVIEW system implements cooperative structuring of information through an explicit representation for debate between the users of the system and through a voting mechanism for resolving disputes. This paper reviews the original design of the system and describes modifications that are necessary for near-term applications. In particular, we examine ways to interface to existing information in the form of traditional documents, and we describe simplifications to the debate representation that reduce the amount of effort required to enter information. A proposal is given for a demonstration of a cooperative information system that would be used by a group of scientists working in a particular area of research. Cooperative information systems have an excellent long-term potential, but there are many issues that must be resolved to encourage their more immediate use.

X -- invited speaker

Enhancing creativity with collaborative tools BIBAFull-Text 386
  John Seely Brown
Although most technological efforts to enhance creativity have focused on constructing empowering tools for the individual, such efforts fail to do justice to the fact that much of our creativity is a social phenomenon involving the rubbing of prearticulate ideas against each other in a supportive manner. We thus need tools that help pull our thoughts from chaos to order and that enable us, collaborating with ourselves or others, to suspend judgment and let each idea be a trigger and a backdrop for the next idea.