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CSCW Tables of Contents: 8688909294969800020406081011

Proceedings of ACM CSCW'92 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Fullname:Proceedings of ACM CSCW'92 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
Note:Sharing Perspectives
Editors:Marilyn Mantei; Ron Baecker; Robert Kraut; Jon Turner
Location:Toronto, Canada
Dates:1992-Oct-31 to 1992-Nov-04
Standard No:ACM ISBN 0-89791-542-9 pbk 0-89791-543-7; ACM Order Number 612920; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: CSCW92
  1. Opening Plenary
  2. Closing Plenary
  3. Formal Video Program
  4. Panels
  5. Video Spaces
  6. Building Real-Time Groupware
  7. Innovations in E-Mail
  8. The Power of Simple Shared Workspaces
  9. Ethnographically-Informed Design
  10. Collaborative Writing
  11. Conversational Props
  12. CSCW Architectures
  13. Multimedia Systems
  14. Time as an Issue in CSCW
  15. Consistency in Collaborative Systems
  16. Emerging Technologies for Cooperative Work
  17. Field Studies in Coordination
  18. Collaboration in the Real World
  19. Organizational Influences on CSCW Success
  20. Domain Specific Collaborative Tools

Opening Plenary

From Wealth to Wisdom: A Change in the Social Paradigm BIBPDF 3
  Shumpel Kumon

Closing Plenary

Groups Interacting with Technology: The Complex and Dynamic Fit of Group, Task, Technology, and Time BIBPDF 4
  Joseph E. McGrath
CSCW'92 Workshops BIBPDF 5-6
  Raymond Panko
CSCW'92 Tutorials BIBPDF 7-8
  Lee Sproull
CSCW'92 Formal Video Program BIBAPDFHTML 9-10
  Saul Greenberg
Much of the experimental work in CSCW involves highly interactive systems and complex group interactions. While paper can convey the academic details of CSCW work, video is far more appropriate for capturing the true flavor and details of interactions. The CSCW conference has recognized the importance of video by creating its first refereed formal video program, published as a videotape in the SIGGRAPH Video Review series.

Formal Video Program

The PANDORA Multimedia System BIBA 9-10
  Andy Hopper
The PANDORA system makes available networked multimedia workstations to users in the Cambridge (UK) area [5]. The design is optimized for handling multiple audio and video streams with maximum flexibility. Many applications using both live and stored streams have been evaluated. Applications are integrated with an ACTIVE BADGE system that provides location information of personnel. The system has been in use for two years and the most popular facilities are video-phone and video-mail.
Enhanced Factory Communications BIBA 9-10
  Burke Magee; Glenna Cox
Capturing and conveying visual information is the most significant communication need of today's factory. Technologies now available on standard workstations can increase the quality and ease of visual communication within the factory and between the factory and companies around the world. With multimedia mail, text, photos, pictures, and motion video can be electronically mailed to remote locations. With real time information transmission, face to face meetings can be held between remotely located personnel within the factory. The video shows an example of how multimedia mail and computer-based conferencing can provide direct communication between a Boeing factory, its suppliers and its customers, thereby reducing communication flow time and the need for travel.
Coupling the User Interfaces of a Multi-User Program BIBA 9-10
  Prasun Dewan
An important question in the design, implementation, and use of multi-user programs is what should be the coupling between the user interfaces of a multi-user program? In other words, which objects should be shared among the users of a program and when should changes made by a user to a shared object be communicated to other users sharing it? The authors have developed a coupling model that allows users to control the coupling between their interfaces [3]. The model is based on a generalized multi-user editing interaction model, where multiple users view programs as active data that can be concurrently edited. The coupling model is implemented within SUITE, a framework that supports multi-user programs. The video uses a SUITE example to motivate and illustrate the main principles in the design of the coupling model.
  Saul Greenberg; Ralph Bohnet
GROUPSKETCH allows a small geographically-distributed group to list, draw, and gesture simultaneously in a communal work surface, supporting interactions similar to those occurring in the face-to-face drawing process [4]. It is a simple group sketching tool that allows its users to draw on a virtual piece of paper (the screen). GROUPSKETCH facilitates collaboration by: a) allowing gestural expression through large unique cursors visible on all displays; b) conveying the process of expressing ideas by transmitting small granular changes of user activity with minimum time delay; c) intermixing gestural, textual, and graphical expression modelessly; and d) providing simultaneous access to a common view of the work surface area, where any person can do any action at any time. The video illustrates several scenarios of GROUPSKETCH in action.
  Tom Brinck
The CONVERSATION BOARD is a prototype multi-user drawing application built to be used by people who are conversing over a distance, using a phone or a video phone system [2]. It was built in RENDEZVOUS, an experimental language and tool kit designed at Bellcore for constructing multi-user applications. The CONVERSATION BOARD is a structured graphics editor that provides "drawing" tools such as markers, lines, circles, rectangles, text, connectors, and images. Users can draw simultaneously and have telepointers, so their gestures are visible to each other. Images can be made "sticky", so that when a user draws onto an image, the drawing becomes grouped with the image. The video describes the first version of the CONVERSATION BOARD, and presents a scenario of one person giving directions to another by annotating a map.
Toward Seamless Collaboration Media: From TEAMWORKSTATION to CLEARBOARD BIBA 9-10
  Hiroshii Ishii; Kazuho Arita; Minuro Kobayashi
This video presents the evolution of collaboration media design activities at NTT Human Interface Laboratories. "Seamlessness" has been a key concept of their evolving media design. The authors show the progression of their design from TEAMWORKSTATION to CLEARFACE to CLEARBOARD.
   TEAMWORKSTATION provides distributed users with a seamless shared workspace [6]. Each user can still use their favorite application programs or desktop tools, so there is only a minor cognitive seam between the individual and shared workspaces. CLEARBOARD permits coworkers in two different locations to draw with color markers or electronic pen while maintaining direct eye contact, gaze awareness, and the use of natural gestures [7].
Rubber Rocks BIBA 9-10
  Larry Koved
The Veridical User Environments project is developing a Virtual Laboratory that brings together user interface technology, computational modeling of physical and non-physical phenomena, and visualization. Virtual worlds technology provides human-computer interfaces to computational simulation and visualization systems. One challenge is in providing a means to allow people to collaborate on a computational model through its virtual worlds interface. The video demonstrates Rubber Rocks, a prototype multi-user virtual world that supports real-time conferencing. The application is a real-time simulation of objects modeled as point masses and springs. Through a hierarchically organized dialog manager, the single-user version of Rubber Rocks was easily transformed into a multi-user system [8].
Delft-WIT: Research Issues and Methods for Behavioral Analysis BIBA 9-10
  Jeroen van der Velden
Delft WIT-lab is a research environment for studying both human-computer interaction and CSCW [1]. The video describes a first series of experiments studying distributed group work, focusing on the experimental setup and the tools used to capture and analyze interaction data. In the experiment, small task teams played a management game under various interaction conditions for a period of ten weeks [9]. Data capture is through a computer-controlled video recorder that can record and play simultaneously on two or more tapes. A program developed at NPL-London allows video incidents to be indexed, retrieved, and edited. The video also shows a tool that registers the speech frequency and computer use of each group member during the experiment. With this tool, information can be derived of the group interaction -- the participation of each group member, their speech duration, and the speech sequences.
CSCW'92 Demonstrations BIBPDF 11-14
  Michael J. Muller; Aita Salasoo


Controversies about Privacy and Open Information in CSCW BIBAPDF 15
  Rob Kling; Andy Hopper; James Katz
The field of computer-supported cooperative work must be particularly sensitive to the effect of technologies on individual and group privacy rights. These technologies are often designed to provide access to people or collect (and thus make available) potentially-sensitive information about participants. Thus CSCW technologies are not only media for intentional communication between consenting parties; their use often creates a documentary history which can be shared with third parties or moved well beyond the original interactional context and mutual understandings in which it was constructed.
   The panelists will present general issues of privacy, especially with respect to social control and technology use in workplaces. Panelist perspectives are grounded in specific technological examples from their own experiences, using both existing and research technologies as a means of discussing their specifics impacts on privacy. A focus of the panel will be to grapple with the question of how we go from understanding the issues of privacy to taking action in our own research, development, and use of CSCW technologies.
Problem or Solution? CSCW and the Paradox of Stalled Productivity BIBAPDF 16
  Sara Kiesler; Paul Attewell; John King; James Morris
In 20th century dreams and nightmares of computing, computers build cars and win battles, and robots take jobs. According to research, the reality is both mundane and paradoxical. Whereas computers can process information faster and better than ever before, the productivity payoffs for organizations have (apparently) been negligible or worse. Some experts even fault computers that "help" people work together. (If people are busy talking, they don't get their real work done, according to this argument.) Others claim we haven't built the right CSCW technologies -- those that will link individual workers and information to organizational needs.
   In this panel we look at evidence for the paradox and reasons it may exist. Then we air different views of how to think about CSCW and organizational productivity. And we suggest how design might be targeted at productivity.
Commercial Products for CSCW BIBAPDF 16
  Esther Dyson; Charles Digate; Irene Greif; Terry Winograd; Michael Zisman
This panel continues the discussion started two years ago at CSCW '90 ON "COMMERCIAL CSCW or How to Get Group Software out the Labs and into Real Use." At that time we found very few CSCW products in use. Email was still the main communications software outside research labs. A few organizations like Price-Waterhouse had adopted Lotus Notes. A panelist from Price-Waterhouse explained how they were deploying Notes and the panel debated whether groupware required that kind of corporate-wide installation or could be implemented on a one-at-a-time basis. An overview of a product based on the Information Lens (an MIT research project led by Professor Tom Malone) led to some discussion of the distance to be covered when taking ideas from research prototype to product.
   This year, we look at what's changed since then. We find that many of the same issues are still unresolved. Some of the questions are:
  • Why is it taking so long for CSCW software to get to market?
  • What is happening with current CSCW products that are on the market?
  • Is CSCW research having impact on product design and deployment?
  • What happened to Coordinator?
  • What else is happening with Email? Lotus Notes?
  • What will be the next breakthrough product? The panelists all have commercial affiliations and some link to research. Their product experiences give each a unique perspective on topics that include the process of transforming research ideas into product, the importance of group-enabling of conventional desktop products, the potential of workflow technology in products, and the role of large electronic mail networks in groupware implementation.
  • Video Spaces

    The Affordances of Media Spaces for Collaboration BIBAKPDF 17-24
      William W. Gaver
    In this paper, I discuss the affordances offered by media spaces for collaboration, contrasting their properties with those of the everyday medium and exploring the implications for perception and interaction. Collaboration is situated in a physical environment which supports or constrains the various forms social interactions might take. An analysis of the affordances of the environment -- the properties that offer actions and interactions to those within it -- thus complements analyses which emphasize social and cultural factors. Examining the "physics" of media space systems is helpful both in understanding how people use them to collaborate and in suggesting possibilities for design.
    Keywords: Video, Mediaspaces, Affordances, Ecological approaches
    Iterative Design of Video Communication Systems BIBAKPDF 25-32
      C. Cool; R. S. Fish; R. E. Kraut; C. M. Lowery
    This paper reviews the design and implementation of several video telephony systems at Bellcore as a case study in iterative design. In contrast to single user computer applications, communication systems consists of both the interconnection technology and the people who are interconnected. From a user's point of view, the capabilities provided by the system, the rules for its use, and its reaction to their actions depend jointly on what its developers implemented and how other users behave. This fact has wide-ranging implications for system design, use, and evaluation. In reviewing our design experience, we identify four dilemmas for iterative design that flow from the inherently social nature of communication systems. We conclude with methodological and theoretical suggestions to supplement conventional iterative design principles as applied to communications systems.
    Keywords: Human-computer interaction, Computer-supported-cooperative-work, Design, Software engineering, Evaluation, Video, Group work, Groupware, Collaboration, Videophone
    Integration of Inter-Personal Space and Shared Workspace: ClearBoard Design and Experiments BIBAKPDF 33-42
      Hiroshi Ishii; Minoru Kobayashi; Jonathan Grudin
    This paper describes the evolution of a novel shared drawing medium that permits co-workers in two different locations to draw with color markers or with electronic pens and software tools while maintaining direct eye contact and the ability to employ natural gestures. We describe the evolution from ClearBoard-1 (based on a video drawing technique) to ClearBoard-2 (which incorporates TeamPaint, a multi-user paint editor). Initial observations based on use and experimentation are reported. Further experiments are conducted with ClearBoard-0 (a simple mockup), with ClearBoard-1, and with an actual desktop as a control. These experiments verify the increase of eye contact and awareness of collaborator's gaze direction in ClearBoard environments where workspace and co-worker images compete for attention.
    Keywords: ClearBoard, TeamPaint, Shared drawing, Groupware, Video conference, Eye contact, Gaze awareness

    Building Real-Time Groupware

    GROUPKIT: A Groupware Toolkit for Building Real-Time Conferencing Applications BIBAKPDF 43-50
      Mark Roseman; Saul Greenberg
    This paper presents our approach to the design of groupware toolkits for real-time work, and how the design is instantiated in our toolkit, GROUPKIT. The design is based on both the technical underpinnings necessary for real-time groupware, and on user-centered features identified by existing CSCW human factors work. We also present three strategies for building GROUPKIT's components. First, an extendible, object-oriented run-time architecture supports managing distributed processes and the communication between them. Second, transparent overlays offer a convenient method for adding general components to various groupware applications, for example supporting gestures via multiple cursors and annotation via sketching. Third, open protocols allow the groupware designer to create a wide range of interface and interaction policies, accommodating group differences in areas such as conference registration and floor control.
    Keywords: Real-time groupware, Toolkit, Development tools
    Access Control for Collaborative Environments BIBAKPDF 51-58
      HongHai Shen; Prasun Dewan
    Access control is an indispensable part of any information sharing system. Collaborative environments introduce new requirements for access control, which cannot be met by using existing models developed for non-collaborative domains. We have developed a new access control model for meeting these requirements. The model is based on a generalized editing model of collaboration, which assumes that users interact with a collaborative application by concurrently editing its data structures. It associates fine-grained data displayed by a collaborative application with a set of collaboration rights and provides programmers and users a multi-dimensional, inheritance-based scheme for specifying these rights. The collaboration rights include traditional read and write rights and several new rights such as viewing rights and coupling rights. The inheritance-based scheme groups subjects, protected objects, and access rights; allows each component of an access specification to refer to both groups and individual members; and allows a specific access definition to override a more general one.
    Keywords: CSCW, Groupware, Access control, Protection, Security, User interface
    Relational Views as a Model for Automatic Distributed Implementation of Multi-User Applications BIBAKPDF 59-66
      T. C. Nicholas Graham; Tore Urnes
    Multi-user applications support multiple users performing a related task in a distributed context. This paper describes Weasel, a system for implementing multi-user applications. Weasel is based on the relational view model, in which user interfaces are specified as relations between program data structures and views on a display. These relations are specified in RVL, a high-level, declarative language. Under this model, an application program and a set of RVL specifications are used to generate a multi-user application in which all issues of network communication, concurrency, synchronization, and view customization are handled automatically. These programs have a scalable distribution property, where adding new participants to a session does not greatly degrade over-all system performance. Weasel has been implemented, and was used to generate all examples in this paper.
    Keywords: Implementation, Groupware, Multi-user applications

    Innovations in E-Mail

    Computational Mail as Network Infrastructure for Computer-Supported Cooperative Work BIBAKPDF 67-74
      Nathaniel S. Borenstein
    Computational email -- the embedding of programs within electronic mail messages -- is proposed as a technology that may help to solve some of the key problems in deploying successful applications for computer-supported cooperative work. In particular, computational email promises to alleviate the problem of remote installation at separately-administered sites, the problem of getting users to "buy in" to new applications, and the problem of extremely heterogeneous user interaction environments. In order for computational email to be practical, however, key problems of security and portability must be addressed, problems for which this research offers new solutions. This paper outlines the promise of this new technology, the solutions to the key technical problems, and the areas where further work and application development are needed.
    Keywords: Electronic mail, Active mail, Security, Portability, CSCW infrastructure
    Active Mail -- A Framework for Implementing Groupware BIBAKPDF 75-83
      Yaron Goldberg; Marilyn Safran; Ehud Shapiro
    Most existing groupware products are either too passive or very intrusive. They either passively wait for user action or actively interfere with normal workstation activity by intruding on the user's screen; they are one-sided push or pull mechanisms.
       A system for computer-mediated interaction, Active Mail obviates the dilemma with a protocol which enables a groupware application to involve a new user in a way that is non-intrusive, tolerates delayed response, and requires little effort on the user's part.
       Active Mail piggybacks on ordinary electronic mail, retaining all the features that have made it so successful. Active Mail messages are used to establish persistent interactive connections among a group of users. Receivers of Active Mail messages can interact with the sender, with future recipients, and with remote, distributed multi-user applications. Groupware applications realized within the Active Mail framework include a text conversation tool, a collaborative writing facility with a floor passing protocol and revision control management, an interactive meeting scheduler, and some distributed multi-user interactive games.
       In this paper we describe the architecture of Active Mail, present some of its applications, and discuss our preliminary experience with it.
    Keywords: Groupware, Electronic mail, Active messages, Shared editing, Meeting scheduling
    Supporting Informal Communication via Ephemeral Interest Groups BIBAKPDF 84-90
      Laurence Brothers; Jim Hollan; Jakob Nielsen; Scott Stornetta; Steve Abney; George Furnas; Michael Littman
    In this paper, we introduce ephemeral interest groups for supporting informal communication. Ephemeral interest groups are electronic discussion groups that, in contrast to bulletin boards and the like, are short-lived and ad hoc. They are designed as a medium for informal discussions of items broadcast to a wider community. We have implemented a prototype system to explore ephemeral interest groups. We discuss the goals of the system, characterize its evolution over the last ten months of deployment, and sketch our plans for future developments.
    Keywords: Ephemeral interest groups, Informal communication, Discussions, Hypertext, Bulletin boards, Email, Information filters, Critical mass of users, Measures of informality

    The Power of Simple Shared Workspaces

    How a Group-Editor Changes the Character of a Design Meeting as Well as its Outcome BIBAKPDF 91-98
      Judith S. Olson; Gary M. Olson; Marianne Storrosten; Mark Carter
    This study reports how the introduction of a simple collaborative tool changed the way groups of people did an interesting problem solving task, the design of an automatic post office. The designs produced by the groups supported with this tool were of higher quality than those who worked with conventional whiteboard and paper and pencil. They liked the process a little less, probably because it was a new tool. But, more surprising was the fact that those supported with the tool did less extensive exploration of the design space. Our expectation was just the opposite. It appears that the tool helped the supported group keep more focused on the core issues in the emerging design, to waste less time on less important topics, and to capture what was said as they went.
    Keywords: Group support system, Face-to-face work, Concurrent editing, Small group behavior
    Unblocking Brainstorming through the Use of a Simple Group Editor BIBAKPDF 99-106
      Charles McLaughlin Hymes; Gary M. Olson
    Earlier studies of computerized brainstorming showed that by restructuring group processes, groups can overcome well known performance deficits that groups suffer relative to nominal groups. These earlier tools are essentially computerized versions of Nominal Group Technique. We examined the ability of a simple, unstructured parallel editor to facilitate idea generation in face to face groups. Our results showed that parallel interacting groups outperformed serial interacting groups, and parallel interacting groups did not differ significantly from nominal, non interacting groups. Thus, an informal tool that allows parallel work is an effective way to increase idea generation in real interacting groups.
    Keywords: Parallel communication, Brainstorming, ShrEdit, Shared editor
    Awareness and Coordination in Shared Workspaces BIBAKPDF 107-114
      Paul Dourish; Victoria Bellotti
    Awareness of individual and group activities is critical to successful collaboration and is commonly supported in CSCW systems by active, information generation mechanisms separate from the shared workspace. These mechanisms penalise information providers, presuppose relevance to the recipient, and make access difficult. We discuss a study of shared editor use which suggests that awareness information provided and exploited passively through the shared workspace, allows users to move smoothly between close and loose collaboration, and to assign and coordinate work dynamically. Passive awareness mechanisms promise effective support for collaboration requiring this sort of behaviour, whilst avoiding problems with active approaches.
    Keywords: Awareness, Information sharing, Coordination, Shared workspaces, Shared feedback

    Ethnographically-Informed Design

    Faltering from Ethnography to Design BIBAKPDF 115-122
      John A. Hughes; David Randall; Dan Shapiro
    The aim of this paper is to explore some ways of linking ethnographic studies of work in context with the design of CSCW systems. It uses examples from an interdisciplinary collaborative project on air traffic control. Ethnographic methods are introduced, and applied to identifying the social organization of this cooperative work, and the use of instruments within it. On this basis some metaphors for the electronic representation of current manual practices are presented, and their possibilities and limitations are discussed.
    Keywords: Ethnography, CSCW design, Qualitative methods, Air traffic control, Database visualisation
    Ethnographically-Informed Systems Design for Air Traffic Control BIBAKPDF 123-129
      R. Bentley; J. A. Hughes; D. Randall; T. Rodden; P. Sawyer; D. Shapiro; I. Sommerville
    This paper relates experiences of a project where an ethnographic study of air traffic controllers is being used to inform the design of the controllers' interface to the flight data base. We outline the current UK air traffic control system, discuss the ethnographic work we have undertaken studying air traffic control as a cooperative activity, describe some of the difficulties in collaboration between software developers and sociologists and show how the ethnographic studies have influenced the systems design process. Our conclusions are that ethnographic studies are helpful in informing the systems design process and may produce insights which contradict conventional thinking in systems design.
    Keywords: Air traffic control, Systems design, Ethnography
    Consultants and Apprentices: Observations about Learning and Collaborative Problem Solving BIBAKPDF 130-137
      Lucy M. Berlin; Robin Jeffries
    Informal consulting interactions between apprentices and experts represent a little-studied but common collaborative work practice in many domains. In the computer industry, programmers become apprentices as they retool themselves to new computer languages, programming environments, software frameworks and systems. Our empirical study of consulting interactions has provided insights into the nature of this informal collaborative work practice.
       We describe the variety of "hard-to-find" information provided by the expert, the incidental learning observed, and the pair's strategies for managing joint and individual productivity. Given these observations, we discuss how computer-based tools could help apprentices encapsulate task context, switch among subtasks, facilitate collaborative interaction, and supplement consultants.
    Keywords: Apprentice, Consultant, Programmer, Incidental learning, Shared artifacts

    Collaborative Writing

    Supporting Collaborative Writing of Hyperdocuments in SEPIA BIBAKPDF 138-146
      Jorg M. Haake; Brian Wilson
    Today, most cooperative systems support primarily either asynchronous or synchronous (real time) cooperative work. We feel that both synchronous and asynchronous cooperation are extremely important aspects of working in groups, and to ignore one or the other is to supply only half a solution to users. In this paper, we describe the extension of the hypertext authoring system SEPIA developed at GMD-IPSI to support cooperative work among hypertext authors. Cooperative SEPIA is unique not only in its ability to support cooperative work in both of these categories, but also in how smoothly and naturally it supports the transition between these two categories.
    Keywords: CSCW, Hypertext, Hypertext authoring, Collaborative writing, Modes of collaboration
    Flexible Diff-ing in a Collaborative Writing System BIBAKPDF 147-154
      Christine M. Neuwirth; Ravinder Chandhok; David S. Kaufer; Paul Erion; James Morris; Dale Miller
    An important activity in collaborative writing is communicating about changes to texts. This paper reports on a software system, flexible diff, that finds and reports differences ("diffs") between versions of texts. The system is flexible, allowing users to control several aspects of its operation including what changes are reported and how they are shown when they are reported. We argue that such flexibility is necessary to support users' different social and cognitive needs.
    Keywords: Text comparison, Collaborative writing, Flexible differencing
    Computer-Mediated Communication and Collaborative Writing: Media Influence and Adaptation to Communication Constraints BIBAKPDF 155-162
      Jolene Galegher; Robert E. Kraut
    According to contingency theory, tasks involving high levels of uncertainty and equivocality require a communication medium that permits interactive, expressive communication. The theory of adaptive structuration, however, takes a more dynamic view of the relationship between communication technology and communication behavior, recognizing the malleability of human behavior as well as the adaptability of technology. According to the structuration perspective, individuals can adapt their behavior to achieve their goals despite obstacles in the technological environment. To assess the relative validity of these formulations, we examined media choices and responses to communication constraints in a collaborative writing task. The results of this experiment indicate that contingency theory has some general validity in that the task/technology matches it defines do, indeed, occur spontaneously and do contribute to ease and efficiency in task performance. However, the results also draw attention to the human potential for behavioral adaptation, and imply a need for further research designed to identify likely patterns of adaptation in particular technological environments.
    Keywords: Adaptive structuration, Computer-mediated communication, Collaborative writing, Contingency theory

    Conversational Props

    Tasks-in-Interaction: Paper and Screen Based Documentation in Collaborative Activity BIBAPDF 163-170
      Paul Luff; Christian Heath; David Greatbatch
    Drawing on field studies of three, real world, organisational environments, namely an architectural practice, a medical centre and the Control Rooms on London Underground, this paper explores the ways in which personnel use paper and screen based documentation to support synchronous and asynchronous collaborative activity. It discusses how collaboration involves a complex configuration of co-participation by personnel in a range of activities, ranging from seemingly individual tasks to mutually focussed, real time cooperation. By addressing the ways in which personnel manage collaboration and interactionally organise a range of activities, we discuss the ways in which paper and screen based media provide rather distinctive support for cooperation. These observations form the basis for some suggestions concerning requirements for CSCW systems.
    A Collaborative Medium for the Support of Conversational Props BIBAKPDF 171-178
      Tom Brinck; Louis M. Gomez
    Our work focuses on providing computational support for informal communication among people who are geographically separated. To better understand the use of artifacts in communication, we looked at the contents of office whiteboards after they had been used in conversations. Our analysis revealed that whiteboards are used to present and discuss various classes of objects with specific semantic properties. We call these objects "conversational props," and we have come to think of a whiteboard as a conversational medium in which props are introduced and manipulated. This study motivated our design of the Conversation Board, an experimental prototype of a multi-user drawing tool which allows remote use of conversational props. We compare the Conversation Board to various other multi-user drawing tools along a number of dimensions.
    Keywords: Design methodology, Collaborative systems, Group work, Informal communication
    Groupware Experiences in Three-Dimensional Computer-Aided Design BIBAKPDF 179-186
      Li Shu; Woodie Flowers
    A system that allows people to simultaneously modify a common design in a graphically rich environment was developed to identify and examine groupware interface issues unique to three-dimensional computer-aided design.
       Experiments confirmed that a simultaneous mode of edit access is preferred over a turn-taking mode for two-person interactions. Also, independent points of view (e.g., isometric versus top view) between designers optimized parallel activity. Further experiments that aimed to transfer software-usage knowledge through the groupware system led to the development of the viewpoint. The viewpoint is a tool that indicates the points of view of different designers as well as provides a method of pointing effective in an environment where arbitrary, contrasting points of views are allowed.
    Keywords: Computer-aided design, Graphics, Three-dimensional

    CSCW Architectures

    An Architecture for Tailoring Cooperative Multi-User Displays BIBAKPDF 187-194
      Richard Bentley; Tom Rodden; Peter Sawyer; Ian Sommerville
    A range of architectures have emerged which support real-time cooperative user interfaces. These architectures have tended to centralise the management of the interface and thus provide only limited support for user-centred development and interface tailoring. This paper considers the problems associated with the development of tailorable cooperative interfaces and proposes an architecture which allows such interfaces to be developed using an incremental, user-centred approach.
       The architecture presented in this paper has emerged within the context of a project investigating cooperative interface development for UK air traffic control. We conclude that the architecture is equally applicable to other Command and Control domains, where a shared information space forms the focus for the work taking place.
    Keywords: Multi-user interfaces, CSCW architectures, Command and control systems, Database visualisation
    Architecture of the Artifact-Based Collaboration System Matrix BIBAPDF 195-202
      K. Jeffay; J. K. Lin; J. Menges; F. D. Smith; J. B. Smith
    The UNC Collaboratory project is concerned with both the process of collaboration and with computer systems to support that process. Here, we describe a component of the Artifact-Based Collaboration (ABC) system, called the Matrix, that provides an infrastructure in which existing single-user applications can be incorporated with few, if any, changes and used collaboratively. We take the position that what is needed is not new tools but better infrastructure for using familiar single-user tools collectively. The paper discusses the Matrix architecture, a Virtual Screen component, and generic functions that provide conferencing, hyperlinking, and recording of users' actions for all applications.
    System Support for Computer Mediated Multimedia Collaborations BIBAKPDF 203-209
      Harrick M. Vin; P. Venkat Rangan; Mon-Song Chen
    Future advances in networking and storage will enable a wide spectrum of computer mediated structured collaborations among individuals. In this paper, we present a model that can capture diverse types of structured collaborations. The model combines both efficiency and power via a hierarchy of three abstractions, at the lowest level of which are streams for media communication modulated by access rights of participants within collaborations. The higher two levels of abstractions are sessions, which represent collections of semantically related media streams, and conferences, which represent temporally related sequences of sessions. Using these abstractions, the model supports unification of both synchronous and asynchronous collaborations, sophisticated access control, and intra-group and inter-group collaborations, yielding a powerful set of building blocks for constructing multimedia applications and a rich environment for carrying out structured multimedia collaborations.
    Keywords: Multimedia collaboration management, Synchronous and asynchronous collaborations

    Multimedia Systems

    Ubiquitous Audio: Capturing Spontaneous Collaboration BIBAKPDF 210-217
      Debby Hindus; Chris Schmandt
    Although talking is an integral part of collaborative activity, there has been little computer support for acquiring and accessing the contents of conversations. Our approach has focused on ubiquitous audio, or the unobtrusive capture of voice interactions in everyday work environments. Because the words themselves are not available for organizing the captured interactions, structure is derived from acoustical information inherent in the stored voice and augmented by user interaction during or after capture. This paper describes applications for capturing and structuring audio from office discussions and telephone calls, and mechanisms for later retrieval of these stored interactions.
    Keywords: Stored voice, Semi-structured data, Ubiquitous computing, Collaborative work, Software telephony, Multimedia workstation software
    HyperVoice: A Phone-Based CSCW Platform BIBAPDF 218-225
      Paul Resnick
    A major shift is underway in how we think about telephones. For decades, they were used solely for one-to-one, synchronous communication. The increasing use of answering machines and voice messaging, however, is shifting the public perception of telephones, thus opening a space for more innovative applications. Five years from now, some of the most interesting and popular cooperative work applications will probably use telephones as the primary means of access. This paper presents evidence that there are practical phone-based cooperative work applications and describes a set of software tools that facilitate the development of such applications.
    Cooperative Work Environment using Virtual Workspace BIBAKPDF 226-232
      Haruo Takemura; Fumio Kishino
    A virtual environment, which is created by computer graphics and an appropriate user interface, can be used in many application fields, such as teleoperation, telecommunication and real time simulation. Furthermore, if this environment could be shared by multiple users, there would be more potential applications.
       Discussed in this paper is a case study of building a prototype of a cooperative work environment using a virtual environment, where more than two people can solve problems cooperatively, including design strategies and implementing issues. An environment where two operators can directly grasp, move or release stereoscopic computer graphics images by hand is implemented. The system is built by combining head position tracking stereoscopic displays, hand gesture input devices and graphics workstations.
       Our design goal is to utilize this type of interface for a future teleconferencing system. In order to provide good interactivity for users, we discuss potential bottlenecks and their solutions. The system allows two users to share a virtual environment and to organize 3-D objects cooperatively.
    Keywords: Virtual reality, Virtual environment, Cooperative workspace, Shared workspace

    Time as an Issue in CSCW

    Identifying Potential CSCW Applications by Means of Activity Theory Concepts: A Case Example BIBAKPDF 233-240
      Kari Kuutti; Tuula Arvonen
    The paper presents some novel concepts and models derived from Activity Theory for to identify a potential CSCW application. It is suggested that the six elements of the structure of the activity concept might be useful for differentiating between areas of support, and that three levels of support are needed in order to cope with both routine and emergent features of cooperative work situations. Thus a 3x6 support type classification is formed and its usefulness studied by means of a real-world example. A work situation is analyzed, problems identified and possible areas of support defined. A temporary solution is produced and, by evaluating it, possible directions for the development of a "real" new CSCW application and the usefulness of the classification are discussed.
    Keywords: CSCW applications, Work support types, Requirements analysis, Emergent features, Activity theory
    Collaboration and Constraint: Middle School Teaching Teams BIBAKPDF 241-248
      R. G. (Jerry) Schwab; Sylvia Hart-Landsberg; Stephen Reder; Mark Abel
    This paper explores the meanings and dynamics of interaction and cooperation in professional activities in the context of middle school teaching. What makes schools particularly interesting and challenging contexts for both the conduct and study of cooperative work is the high degree of temporal constraint and spatial isolation in which teachers must perform their work. The reported research is based on a comparative study of teacher collaboration in two schools, each of which utilized a different strategy for supporting collaborative work amidst these striking constraints. By focusing on the interplay of constructed meanings, history, and temporal and spatial structures which enable and constrain collaboration, we gain a new view of the CSCW enterprise.
    Keywords: Collaboration, Teachers, Teamwork, Meaning, Constraint
    Time-Management: A Case for CSCW BIBAKPDF 249-256
      Edeltraud Egger; Ina Wagner
    This paper focuses on time-management as a cooperative task. Based on an analysis of the cultural complexity of the timing of surgery in a large clinic, possibilities of using computer-support for strengthening the sharing of information and resources as well as participation in decision-making are discussed.
    Keywords: Time-management, Automatic scheduling, Cooperative decision-making

    Consistency in Collaborative Systems

    "Lazy" Consistency: A Basis for Cooperative Software Development BIBAPDF 257-264
      K. Narayanaswamy; Neil Goldman
    One of the major problems in cooperative software development is that of maintaining certain global consistency properties. Broadcasting changes that have already occurred, as many programming environments do, will not resolve this problem. We argue in favor of an architecture where the announcements deal with impending or proposed changes as well as changes that have already occurred. One can then formulate consistency requirements on the system that are maintained "lazily" as it evolves. Such an architecture can support a wider range of cooperative processes than traditional software development environments. This paper describes the design and implementation of this architecture.
    Implicit Locking in the Ensemble Concurrent Object-Oriented Graphics Editor BIBAKPDF 265-272
      R. E. Newman-Wolfe; M. L. Webb; M. Montes
    Ensemble is an X-Windows based, object-oriented graphics editor based on the tgif graphics editor from UCLA. It relies on Unix 4.3bsd sockets and can be used as a stand-alone program or as an application in the University of Florida's distributed conferencing system (DCS). It uses implicitly placed write locks for concurrency control, with locks placed when an object is selected and removed when it is deselected. Multiple users may read or edit a file concurrently, with all users receiving updates whenever a lock is removed. Pointers are shared by mutual consent, so that users may collaborate to the degree desired. Ensemble is a prototype lock-based approach to object-oriented concurrent graphics editing.
    Keywords: Groupware, Collaborative editing, Graphics editing, Distributed conferencing, DCS
    Undoing Actions in Collaborative Work BIBAKPDF 273-280
      Atul Prakash; Michael J. Knister
    The ability to undo operations is a standard feature in most single-user interactive applications. However, most current collaborative applications that allow several users to work simultaneously on a shared document lack undo capabilities; those which provide undo generally provide only a global undo, in which the last change made by anyone to a document is undone, rather than allowing users to individually reverse their own changes. In this paper, we propose a general framework for undoing actions in collaborative systems. The framework takes into account the possibility of conflicts between different users' actions that may prevent a normal undo. The framework also allows selection of actions to undo based on who performed them, where they occurred, or any other appropriate criterion.
    Keywords: Undo, Collaboration, Groupware, Conflict analysis

    Emerging Technologies for Cooperative Work

    The Action Workflow Approach to Workflow Management Technology BIBAKPDF 281-288
      Raul Medina-Mora; Terry Winograd; Rodrigo Flores; Fernando Flores
    This paper describes ActionWorkflow approach to workflow management technology: a design methodology and associated computer software for the support of work in organizations. The approach is based on theories of communicative activity as language/action and has been developed in a series of systems for coordination among users of networked computers. This paper describes the approach, gives an example of its application, and shows the architecture of a workflow management system based on it.
    Keywords: Workflow, ActionWorkflow, Coordination, Coordinator, Business process
    Experiments with Oval: A Radically Tailorable Tool for Cooperative Work BIBAPDF 289-297
      Thomas W. Malone; Kum-Yew Lai; Christopher Fry
    This paper describes a series of tests of the generality of a "radically tailorable" tool for cooperative work. Users of this system can create applications by combining and modifying four kinds of building blocks: objects, views, agents, and links. We found that user-level tailoring of these primitives can provide most of the functionality found in well-known cooperative work systems such as gIBIS, Coordinator, Lotus Notes, and Information Lens. These primitives, therefore, appear to provide an elementary "tailoring language" out of which a wide variety of integrated information management and collaboration applications can be constructed by end users.
    Supporting Exploratory CSCW with the EGRET Framework BIBAKPDF 298-305
      Philip Johnson
    Exploratory collaboration occurs in domains where the structure and process of group work evolves as an intrinsic part of the collaborative activity. Traditional database and hypertext structural models do not provide explicit support for collaborative exploration. The EGRET framework defines both a data and a process model along with supporting analysis techniques that provide novel support for exploratory collaboration. To do so, the EGRET framework breaks with traditional notions of the relationship between schema and instance structure. In EGRET, schema structure is viewed as a representation of the current state of consensus among collaborators, from which instance structure is allowed to depart in a controlled fashion. This paper discusses the issues of exploratory collaboration, the EGRET approach to its support, and the current status of this research.
    Keywords: Collaborative environments, Exploratory development, Hypertext, Schema evolution

    Field Studies in Coordination

    Sharing Perspectives in Distributed Decision Making BIBAKPDF 306-313
      Richard J., Jr. Boland; Anil K. Maheshwari; Dov Te'eni; David G. Schwartz; Ramkrishnan V. Tenkasi
    Complex organizations are characterized by distributed decision making, and require a sharing of perspectives among distributed decision makers if they are to coordinate activity and adapt to changing circumstances. This paper explains the process of perspective taking and its roles in human communication, mutual trust, and organizational learning. SPIDER is a software environment for enriching communication among managers by improving their ability to represent and exchange understandings of the situations they face. Cognitive maps linked to underlying assumptions are used as a basis for sharing their perspectives and enabling coordination of distributed decision making.
    Keywords: Distributed decision making, Perspective taking, Organizational learning, Mutual trust, Cognitive maps
    Distributed Facilitation: A Concept Whose Time Has Come? BIBAPDF 314-321
      Shelli Dubs; Stephen C. Hayne
    Group facilitation is a dynamic process that involves managing relationships between people, tasks and technology, as well as structuring tasks and contributing to the effective accomplishment of the meetings outcomes. This is a difficult problem that becomes even more difficult as group work is geographically distributed. This paper provides a comprehensive framework, in the form of a meeting model, that defines the many activities that surround group work. We show that in existing systems support for facilitation is low and based on the level of facilitator control, we identify facilitation functions and suggest a rational for prioritizing them. With this in hand, we are designing and implementing a prototype facilitation system to support group activities in a distributed environment.
    Communication and Information Retrieval with a Pen-Based Meeting Support Tool BIBAKPDF 322-329
      Catherine G. Wolf; James R. Rhyne; Laura K. Briggs
    We-Met (Window Environment-Meeting Enhancement Tools) is a prototype pen-based tool designed to support both the communication and information retrieval needs of small group meetings. The first part of this paper describes We-Met and the rationale for its design, the second discusses findings from an empirical study of the use of We-Met for group communication, and the third discusses findings from a study of the search and retrieval of information from non-computer based meetings conducted to provide insight into how to facilitate these activities in We-Met. The paper identifies potential communication process gains due to the pen-based interface style, opportunities for the facilitation of information retrieval in a pen-based tool, and functionality/interface challenges in the design of a tool to support small group meetings.
    Keywords: Pen-based, Meeting support, Drawing

    Collaboration in the Real World

    Looking at Ourselves: An Examination of the Social Organisation of Two Research Laboratories BIBAKPDF 330-337
      Richard H. R. Harper
    This paper reports findings from ongoing examinations into the social organisation of research laboratories. Two case studies are discussed, and it is suggested that although there are differences between the two sites, commonalities are shown in their hierarchical nature and in the status of researchers. It is argued that researchers form a professional group with all that entails in terms of rights and privileges. More generally it is argued that the social organisation of research laboratories is resistant to change. The consequences of this on the testing and development of systems that have the potential to transform hierarchical relations is briefly discussed and how this resistance and its causes differentiate research laboratories from other work places remarked.
    Keywords: Active badges, System design, Ethnography
    CSCW Challenges in Large-Scale Technical Projects -- A Case Study BIBAKPDF 338-345
      Kaj Grønbæk; Morten Kyng; Preben Mogensen
    This paper investigates CSCW aspects of large-scale technical projects based on a case study of a specific Danish engineering company and uncovers challenges to CSCW applications in this setting. The company is responsible for management and supervision of one of the worlds largest tunnel/bridge construction projects. Our primary aim is to determine requirements on CSCW as they unfold in this concrete setting as opposed to survey and laboratory investigations. The requirements provide feedback to product development both on specific functionality and as a long term vision for CSCW in such settings.
       The initial qualitative analysis identified a number of bottlenecks in daily work, where support for cooperation is needed. Examples of bottlenecks are: sharing materials, issuing tasks, and keeping track of task status. Grounded in the analysis, cooperative design workshops based on scenarios of future work situations were established to investigate the potential of different CSCW technologies in this setting. In the workshops, mock-ups and prototypes were used to support end-users in assessing CSCW technologies based on concrete, hands-on experiences. The workshops uncovered several challenges. First, support for sharing materials would require a huge body of diverse materials to be integrated, for example into a hypermedia network. Second, daily work tasks are event driven and plans change too rapidly for people to register them on a computer. Finally, tasks are closely coupled to materials being processed thus a coordination tool should integrate facilities for managing materials.
    Keywords: Cooperative design, Hypermedia, Coordination, Evaluation, Case study
    Ghosts in the Network: Distributed Troubleshooting in a Shared Working Environment BIBAKPDF 346-355
      Yvonne Rogers
    The implementation of networking technology in work settings offers numerous opportunities for improving the transmission of information and the sharing of resources within and between organizations. Its success in integrating distributed working activities, however, rests on how well the users of a network can coordinate their activities with respect to each other. This paper examines the communicative and interactive processes that take place when a typical breakdown occurs in a networked environment. A detailed analysis is presented which interprets the events that unfold in relation to the socio-cognitive issues of shared understanding, the transmission of knowledge and distributed problem-solving.
    Keywords: Distributed problem-solving, Networked technologies, Ethnographic analysis, Breakdowns

    Organizational Influences on CSCW Success

    Hardwiring Weak Ties: Individual and Institutional Issues in Computer Mediated Communication BIBAKPDF 356-361
      Jeanne M. Pickering; John Leslie King
    Recent accounts of computer-mediated communication (CMC) systems in organizations are mixed about the success of CMC. While some organizations eagerly embrace CMC systems for their employees, and support systems with thousands of users and multiple uses, other organizations have refused their employees access to CMC systems, or removed such systems after they have become established in use. Why the wide disparity in organizational support of CMC? We show the importance of differences in institutional dependencies on CMC support of individuals' "weak-tie" relationships for explaining differences in willingness to support CMC infrastructure. We then examine the downstream implications of maintenance of weak ties via CMC infrastructure for individuals and institutions.
    Keywords: Computer-mediated communication, Organizational issues, Weak ties
    Learning from Notes: Organizational Issues in Groupware Implementation BIBAKPDF 362-369
      Wanda J. Orlikowski
    This paper explores the introduction of groupware into an organization to understand the changes in work practices and social interaction facilitated by the technology. The results suggest that people's mental models and organizations' structure and culture significantly influence how groupware is implemented and used. Specifically, in the absence of mental models that stressed its collaborative nature, groupware was interpreted in terms of familiar personal, stand-alone technologies such as spreadsheets. Further, the culture and structure provided few incentives or norms for cooperating or sharing expertise, hence the groupware on its own was unlikely to engender collaboration. Recognizing the central influence of these cognitive and organizational elements is critical to developers, researchers, and practitioners of groupware.
    Keywords: Groupware, Implementation, Lotus Notes, Organizational factors, Technological frames
    The CSCW Implementation Process: An Interpretative Model and Case Study of the Implementation of a Videoconference System BIBAKPDF 370-377
      Duncan Sanderson
    An understanding of the implementation process of CSCW in organizations can contribute to the design, testing, evaluation, and effective use of this technology. A dynamic, interconnected model is presented which is sensitive to the user, organizational, and technological context of the implementation process. The model is then used to structure observations of the implementation of a videoconference system for regular meetings among senior managers in a large decentralized organization. Knowledge of the context of the implementation was essential in order to interpret the observations, outcome of the implementation, and pertinence of the videoconference terminal design.
    Keywords: Implementation process, Videoconference, Case study

    Domain Specific Collaborative Tools

    Flexible, Active Support for Collaborative Work with ConversationBuilder BIBAKPDF 378-385
      Simon M. Kaplan; William J. Tolone; Douglas P. Bogia; Celsina Bignoli
    Work activities have a highly situated nature. As a result, it is not possible to classify activities exactly, since they tend to evolve as they progress. This raises a significant problem for work support tools: how to address the trade off between active support, which requires knowledge of the activity at hand, and flexibility, which is a measure of how well a system can respond to changes in activities. We have been developing the ConversationBuilder, a support tool that is intended to provide flexible, active support for (collaborative) work activities. This paper overviews the ConversationBuilder, discusses both the kinds of support it provides and its architecture, and illustrates its use through an example.
    Keywords: Toolkits, CSCW environments, Active/flexible support
    BIBDB: A Bibliographic Database for Collaboration BIBAKPDF 386-393
      David J. Musliner; James W. Dolter; Kang G. Shin
    While researchers strive to develop new systems to enhance the cooperative document editing process, many authors already collaborate, using existing text processing systems to produce papers and reports. Using these tools, one of the most time-consuming and error-prone collaboration tasks is maintaining a consistent shared bibliography. We have designed and implemented the BIBDB system to simplify collaborative authoring by providing a shared, cooperatively maintained bibliographic database. BIBDB uses existing networking technology and merges seamlessly into the LATEX/BIBTEX text processing system [5]. The contributions of BIBDB include a set of user interface policies and software implementation techniques that support cooperative database maintenance.
    Keywords: Bibliographic databases, Collaborative writing, Distributed & replicated databases, Partial locking, Relaxed consistency, Incremental indexing
    Supporting Communication between Designers with Artifact-Centered Evolving Information Spaces BIBAKPDF 394-401
      Brent Reeves; Frank Shipman
    The interaction of various design decisions and the communication of the rationale for decisions between designers are two problems that have not been solved by current systems supporting design. Through the observation of computer network designers we have developed a framework, system architecture, and prototype implementation for supporting this type of communication within an evolving information space centered around the artifact being designed. The importance of our approach is in the integration of the design of the artifact and the communication between the designers. XNETWORK, a knowledge-based design environment for computer network design, incorporates this artifact-centered communication as a method for the easy addition of network designers' understanding about the design task.
    Keywords: Artifact based communication, Information spaces, Asynchronous collaboration, Design environments