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ECSCW Tables of Contents: 8991939597990103050709111315

Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Fullname:Proceedings of ECSCW'05 European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
Editors:Hans Gellersen; Kjeld Schmidt; Michel Beaudouin-Lafon; Wendy Mackay
Location:Paris, France
Dates:2005-Sep-18 to 2005-Sep-22
Publisher:Kluwer Academic Publishers
Standard No:ISBN 1-4020-4022-9; hcibib: ECSCW05
Papers:24
Pages:489
Links:Online Proceedings | Conference Website | Publisher page
Ways of the hand BIBA 1-21
  David Kirk; Tom Rodden; Andy Crabtree
This paper presents an ethnographic analysis of the nature and role of gestural action in the performance of a remote collaborative physical task. The analysis focuses on the use of a low-tech prototype gesturing system, which projects unmediated gestures to create a mixed reality ecology that promotes awareness in cooperative activity. CSCW researchers have drawn attention to the core problem of the distortion effect along with the subsequent fracturing of interaction between remote ecologies and have emphasized the need to support the 'projectability' of action to resolve this. The mixed ecology resolves the distortion effect by enabling a remote helper to project complex objectfocused gestures into the workspace of a local worker. These gestures promote awareness and thus enable helper and worker to coordinate their object-focused actions and interactions. Analysis of the socially organized use of the system derives key questions concerning the construction of mixed ecologies more generally, questions which may in turn be exploited to drive the design of future systems.
A design theme for tangible interaction: Embodied facilitation BIBA 23-43
  Eva Hornecker
This paper presents parts of a design framework for collaboratively used tangible interaction systems, focusing on the theme of Embodied Facilitation. Systems can be interpreted as spaces/structures to act and move in, facilitating some movements and hindering others. Thus they shape the ways we collaborate, induce collaboration or make us refrain from it. Tangible interaction systems provide virtual and physical structure - they truly embody facilitation. Three concepts further refine the theme: Embodied Constraints, Multiple Access Points and Tailored Representations. These are broken down into design guidelines and each illustrated with examples.
Supporting high coupling and user-interface flexibility BIBA 45-64
  Vassil Roussev; Prasun Dewan
Collaborative systems that automate the sharing of programmer-defined user interfaces offer limited coupling flexibility, typically forcing all users of an application to share all aspects of the user interfaces. Those that automatically support high coupling flexibility are tied to a narrow set of predefined user-interfaces. We have developed a framework that provides high-level and flexible coupling support for arbitrary, programmer-defined user interfaces. The framework refines an abstract layered model of collaboration with structured application layers and automatic acquisition, transformation, and processing of updates. It has been used to easily provide flexible coupling in complex, existing single-user software and shown to support all known ways to share user-interfaces. Coupling flexibility comes at the cost of a small amount of additional programming. We have carefully crafted the framework to ensure that this overhead is proportional to the degree of coupling flexibility desired.
A groupware design framework for loosely coupled workgroups BIBA 65-82
  David Pinelle; Carl Gutwin
Loosely coupled workgroups - where workers are autonomous and weakly interdependent - are common in the real world. They have patterns of work and collaboration that distinguish them from other types of groups, and groupware systems that are designed to support loose coupling must address these differences. However, loosely coupled groups have not been studied in detail in CSCW, and the design process for these groups is currently underspecified. This forces designers to start from scratch each time they develop a system for loosely coupled groups, and they must approach new work settings with little information about how work practices are organized. In this paper, we present a design framework to improve the groupware design process for loosely coupled workgroups. The framework was developed to provide designers with a better understanding of how groupware systems can be designed to support loosely coupled work practices. It is based on information from CSCW and organizational research, and on real-world design experiences with one type of loosely coupled grouphome care treatment teams. The framework was used to develop Mohoc, a groupware system for home care, and the system and underlying framework were evaluated during two field trials.
Formally analyzing two-user centralized and replicated architectures BIBA 83-102
  Sasa Junuzovic; Goopeel Chung; Prasun Dewan
We have developed a formal performance model for centralized and replicated architectures involving two users, giving equations for response, feedthrough, and task completion times. The model explains previous empirical results by showing that (a) low network latency favors the centralized architecture and (b) asymmetric processing powers favor the centralized architecture. In addition, it makes several new predictions, showing that under certain practical conditions, (a) centralizing the application on the slower machine may be the optimal solution, (b) centralizing the application on the faster machine is sometimes better than replicating, and (c) as the duration of the collaboration increases, the difference in performances of centralized and replicated architectures gets magnified. We have verified these predictions through new experiments for which we created synthesized logs based on parameters gathered from actual collaboration logs. Our results increase the understanding of centralized and replicated architectures and can be used by (a) users of adaptive systems to decide when to perform architecture changes, (b) users who have a choice of systems with different architectures to choose the system most suited for a particular collaboration mode (defined by the values of the collaboration parameters), and (c) users locked into a specific architecture to decide how to change the hardware and other collaboration parameters to improve performance.
Working together inside an emailbox BIBA 103-122
  Michael J. Muller; Daniel M. Gruen
In this paper we look at a situation in which email is not simply a channel for collaboration and communication but a site of collaboration itself, involving email inboxes that are jointly accessed by more than one person. We conducted two studies of shared email usage. We learned about a diversity of shared email practices in 14 schools, museums, and support centers through semi-structured interviews and (where feasible) site visits. We also explored in depth one type of shared email usage: executives and assistants sharing an emailbox. We describe the strategies that people use today to meet their collaborative needs by exploiting mailbox structures they currently have. We close with a discussion of email as a site of reinvention - i.e., where users' work practices have given existing technology new meanings.
Emergent temporal behaviour and collaborative work BIBA 123-142
  Lesley Seebeck; Richard Kim; Simon Kaplan
Although collaboration manifestly takes place in time, the role of time in shaping the behaviour of collaborations, and collaborative systems, is not well understood. Time is more than clock-time or the subjective experience of time; its effects on systems include differential rates of change of system elements, temporally non-linear behaviour and phenomena such as entrainment and synchronization. As a system driver, it generates emergent effects shaping systems and their behaviour. In the paper we present a systems view of time, and consider the implications of such a view through the case of collaborative development of a new university timetabling system. Teasing out the key temporal phenomena using the notion of temporal trajectories helps us understand the emergent temporal behaviour and suggests a means for improving outcomes.
Managing currents of work: Multi-tasking among multiple collaborations BIBA 143-162
  Victor M. Gonzalez; Gloria Mark
This research reports on a study of the interplay between multi-tasking and collaborative work. We conducted an ethnographic study in two different companies where we observed the experiences and practices of thirty-six information workers. We observed that people continually switch between different collaborative contexts throughout their day. We refer to activities that are thematically connected as working spheres. We discovered that to multi-task and cope with the resulting fragmentation of their work, individuals constantly renew overviews of their working spheres, they strategize how to manage transitions between contexts and they maintain flexible foci among their different working spheres. We argue that system design to support collaborative work should include the notion that people are involved in multiple collaborations with contexts that change continually. System design must take into account these continual changes: people switch between local and global perspectives of their working spheres, have varying states of awareness of their different working spheres, and are continually managing transitions between contexts due to interruptions.
The duality of articulation work in large heterogenous settings - a study in health care BIBA 163-183
  Louise Faergemann; Teresa Schilder-Knudsen; Peter Carstensen
Based on an empirical study of articulation work in a health care setting this paper discusses core characteristics of articulation work in large settings. We argue that articulation work in large-scale settings is characterized by a dual nature, especially by a duality between articulation handled internally in a local work arrangement and articulation activities undertaken across boundaries of local work arrangements appears. We suggest that our understanding of articulation activities is related to a distinction between local and global work arrangements. We illustrate how cooperating actors involved in any given trajectory (e.g., a patient trajectory) have to articulate their activities in accordance with both a local and a global dimension. The distinction between local and global is important when aiming at understanding articulation work in large-scale heterogenous settings. The differences and their consequences are discussed. The paper conclude in some reflections on the challenges implied by the local/global variations, both for the analysis of large heterogeneous work settings and for design of IT support.
Maintaining constraints in collaborative graphic systems: the CoGSE approach BIBA 185-204
  Kai Lin; David Chen; Chengzheng Sun; Geoff Dromey
A constraint specifies a relation or condition that must be maintained in a system. It is common for a single user graphic system to specify some constraints and provide methods to satisfy these constraints automatically. Constraints are even more useful in collaborative systems, which can confine and coordinate concurrent operations, but satisfying constraints in the presence of concurrency in collaborative systems is difficult. In this article, we discuss the issues and techniques in maintaining constraints in collaborative systems. In particular, we also proposed a novel strategy that is able to maintain both constraints and system consistency in the face of concurrent operations. The strategy is independent of the execution orders of concurrent operations and able to retain the effects of all operations in resolving constraint violation. The proposed strategy has been implemented in a Collaborative Genetic Software Engineering system, called CoGSE, for maintaining the tree structure constraint. Specific issues related to CoGSE are also discussed in detail.
Empirical investigation into the effect of orientation on text readability in tabletop displays BIBA 205-224
  Daniel Wigdor; Ravin Balakrishnan
Tabletop collaborative groupware is a newly re-emerging field in CSCW. The use of a tabletop display presents a unique challenge to interface designers: how to optimally orient displayed objects for viewing and manipulation by users situated at various locations around the table. A great deal of CSCW research has been conducted under the implicit assumption that textual elements should be oriented directly toward the reader, despite research that demonstrates that a simple, straight-on orientation is not necessarily ideal in all circumstances. Absent from this ongoing research dialogue, however, has been an empirical examination of user performance of reading text on tabletop displays at non-zero orientations. In this paper, we present two studies which examine the effect of text orientation on common tasks: the reading of a small piece of text, and the serial search for a label. We found that, though statistically significant, the effects of orientation on the performance of these tasks were less dramatic than might have previously been assumed. From this, we hope to help guide collaborative groupware designers as to when orientation should be "corrected".
An evaluation of techniques for reducing spatial interference in single display groupware BIBA 225-245
  Theophanis Tsandilas; Ravin Balakrishnan
When several users interact with Single Display Groupware (SDG) (Stewart et al., 1999) applications over a shared display, the potential exists for one user's actions to spatially interfere with another's (Tse et al., 2004; Zanella and Greenberg, 2001). We empirically evaluate four techniques for mitigating spatial interference in SDG: shared display with object ownership, spatially split display, shared display with uniform transparency between users' data, and shared display with gradient transparency from one edge of the display to the other. Apart from time and error performance measures, we also consider the impact of each technique on user's voluntary partitioning of the available display space. Results show that the best approach in terms of performance is to share the entire display with appropriate use of transparency techniques for minimizing interference, and allow users to decide for themselves how they wish to partition the space, rather than pre-partitioning it for them. Results also show that complete sharing may result in misuse of screen space and demonstrate the potential of gradient transparency as a technique that effectively balances costs and benefits of both sharing and partitioning.
Cellular phone as a collaboration tool that empowers and changes the way of mobile work: focus on three fields of work BIBA 247-266
  Eriko Tamaru; Kimitake Hasuike; Mikio Tozaki
The development and spread of cellular phones have been remarkable in recent years, and these phones are becoming an integral part of the social infrastructure. Owing to mobile technology, especially cellular phone technology, the way of working that entails being unconstrained by time and space has flourished. Over a period of five years, we have investigated various fields of work that involve mobile workers such as sales representatives and repair technicians. Cellular phones were observed to have had a significant influence on task organization and the structure of communication in these fields of work. This paper describes how mobile workers have incorporated this new technology into their work creatively and constructively. Furthermore, it describes how cellular phones have changed the relationship between and enhanced the communication network among coworkers and customers. As a result, we demonstrate how cellular phones are evolving into a type of collaborative tool that supports collaborative work between mobile workers, instead of a communication tool that merely connects two individuals. In other words, based on ethnographical observation, we show that cellular phones are a fundamental element of CSCW technology for mobile workers.
Representations can be good enough BIBA 267-286
  Jacki O'Neill; Stefania Castellani; Antonietta Grasso; Frederic Roulland; Peter Tolmie
When working remotely with physical objects obvious problems of reference arise because of the lack of a mutually shared object. Systems aiming to support such work tend to be based on understandings of face-to-face interaction and frequently use video. However, video introduces new interactional problems. This paper describes a field study of remote interaction around objects that is telephone-centred, namely in a call centre for troubleshooting office devices. We describe how breakdowns in mutual orientation stem from three main problematics: 1) The inadequate fidelity of operators' support resources; 2) The lack of mutual access to indicative resources; 3) operators' lack of direct access to customers' actions and orientation. From this analysis, we have developed a design proposal for supporting such work. Rather than using video, we propose that utilising a linked problem representation would address these problems. To this end we describe our proposal for a bidirectional remote visualisation of the troubleshooting problem.
Using empirical data to reason about Internet research ethics BIBA 287-306
  James M. Hudson; Amy Bruckman
Internet technology holds significant potential to respond to business, educational, and social needs, but this same technology poses fundamentally new challenges for research ethics. To reason about ethical questions, researchers and ethics review boards typically rely on dichotomies like "public" versus "private," "published" vs. "unpublished," and "anonymous" vs. "identified." However, online, these categories are blurred, and the underlying concepts require reinterpretation. How then are we to reason about ethical dilemmas about research on the Internet? To date, most work in this area has been grounded in a combination of theoretical analysis and experience gained by people in the course of conducting Internet research. In these studies, ethical insight was a welcome byproduct of research aimed primarily at exploring other ends. However, little work has used experimental methods for the primary purpose of contributing to our reasoning about the ethics of research online. In this paper, we discuss the role of empirical data in helping us answer questions about Internet research ethics. As an example, we review results of one study in which we gauged participant expectations of privacy in public chatrooms (Hudson & Bruckman, 2004b). Using an experimental approach, we demonstrate how participants' expectations of privacy conflict with the reality of these public chatrooms. Although these empirical data cannot provide concrete answers, we show how they influence our reasoning about the ethical issues of obtaining informed consent.
Community-based learning: Design patterns and frameworks BIBA 307-324
  John M. Carroll; Umer Farooq
Information technology adoption and literacy are typically not first-order goals for community-based volunteer organizations. Nonetheless, information technology is vital to such groups for member recruiting and management, communication and visibility to the community, as well as primary group activities. However, volunteer organizations are often not able to make effective use of Internet-based technologies and content. They lack resources of all sorts (money, skills, telecommunications infrastructure) as well as organizational structures, protocols, and continuity to effectively cope with the rate of change in Internet technology. We describe a design pattern, a standard solution schema for a recurring problem, that proposes a self-sustained process in which volunteer organizations identify and analyze their technology needs, and then learn about information technology through active engagement in solving their own problems. The pattern, called Community-based Learning, is grounded in our fieldwork experience in several community computing projects. We discuss patterns and pattern frameworks as a research approach to community computing.
Expertise sharing in a heterogeneous organizational environment BIBA 325-345
  Tim Reichling; Michael Veith
The term knowledge management (KM) has lost most of its magic during the past few years: While knowledge has been identified as an important resource and key factor for productivity gains and innovation in organizations, there seems to be no generally applicable (and easy) way to utilize this resource. In this paper we present results of a field study that was conducted within a major European industrial association. The study focused on knowledge intense processes among the association and its member companies which were supposed to be improved by KM strategies and systems. The organizational setting appears to be unique in different ways: A grown and highly decentralized organizational structure, goods that exclusively consist of human and social capital and a distinct mutual unawareness of competencies and responsibilities within the organization define our field of application.
Local expertise at an emergency call centre BIBA 347-366
  Maria Normark; Dave Randall
Some important research has been undertaken in recent years on knowledge management within the CSCW community, drawing attention to the inherently social properties of knowledge and how it is shared. Much of this work has demonstrated the complex and sophisticated needs of so-called knowledge workers, and the requirement for better understandings of knowledge sharing processes. The example we present in this paper is that of knowledge work in emergency calls at SOS Alarm in Sweden, currently of interest because of a planned new system that will allow for centre-to-centre case coordination and not only within the centre. What makes such a case interesting is that workers in this context face an unlimited variety of incidents that require interpretation, decision and coordination, many of which require the deployment of local knowledge and, as importantly, have to be dealt with in a timely fashion. In this paper we focus on how a number of people work to combine their knowledge and expertise in a time effective way.
Context grabbing: Assigning metadata in large document collections BIBA 367-386
  Joachim Hinrichs; Volkmar Pipek; Volker Wulf
Classification schemes are an important issue in the collective use of large document collections. We have investigated the classification of technical documentations in two engineering domains: a steel mill and a sewerage plant company. In both cases we found a coexistence of different classification schemes and problems resulting from distributed local archives. In supporting human actors to maintain different classifications schemes while working on a common archive, we developed the concept of context grabbing. It allows assigning context information efficiently in the form of metadata. Based on a document management system, a tool kit for context grabbing was developed. Its evaluation in a sewerage service company allows us to comment on important aspects of understanding the role of classifications in collaborative work.
Between chaos and routine: Boundary negotiating artifacts in collaboration BIBA 387-406
  Charlotte Lee
Empirical studies of material artifacts in practice continue to be a rich source of theoretical concepts for CSCW. This paper explores the foundational concept of boundary objects and presents the results of a year-long ethnographic study of collaborative work. This research questions the assumption that artifacts exist necessarily within a web of standardized processes and that disorderly processes should be treated as "special cases". I suggest that artifacts can serve to establish and destabilize protocols themselves and that artifacts can be used to push boundaries rather than merely sailing across them.
Coordination and collaboration environments for production lines: a user acceptance issue BIBA 407-426
  Francois Laborie; Stephane Chatty; Claude Reyterou
The Airbus Visual Line (AVL) project, now deployed on the A380 assembly line, was propelled by the desire to foster collaboration and coordination among aeronautical Final Assembly Line teams while going beyond the simplistic - repressive concept of "andon boards" (Monden, 1993). We introduced an environment composed of large public displays and semi-public interfaces to support this collaborative process, so as to enhance team awareness and facilitate coordination among the multi-disciplinary actors. Acceptance of such a coordination system on the shop-floor is a difficult issue. The difficulty is mainly due to the increasing complexity of sub-systems to assemble, the increasing amount of teams involved, the ever-shortening time to market and the circumspection of all actors regarding a 'monitoring' system. This article proposes solutions to facilitate team acceptance in the design of highly distributed coordination environments. The acceptance challenge is developed along three major factors, information targeting, information clarity and privacy concerns. From the points it develops, this article aims at facilitating Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) environments development in complex coordination system such as industrial production lines, building and construction sites, large naval or aeronautical maintenance contexts.
Sharing the square: collaborative leisure in the city streets BIBA 427-447
  Barry Brown; Matthew Chalmers; Marek Bell; Ian MacColl; Malcolm Hall; Paul Rudman
Sharing events with others is an important part of many enjoyable experiences. While most existing co-presence systems focus on work tasks, in this paper we describe a lightweight mobile system designed for sharing leisure. This system allows city visitors to share their experiences with others both far and near, through tablet computers that share photographs, voice and location. A collaborative filtering algorithm uses historical data of previous visits to recommend photos, web pages and places to visitors, bringing together online media with the city's streets. In an extensive user trial we explored how these resources were used to collaborate around physical places. The trial demonstrates the value of technological support for sociability - enjoyable shared social interaction. Lastly, the paper discusses support for collaborative photography, and the role history can play to integrate online media with physical places.
Informing public deliberation: Value sensitive design of indicators for a large-scale urban simulation BIBA 449-468
  Alan Borning; Batya Friedman; Janet Davis; Peyina Lin
We investigate informing public deliberation regarding major land use and transportation decisions with the results from a sophisticated computer simulation of urban development. Our specific focus is on indicators that portray key results from the simulations. Our design addresses a number of challenges, including responding to the values and interests of diverse stakeholders, making documentation ready-to-hand, and balancing the value of fairness with presenting a diverse set of advocacy positions. We use Value Sensitive Design as our theory and design methodology; our theoretical framework also draws on Habermas's theories of legitimation and communicative action. Our work contributes to CSCW as an example of designing a system for effective use in an environment with multiple stakeholders who have fundamental disagreements, and we conclude by drawing lessons for other environments with these characteristics.
The work to make a home network work BIBA 469-488
  Rebecca E. Grinter; W. Keith Edwards; Mark W. Newman
Recently, households have begun to adopt networking technologies to interconnect devices within the home. Yet little is known about the consequences for households of setting up and living with these complex networks, nor the impact of such technologies on the routines of the home. In this paper, we report findings from an empirical study of households containing complex networks of computer and audio/visual technologies. Our study finds that home networks require significant household effort not just to coordinate their use, but also their set up and maintenance. We also show how the coordination around networking has to be worked into the routines of the home and the householders.