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ECSCW Tables of Contents: 8991939597990103050709111315

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

Fullname:Proceedings of ECSCW'89 European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
Editors:John Bowers; Steve Benford
Dates:1989-Sep-13 to 1989-Sep-15
Publisher:Computer Sciences Company Computer Sciences House Brunel Way Slough, SL1 1XL UK
Standard No:hcibib: ECSCW89
Links:Online Proceedings
  1. Human Sciences and Empirical Methods
  2. Applications
  3. Organisational Issues in CSCW
  4. Underlying Technologies
  5. General Issues in CSCW
  6. Paper Fair

Human Sciences and Empirical Methods

Preliminary experiments with a distributed, multi-media, problem solving environment BIBA 19-34
  R. B. Smith; T. O'Shea; C. O'Malley; E. Scanlon; J. Taylor
We report on studies of pairs of subjects using a system called SharedARK (for "Shared Alternate Reality Kit"). In SharedARK, users at separate workstations interact in real time with the same world of simulated physical objects. In the experiments, two users are in separate rooms with a workstation each, and communicate through a high fidelity, hands-free audio and a camera-monitor device called a "video tunnel" which enables eye contact. For comparison, we have removed the video tunnel for some subjects, and have placed other subject pairs in the same room, giving them only a workstation each. Within SharedARK, subjects are given a "microworld" within which to solve a problem in everyday physics. Subjects are videotaped and monitored from a remote room. The protocols have been submitted to a preliminary analysis, in which we categorise activities as they relate to use of the interface, task performance and social interaction. We also catalogue eye glances and eye contact in terms of their relation to these activities.
   Our primary purpose has been to assess the learnability and usability of this technology, and to identify factors that are important in facilitating collaborative problem solving by directly comparing remote, electronically mediated communication with physical co-presence. We find the system is easily learned and fairly easily used. Subjects normally find the task engaging, and usually work together through largely unarticulated task division to obtain at least a partial understanding of the solution space. Our observations have led us to the hypothesis that this technology can bring subjects in some ways closer together than if they were to engage in a similar task in the real world. We present evidence suggesting that this artificially enhanced proximity may play a positive role in supporting non-interface specific discourse and task division negotiation.
Mechanisms of cognitive change in peer interaction: Implications for the design of computer supported cooperative learning environments BIBA 35-44
  R. Joiner; A. Blaye
In this paper it is argued that existing accounts of mechanisms of cognitive change in joint problem solving are inadequate for several reason. In particular explanations based on sociocognitive conflict do not tell us how the resolution of inter individual conflicts leads to cognitive change. It is argued that a more effective approach is to analyse the dialogue processes involved. A model is presented which explains change in terms of the relation between dialogue focus and task focus moves. An experiment is reported which explores this relationship. The implications for designing computer supported cooperative learning environments are then reported.
The dynamics of small group decision making over the e-mail channel BIBA 45-58
  D. Fafchamps; D. Reynolds; A. Kuchinsky
The coding scheme of Benne & Sheats (1948) was used to explore the dynamics of electronic mail discussions in a team five co-located system designers who used the technology as a support to decision making. The results show that the discussions display (1) similar group task activities but few of the group-centered strategies documented in face-to-face meetings; (2) verbal devices that may serve a different function when used in electronic mail discussions. The study identifies a profile of the discussion leader that is consistent with findings of research on computer conferencing. Implications for research in remote collaboration are considered.
Co-operatives in the USSR BIBA 59-62
  A. Vershkov; A. Roussakov
This paper describes the problems of development of co-operative movement in the USSR. The computerisation process in this country requires an entirely new approach to information service of the society. New opportunities in mastering the Soviet market through the promotion of modern information technologies arise for foreign partners.
Automatic information processes in document reading. A study of information handling in two intensive care units. BIBA 63-72
  E. Pettersson
A study was made of information handling in intensive care units in two hospitals. In one of the units, the information about the patients was read from paper documents whereas in the other unit the same kind of information was read from computer screens. In both units cooperative work was being done with documents or forms containing data regarding seriously ill patients. The results show that in the paper-based environment there is a reason to believe that a number of information activities can be automatized in human cognition sense. In the computerized environment however, these same activities seem to require conscious attention thus leading to high attentional demand.
Working in harmony: An examination of computer technology in air traffic control BIBA 73-86
  R. R. Harper; J. A. Hughes; D. Z. Shapiro
This paper will examine how computers support - and sometimes hinder - cooperative working. It will be argued that the design - and any attempt to re-design or re-specify - computerised information resources has to take into account the social organisational setting of cooperative work. Failure to do so may lead to developments that have little or no practical benefits, and may undermine the harmonious functioning of working groups. The argument will be illustrated by reference to a computerised enhancement of Air Traffic Control technology called 'RD3'. Data for the paper was collected during a joint SERC-ESRC research project into Social Aspects of the Automation of Air Traffic Control. Research methods included observation of sector team work in situ; extensive interviewing of London Air Traffic Control Centre operations and management personnel; and transcriptions of audio tapes of sector team activities.
Experiences in designing the Hohenheim CATeam room BIBA 87-101
  T. Ferwagner; Y. Wang; H. Lewe; H. Krcmar
While developing alternatives for the design of the Hohenheim CATeam Room, offering a computer supported meeting environment, a round room and conference table design were found to be most useful for the given facility layout and the requirements for the room at issue. The paper describes the design process and the experiences gained thereby by describing the evolution of the different design alternatives and specific fundamental issues concerning seating for teamwork and the arrangement of public screens, media usage flexibility and conference room workspace ergonomics.
Group working in the DHSS large demonstrator project BIBA 102-120
  G. Storrs
Policy making in the UK's Department of Social Security (DSS) provides an interesting example of co-operative working. The manual procedures for policy making in this organisation are effective despite the physically and temporally dispersed nature of the groups involved. However, the size and complexity of the task and the constraints under which policy groups work means that there is considerable scope for improving efficiency in this area. The Policy Application of the Alvey DHSS Large Demonstrator Project, which this paper describes, has sought to provide computer support for DSS policy makers in ways which preserve the effectiveness of their present organization whilst increasing its efficiency.
   Policy makers in the DSS are concerned with the monitoring and continuing development of the policy of the Department. This involves the explanation of existing social security legislation in terms of the policy that it implements, the development of new legislation when it is discovered that the existing legislation does not properly implement it, and the development of new policy when this becomes necessary to reflect the will of the Minister. Policy makers are not decision makers but make recommendations to the Minister. These recommendations are supported by closely-reasoned arguments. The development of legislation and of the policy arguments behind it is a group process which we have sought to support with a computer-based group decision support system which contains knowledge based elements. The nature of the group processes in the DSS which are involved in policy formulation are discussed and a policy support system which has been designed specifically to suit this style of group working is described. The system provides mechanisms and formalisms for group communication tailored to the dynamics of the policy development process. The system comprises support for the structuring of policy problems, for detailed argumentation around policy issues, for text, argument and legislation retrieval and for the use of a logical model of the social security legislation in order to enquire about the effects of legislation on target groups, to model changes to the legislation so as to assess their efficacy as solutions to policy problems, and to check for unexpected interactions with other parts of the legislation. It also provides facilities for the distribution, collection, review, evaluation and amalgamation of policy argumentation among the group. Small scale evaluations - which have led to very positive reactions from DSS policy workers - are described.
Adding audio and video to an office environment BIBA 121-130
  S. Gale
The aim of the VISION project was to determine the value added to an office system by incorporating audio and video. The performance, feelings and perceptions of work groups were measured while they carried out cooperative tasks in a controlled environment using an experimental video communication system. The results showed no significant differences in the quality of the output, or the time taken to complete the tasks, under three conditions: data sharing plus audio; data sharing plus audio and video. The results suggest that high bandwidth communication is particularly effective for social, informal, communication.


AI techniques for supporting human to human communication in CHAOS BIBA 133-147
  C. Bignoli; C. Simone
Communication among group's members can be problematic being often difficult to interpret ambiguous messages in a correct way. The paper describes the main features of a human to human communication support, called CHAOS, for what concerns the help it provides to its users both in preventing misunderstandings and in allowing message disambiguation. These functionalities are implemented in a specific module (the Group Language Expert module), which makes use of Natural Language Processing techniques. Their application is illustrated together with some possible improvements of the implemented functionalities.
Supporting the design of office procedures in the domino system BIBA 148-159
  F. Victor; E. Sommer
In this paper, we show how a graphical interactive planner is used to support the design of specifications for an office procedure system. In a first phase, a plan is designed relying on a knowledge base which describes the given organization. This plan is represented as a modified Petri net and can be tested and revised using simulation. In the second phase, the plan is transformed automatically into a formal specification of an office procedure, in our case a CoPlan-S procedure for the DOMINO system. In the first part of the paper we briefly describe the planning system VIPS and the office procedure system DOMINO. Then we explain the transformation process and illustrate the generation of a procedure specification with the help of an example.
The activity model environment: An object-oriented framework for describing organisational communication BIBA 160-173
  H. T. Smith; P. A. Hennessy; G. A. Lunt
The paper outlines a framework for modelling organisational communication. It also describes an object oriented environment (the AME) that has been used to explore such models. The AME consists of a database that holds a description of the structure of an organisation and its on-going activities. A rule interpreter makes use of the database to assist in the processing of activity related messages and their routing between organisational roles.
The impact of case tools on teamwork of information systems developers BIBA 174-189
  S. Wrycza
The influence of CASE (computer-aided software engineering) tools on style of work of information system designing teams is investigated. Therefore, the concept of information system development methodology and its constituents as well as the idea of an analyst workbench are considered. CASE tools are characterized and classified. First the effects and benefits of CASE packages use by individual designers for information systems development are discussed. Than two basic spheres of cooperative application of CASE tools. i.e. cooperation of different professionals in course of system life cycle accomplishment and integration of local conceptual models into a global model are analyzed in detail. They are related with three forms of group work - coordination, cooperation and reflective communication.
Building conversations using mailtrays BIBA 190-203
  R. Rodden; I. Sommerville
Current project support environments provide little direct support for group working. This paper postulates an architecture for future project support environments and describes an interaction metaphor appropriate for such an environment. Techniques for exploiting this metaphor in order to provide support for cooperative working are described. Finally a means of describing cooperation patterns within the environment is discussed and an editor which supports the construction of these descriptions is introduced.
A design tool for autonomous group agents BIBA 204-214
  T. Kreifelts; F. Victor; G. Woetzel; M. Woitass
Autonomous group agents coordinate cooperative activities in spatially distributed groups of people who communicate via electronic mail. The highly asynchronous nature of remote communication poses a problem for the design of such programmed agents. This paper describes a tool supporting the consistent design of the communication behaviour of autonomous group agents. The tool will support the designer in detecting possible deadlocks, inconsistent terminations, or unforeseen situations. The approach chosen is based on a conversational model of cooperation. Essential parts of the tool have been successfully implemented in Prolog.
Experiences in building a configurable CSCW system BIBA 215-225
  J. Dollimore; S. Wilbur
The purpose of the Cosmos project is to design a system to support co-operative tasks based on asynchronous message passing. The real-world model for our design is based on the idea of each user participating in group tasks by playing one or more roles within activities. One of the primary aims was to provide a configurable system, based on the notion of communication structure, and we have developed two notations for abstract definition of the structural elements of group activities. The functionality of a particular Cosmos system will be determined by the communication structures represented in it, each structure describing a particular class of group activity. By establishing a library of suitable structures, the system may configured to meet the needs of the organisation in which it operates.
   Cosmos system design models are described, including the system model and user's conceptual model on which the User Interface design is based. The Cosmos software has been designed as a set of components that mirror the properties of group communication activities reflected in the design model. A working prototype based on these models has been built, and we have completed trials based on some structures we have created. The project ends in November of this year, and we take this opportunity to reflect on our design approach. Finally, some areas are discussed where further research and development is required.
CoAUTHOR: A hypermedia group authoring environment BIBA 226-244
  U. Hahn; M. Jarke; K. Kreplin; M. Farusi; F. Pimpinelli
The CoAUTHOR system provides a real time oriented environment for multiple authors who wish to collaborate on the production of hypermedia documents. In this report, we describe a model of hypermedia document authoring, consider the group aspects of co-authoring, and the technical communication and coordination tools we are using for the implementation of a CoAUTHOR prototype. The interactions among the members of the authoring team concerning idea processing document design and generation as well as group specific activities such as critiquing issues, negotiating divergent opinions, and treating inconsistent or incomplete specifications are shown to be fairly knowledge-intensive and thus require maintenance facilities provided by a sophisticated knowledge base management system underlying the hypermedia surface.

Organisational Issues in CSCW

Aspects of cooperation in a distributed problem solving environment BIBA 247-260
  A. Nylund
A great deal of our daily activity involves some form of cooperation. This paper identifies general problem solving situations and show their applicability as metaphors for computer problem solving. Scientific communities and organizational theory are examples of such metaphors. Distributed Problem Solving is discussed, and main aspects such as coordination of agents, communication among agents, local agent sophistication, uncertainty and coherence are addressed.
Inter-organizational information systems as a tool for computer supported cooperative work BIBA 261-275
  R. Suomi
Business enterprises and other organizations use more and more outside services to support the conducting of their business activities. Increased efficiency and a more professional way of working can many times be achieved by using these services than by doing everything in house. Examples of this "externalization" of business can be seen in all kind of services, from cleaning services to core functions of companies such as advertising, marketing in general, warehouse functions, etc.
   This means that working is no more conducted as a group work inside companies. Most activities needing group work actually occur between organizations. Techniques for supporting co-operation between people in different organizations must clearly be developed. The concept of inter-organizational information systems offers an excellent basis for this kind of analysis. Inter-organizational information systems can be seen as tools for enterprises and their employees to conduct cooperative work. This study reports results of an empirical study conducted in a large insurance company. To evaluate the information systems of the company a framework based on the transaction cost theory is developed. In this framework, computer based systems are supposed to lower the transaction costs involved in the work.
Requirements of activity management BIBA 276-286
  S. Benford
Recent years have witnessed the development of several theoretical models of cooperative group working based on the concept of role playing within structured activities. This paper proposes that the widespread implementation and adoption of products based on these models is critically dependent on a framework for managing and integrating activities within working environments. The term activity management is introduced to refer to the process of planning, administrating and executing activities according to the various management policies defined within local environments. The requirements of activity management are then discussed with particular emphasis on two key concepts: the use of a high-level notation for expressing management requirements and the need for an activity management activity architecture supporting the management of activities within distributed computer systems. The overall goal of this paper is therefore to define a program of research to progress activity based models of group working towards viable and useful implementations.

Underlying Technologies

Relevance of the X.500 directory to CSCW applications BIBA 289-302
  W. Prinz; P. Pennelli
In 1988 the standardization bodies ISO and CCITT released the first international standard of a distributed Directory Service (8). The purpose of the Directory as it is described by the standard is to supply a global nameserver and an application independent management and information service. But these applications are not exhausting the possibilities of a Directory usage. It is the intention of this paper to present the possibilities and chances the Directory offers to applications in the CSCW area.
   Our investigation focuses on CSCW models and applications that support and coordinate communications in groups (15). first the paper identifies and analyses components which most of these applications have in common. For the analysis we introduce the classification of activity oriented models and conversation oriented models. Then, after a brief introduction into the X.500 Directory Service, it is shown in which way the identified components can be represented by the Directory Service. The paper concludes with a discussion of desirable improvements on the Directory Service.
Conference toolkit: A framework for real time conferencing BIBA 303-316
  A. Bonfiglio; G. Malatesta; F. Tisato
This paper introduces Conference Toolkit, a system layer supporting multimedia, real time cooperation among users via shared applications. Conference Toolkit allows both to integrate standard applications in a conference environment and to develop "conference aware" applications. It is based on a concurrent object-oriented scheme. Conference Desk, a prototype based on the Conference Toolkit model, is described.
Knowledge based office automation and CSCW BIBA 317-327
  M. Tueni; J. Li
The cooperative aspect of office work entails developing OIS systems which support office tasks that have to be executed in a collaborative manner. In particular, many systems have been developed using speech act elements as the theoretical underpinnings. Instead of using speech act elements, we use operators (e.g. send, request and acknowledge) as basic building blocks. We have developed a knowledge-based system called AMS (Activity Management System) that is specifically tailored to support CSCW. The system embodies the syntax and operational semantics of the various office operators. These operators can then be concatenated in the same manner as speech act elements to support CSCW.

General Issues in CSCW

Information domains in CSCW BIBA 331-342
  P. Hennessy
Most abstract models of cooperative work concentrate on the procedural and structural aspects of group working. However, one of the fundamental processes that occurs when people work together is that of information sharing. This paper suggests that a complete model of cooperative work would benefit from explicitly incorporating the concept of information sharing. It is proposed that this can be achieved by including information domains in such a model. Two projects (MacAll II and AMIGO MHS+) that have addressed this issue to a limited extent are outlined and compared. Finally, four areas of consideration are identified and discussed, and areas for further research are highlighted.
Cooperative prototyping experiments BIBA 343-357
  S. Bødker; K. Grønbæk
This paper describes experiments with a design technique that we denote cooperative prototyping. The experiments consider design of a patient case record system for municipal dental clinics in which we used HyperCard, an off the shelf programming environment for the Macintosh. In the experiments we tried to achieve a fluent work-like evaluation of prototypes where users envisioned future work with a computer tool, at the same time as we made on-line modifications of prototypes in cooperation with the users when breakdowns occur in their work-like evaluation.
   The experiments showed that it was possible to make a number of direct manipulation changes of prototypes in cooperation with the users, in interplay with their fluent work-like evaluation of these. However, breakdowns occurred in the prototyping process when we reached the limits of the direct manipulation support for modification. From these experiences we discuss problems in the process, requirements for design tools, and issues involved in getting going with cooperative prototyping with active user involvement.
CSCW: Four characters in search of a context BIBA 358-372
  L. J. Bannon; K. Schmidt
The title of this paper was chosen to highlight the fact that the label CSCW, although widely adopted as the acronym for the field of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, has been applied to computer applications of very different ilk. It is not at all clear what are the unique identifying elements of this research area. This paper provides a framework for approaching the issue of cooperative work and its possible computer support. The core issues are identified and prospects for the field are outlined.
The psychology of cooperation - consequences of descriptions BIBA 373-385
  U. Holand; T. Danielsen
This paper contains a discussion on different ways of describing the phenomenon cooperation. These perspectives are in turn used in understanding the descriptions of cooperation as given in different contexts. From one of the perspectives one sees those aspects of cooperation which shows some resemblance with those of a creative dialogue. On the basis of a discussion of these aspects we may give some guidelines for the development of computer-based systems supporting cooperation.

Paper Fair

The elementary pragmatic model: A possible approach for setting up user model BIBA 389-401
  I. Bison; L. Colazzo
This article sets out a quantitative theory of the interaction among "subjects" which allows a description of the pragmatic aspects of communication. Within a system of interacting subjects each individual is described by means of a set of interaction parameters. In this way an interaction pattern relative to each subject can be defined. The model provides a "change law" which describes the evolution of individual patterns as a consequence of different communication events. This allows interaction deficiencies to be identified and suggests possible strategies for dealing with them. The theory was first developed in the area of clinical psychiatry and underwent two kinds of external verification: one psychometric-diagnostic, the other clinical. The theory was then applied to an economic environment in the behavioral study of decision-making processes. In this paper we suggest that it may be applied to the development of user models in computerized environments for cooperation support.
CoNeX Coordination and negotiation support for expert teams in project managementModelling group communication structures: Analysing four European projects BIBA 402-405
  U. Hahn; M. Jarke
Current technologies for group decision support only rarely account for the qualitative mechanisms underlying problem solving processes of multiple persons, i.e. on-going task negotiations, debates of contradictory issues, alterations of commitment-based contracts, e.g., redefining tasks due to resource allocation constraints or dynamic changes in the project environment. The CoNEX system (COoperation and NEgotiation among eXperts) currently under development is particularly dedicated to integrate these qualitative aspects of group work. The application scenario considers the problem solving activities of physically distributed experts in the field of information system design, development, and maintenance under the perspective of software project management.
Modelling group communication structures: Analysing four European projects BIBA 406-420
  P. Hennessy; S. Benford; J. Bowers
This paper was first published in the Singapore International Conference on Networks '89, pages 56-61. It describes the COSMOS, AMIGO MHS+, AMIGO Advanced, and MacAll II models of group communication, and compares them from four key perspectives. The need for an integrated approach to modelling group working is stated, and features that should be included in any model are identified.
Considerations for a framework for CATeam research BIBA 421-435
  H. Krcmar
This document discusses the goal of productivity improvement for groups and ways to obtain that goal. It addresses the terminology used for this concept and issues related to CATeam (Computer Aided Team). The paper describes the assumptions that determine the outlined framework of research for CATeam that is used to guide the Hohenheim research programme in Computer Aided Teams (CATeam). The framework is presented as a springboard for discussion rather than a final ending point of CSCW research.
Computer aided modelling of costs in the road haulage transport BIBA 436-448
  B. Kubiak
This note provides a concise summary of the author's work entitled "Problems concerning the variability of costs in the road haulage industry". Analysis of a large number of variables about which data might reasonably be expected to be available is used to develop cost models containing relatively few variables. Linear and log-linear models are fitted by regression according to a taxonomic procedure in which a criterion based on a measure of distance between standardised variables is used in deciding which variables to include. Use of the resulting estimated costs in the context of break-even analysis in the management of road haulage undertakings is discussed.
Approaching group communication by means of an office building metaphor BIBA 449-460
  C. M. Madsen
This is a description of what one might call an environment for cooperative work. The work falls in two parts: First a conceptual framework for cooperative work is approached by way of the transaction cost theory of organizations [4]. The rest of the paper describes ideas for a system that supports cooperation as it is outlined in the first part.
A theory of document processing machines - praxiological and cybernetical approach to information systems BIBA 461-468
  T. Rawinki
The practice of information systems application and development is definitely in need of sound theoretical foundations - the task to develop them was formulated and undertaken by IFIP. The document processing machines /dcpm/ theory is an attempt to accomplish the task. The paper presents the theory in a very condensed way and discusses: task formulated by IFIP, environment and scope of dcpm usage, activities of dcpm users, architecture and organization of full utility dcpms. The theory has originated of the practice.
Multimedia conference across wide-area networks BIBA 469-475
  J. Rugelj; A. Endrizzi
The design of a multimedia interactive conferencing system based on wide area networks as a communication infrastructure is discussed. Co-operation activities take place by sharing application packages installed in remote servers and workstations. The necessary upgrades to the existing communication protocols which make them support multicast connections are described in detail.
The 'laboratory for cooperation technologies' and italian initiatives on computer-supported cooperative work BIBA 476-488
  T. Schal; B. Zeller
The 'Laboratory for Cooperation Technologies' is the first Italian activity in forthcoming cooperation technologies. It has the aim to observe, evaluate and test technologies in this area of research and company-developments. A group of private and public Italian organizations participates in this circle which was founded in 1988. Promoters of the initiative are a consultancy company, a service-company for information and communication technologies and a software-house. Other subscribers for the laboratory are, at present, producers and suppliers of information technology, banks, regional governments, service-companies for information and communication technologies, research centres, manufacturing, chemical and consultancy companies. The program consists of seminars, workshops, study tours and product tests. An Electronic Workgroup is going to be started based on a geographical network with 'The Coordinator'. The Laboratory is actually addressing Italian companies. Future plans are to develop relationships at European level for the 1990's. Some members of the Laboratory have started with projects on cooperative work. One of the developed applications is a hyper-text-based management reporting system. Another member of the Laboratory is using hypertexts for the accumulation and presentation of information, especially on Artificial Intelligence. Beside the more editorial applications for the creation of documents and information by a group of persons, there are projects to support the communication. In an Italian industrial group the communication technology is re-defined in the project 'Message Handling System' to support groupwork. A geographical network should support the communication and coordination of regional departments in a European project for the economical development of the territory. A consultancy company has developed a methodology to analyse and understand cooperative networks and to design them by choosing supporting tools and defining the required skills of human beings.
Identifying decision makers for large-scale group decisions BIBA 489-496
  C. Stary
Important and complex decisions need large groups of decision makers. Linking decision makers along decision links constitutes and essential element for the operation of such groups. Unfortunately, the overhead of message passing becomes prohibitive in a flat organization. Models of group decisions are discussed in context with addressing and message passing algorithms. A hierarchical network representation scheme for decision makers is proposed to solve the linking problem. The two key features of the modeling approach are the hierarchical addressing mechanism and the adaptive message passing algorithm.