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ECSCW Tables of Contents: 8991939597990103050709111315

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

Fullname:Proceedings of ECSCW'93 European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
Editors:Giorgio De Michelis; Carla Simone; Kjeld Schmidt
Location:Milan, Italy
Dates:1993-Sep-13 to 1993-Sep-17
Publisher:Kluwer Academic Publishers
Standard No:ISBN 0-7923-2447-1; hcibib: ECSCW93
Links:Online Proceedings
Do Categories Have Politics? The Language/Action Perspective Reconsidered BIBA 1-14
  Lucy Suchman
Drawing on writings within the CSCW community and on recent social theory, this paper proposes that the adoption of speech act theory as a foundation for system design carries with it an agenda of discipline and control over organization members' actions. I begin with a brief review of the language/action perspective introduced by Winograd, Flores and their colleagues, focusing in particular on the categorization of speakers' intent. I then turn to some observations on the politics of categorization and, with that framework as background, consider the attempt, through THE COORDINATOR, to implement a technological system for intention-accounting within organizations. Finally, I suggest the implications of the analysis presented in the paper for the politics of CSCW systems design.
COLA: A Lightweight Platform for CSCW BIBA 15-30
  Jonathan Trevor; Tom Rodden; Gordon Blair
Despite the reliance of cooperative applications on the facilities provided by distributed systems, little consideration is given by these systems to the support of cooperative work. This paper examines the provision of appropriate mechanisms to represent cooperative work within a distributed platform. Based upon a examination of existing models of cooperative activity and the experiences of their use, a lightweight model of activities is suggested as the basis for the supporting platform. Rather than concentrate on the exchange of information, this lightweight model focus on the mechanisms of sharing of objects. This focus enables a clear separation between the mechanisms provided by the distributed platform and the policy which is the responsibility of the cooperative applications.
Sharing To-Do Lists with a Distributed Task Manager BIBA 31-46
  Thomas Kreifelts; Elke Hinrichs; Gerd Woetzel
We describe a simple and powerful tool for the management of distributed work: the Task Manager. Common tasks may be shared and manipulated independently by a number of people. They are represented as shared to-do lists at the user interface. With the help of the tool, users may organize cooperative tasks, monitor their progress, share documents and services, and exchange messages during task performance. The paper gives the motivation for the development of the Task Manager, implementation details, and a first assessment of its usefulness.
Supporting the Design Process within an Organisational Context BIBA 47-59
  Bob Anderson; Graham Button; Wes Sharrock
This paper attempts to take what has been essentially abstract thinking about how to support the design process and relocates it within the working and organisational context of design. Through a single case analysis we analyse how organisational exigencies affect design activities and design train of thought. On the basis of this study we consider how tools that have been developed to support the design process do not take account of the collaborative, interactional, and organisational ordering of the design process and make recommendations as to the features that one family of support tools, design rational tools, should poses.
Improving Software Quality through Computer Supported Collaborative Review BIBA 61-76
  Philip M. Johnson; Danu Tjahjono
Formal technical review (FTR) is a cornerstone of software quality assurance. However, the labor-intensive and manual nature of review, along with basic unresolved questions about its process and products, means that review is typically under-utilized or inefficiently applied within the software development process. This paper introduces CSRS, a computer-supported cooperative work environment for software review that improves the efficiency of review activities and supports empirical investigation of the appropriate parameters for review. The paper presents a typical scenario of CSRS in review, its data and process model, application to process maturation, relationship to other research, current status, and future directions.
Design for Privacy in Ubiquitous Computing Environments BIBA 77-92
  Victoria Bellotti; Abigail Sellen
Current developments in information technology are leading to increasing capture and storage of information about people and their activities. This raises serious issues about the preservation of privacy. In this paper we examine why these issues are particularly important in the introduction of ubiquitous computing technology into the working environment. Certain problems with privacy are closely related to the ways in which the technology attenuates natural mechanisms of feedback and control over information released. We describe a framework for design for privacy in ubiquitous computing environments and conclude with an example of its application.
The Designers' Notepad: Supporting and Understanding Cooperative Design BIBA 93-108
  Michael Twidale; Tom Rodden; Ian Sommerville
We describe the development of a system to support cooperative software design. An iterative development approach has been used, based upon the observation of system use in authentic design sessions. This allows us to correct interface errors, and also to learn more about the nature of collaborative design. The observations of use and the resulting refinements of the system are described. In particular we note the variability in design activity both amongst designers and according to circumstances. We also note the way in which concepts mutate over time (often involving frequent and rapid revision) leading to an evolution of structure.
A Spatial Model of Interaction in Large Virtual Environments BIBA 109-124
  Steve Benford; Lennart Fahlen
We present a spatial model of group interaction in virtual environments. The model aims to provide flexible and natural support for managing conversations among large groups gathered in virtual space. However, it can also be used to control more general interactions among other kinds of objects inhabiting such spaces. The model defines the key abstractions of object aura, nimbus, focus and adapters to control mutual levels of awareness. Furthermore, these are defined in a sufficiently general way so as to apply to any CSCW system where a spatial metric can be identified -- i.e. a way of measuring position and direction. Several examples are discussed, including virtual reality and text conferencing applications. Finally, the paper provides a more formal computational architecture for the spatial model by relating it to the object oriented modelling approach for distributed systems.
Culture and Control in a Media Space BIBA 125-137
  Paul Dourish
Media spaces integrate audio, video and computer networking technology in order to provide a rich communicative environment for collaboration. The connectivity which they provide brings with it important concerns regarding privacy, protection and control. In order to derive the fullest benefit from this technology, it is essential that these issues be addressed. As part of our investigation of media space systems, we developed a computational infrastructure addressing these problems our own working environment. A key aspect of this work is the relationship between two aspects of this control system -- the technological components which determine how the system will behave, and the social components which determine acceptable use and behaviour.
   This paper discusses our experiences with the privacy and control aspects of our RAVE media space environment, specifically with regard to connection management, and compares them to the experiences of other research groups. We discuss the nature of the relationship between technological and social elements in using this technology, and discuss the consequences for the design of such systems.
TOSCA: Providing Organisational Information to CSCW Applications BIBA 139-154
  Wolfgang Prinz
Most cooperation support systems require information about the organisational context in which they are used. This is particularly required when systems are used in a large organisation or for the support of inter-organisational cooperation.
   Following from this requirement, this paper presents the design and functionality of the organisational information system TOSCA for cooperation support systems. TOSCA is composed of two major components: an organisational information base server, which provides services to applications and an organisational information browser, which provides user access.
   The paper describes the motivation for an organisational information system, the object oriented data model that is used for the information representation, the architecture of the overall system, and the design of the user interface that presents and provides access to the multimedia information. It concludes with the description of how this system supports a task management system and the role it would play in a CSCW environment.
Unpacking Collaboration: The Interactional Organisation of Trading in a City Dealing Room BIBA 155-170
  Christian Heath; Marina Jirotka; Paul Luff; Jon Hindmarsh
It is increasingly recognised that whilst CSCW has led to a number of impressive technological developments, examples of successful applications remain few. In part, this may be due to our relative ignorance of the organisation of real world, cooperative activity. Focusing on share trading in a securities house in the City of London, we explore the interactional organisation of particular tasks and the ways in which dealers interweave individual and collaborative activity. These observations suggest ways in which we might reconsider a number of central concepts in CSCW and begin to draw design implications from naturalistic studies of work and interaction.
Analyzing Cooperative Work in a Urban Traffic Control Room for the Design of a Coordination Support System BIBA 171-186
  Genevieve Filippi; Jacques Theureau
A recent approach to computer technology aims the design of support systems as opposed to tools conceived as prostheses. However, most studies developping this new design paradigm consider the interaction between a stand-alone user and his technological environment. Focussing on an Urban Traffic Control Room, we explicate how work analysis should take into account the course of action of individuals and their interrelation. The design proposal sketched in this paper illustrates how a coordination support system should be capable of simultaneously supporting individual and cooperative work to meet the needs of complex and crisis-prone work situation.
Design for Unanticipated Use..... BIBA 187-202
  Mike Robinson
Support for work practice is better conceptualised as support for activity taking place in a multidimensional space than as prescription of temporal task sequences. The notion of "common artefact" is introduced to illustrate, unify, and summarise recent research that identifies significant dimensions of cooperative work. Common artefacts may be mundane, everyday objects like hotel keyracks or sophisticated computer tools. Both are multidimensional, in that they provide orthogonal features. They are predictable; help people see at a glance what others are doing (peripheral awareness); support implicit communications through the material being worked on; provide a focus for discussion of difficulties and negotiation of compromises (double level language); and afford an overview of the work process that would not otherwise be available. It is argued that CSCW should support these dimensions of work, rather than trying to anticipate its specific sequentiality.
Low Overhead, Loosely Coupled Communication Channels in Collaboration BIBA 203-218
  Dorab Patel; Scott D. Kalter
Communication and coupling are two central aspects of systems developed for computer-supported cooperative work. Synchronous communication usually implies tight coupling while asynchronous communication is often used with loose coupling. This paper explores the previously neglected role of loosely coupled channels in synchronous communication by providing some example channels and evaluating their tradeoffs.
   Such loosely coupled channels efficiently meet specialized communication needs that often arise in spontaneous, short-lived collaborations. They can also augment existing channels in specific domains.
   These channels impose few requirements on their host applications and hence can be easily integrated into tools familiar to most users. Our implementation is built over an inter-application communication framework that provides flexible high-level communication abstractions for the rapid prototyping, implementing, and experimenting with these channels.
A Model for Semi-(a)Synchronous Collaborative Editing BIBA 219-231
  Sten Minor; Boris Magnusson
This paper presents a new model for semi-synchronous collaborative editing. It fills the gap between asynchronous and synchronous editing styles. The model is based on hierarchically partitioned documents, fine-grained version control, and a mechanism called active diffs for supplying collaboration awareness. The aim of the model is to provide an editing style that better suits the way people actually are working when editing a document or program together, using different writing strategies during different activities.
Informed Opportunism as Strategy: Supporting Coordination in Distributed Collaborative Writing BIBA 233-248
  Eevi E. Beck; Victoria M. E. Bellotti
There is little understanding of how distributed writing groups manage their collaboration and what kinds of support are most useful. The paper presents three case studies of distributed collaborative writing groups in academia. The process evolves over time, constantly adapting to changing circumstances. Co-authors offer and make use of a range of information. Their subsequent opportunistic use of this information to make appropriate ad hoc decisions in new circumstances, appears to be essential to achieve flexibility and coordination. We call this informed opportunism. We identify design implications for support tools for distributed collaborative writing.
Support for Collaborative Authoring via Email: The MESSIE Environment BIBA 249-264
  Martina Angela Sasse; Mark James Handley; Shaw Cheng Chuang
MESSIE is a collaborative authoring environment to support the production of large-scale documents by teams of geographically distributed groups of authors working with hetereogenous systems. The environment allows authors to submit text at various stages of gestation (e.g. list of topics, first draft) to a shared filestore via email. All authors collaborating on a document can read each others' contributions, and add suggestions, comments and additional material directly to the document. The system integrates automatically answered electronic mail, shared file store administration, and a version control tool in a UNIX environment. The paper describes design and implementation strategy, and reports observations and a number of changes which were made during a 4-month trial period with three collaborative authoring teams.
Participation Equality and Influence: Cues and Status in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work Groups BIBA 265-279
  Suzanne Weisband; Sherry Schneider; Terry Connolly
We examined status effects in face-to-face and computer-mediated three-person groups. Our expectation that low status members in computer-mediated group discussions would participate more equally, and have more influence over decisions, than their counterparts in face-to-face groups was not confirmed. The results suggest that knowledge of status differences and labels were used to form cognitive impressions of other group members. It seems that when group members are aware of the status characteristics of the group, social cues were magnified rather than reduced. Implications of these findings for mixed status cooperative work groups and for the design of computer communication systems are discussed.
The Use of Breakdown Analysis in Synchronous CSCW System Design BIBA 281-293
  Silvia Ponguta Urquijo; Stephen A. R. Scrivener; Hilary K. Palmen
CSCW systems are invariably intended to support complex group activities. This complexity is reflected in the richness of the data required to adequately evaluate a system intended to support these activities. Consequently, there is a need for the development of an evaluation technique which can reliably provide diagnostic information quickly from rich data (such as video and audio recordings). In this paper, the development and use of an approach based on 'breakdowns' within the scope of a Model of Interaction is described. Breakdown analysis provides a systematic means of approaching large quantities of communication data, identifying those areas which highlight problems and relieving the evaluator of the task of consulting or becoming an expert in a more complex form of conversational analysis or HCI.
An Ethnographic Study of Graphic Designers BIBA 295-309
  Dianne Murray
This paper is about capturing and analysing requirements for Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) systems, showing that the approach taken differs from that for more traditional IT systems. Social science research paradigms are used to expand the nature of work in constrained environments. Interaction-based studies of office settings and a case study of a set of knowledge workers who manipulate information leads to an investigation of methods for translating their tacit knowledge into more meaningful requirements statements. The work presents views of the organisation through the participants eyes as contrasted with more formal views of the organisation as a business.
Building Shared Graphical Editors Using the Abstraction-Link-View Architecture BIBA 311-324
  Tom Brinck; Ralph D. Hill
We have written several multi-user graphical editors in the Rendezvous system. In our approach to building these editors, the applications are first written as single-user editors. When multiple users wish to share a drawing surface, the drawing surfaces of their individual editors are connected using the Abstraction-Link-View (ALV) architecture. "Links" communicate the editing operations among the editors they connect. Links are designed to be invisible to the applications they are attached to, allowing the interface for each user to be highly customized. Links can also attach editors to the interface of a running RENDEZVOUS application, allowing the interface to be edited as the application is being used.
Beyond Videophones: TeamWorkStation-2 for Narrowband ISDN BIBA 325-340
  Hiroshi Ishii; Kazuho Arita; Takashi Yagi
TeamWorkStation-2 (TWS-2) is introduced to connect two sites with a desktop overlay service using narrowband ISDN (N-ISDN) and the CCITT H.261 standard. Based on the experience gained with TWS-1 use within NTT, we radically simplified the system architecture of TWS-2. Experimental sessions confirmed that TWS-2 is useful for freehand drawing and gesture-intensive design sessions even with the basic rate interface (2B+D). Video delay and jerkiness did not prevent users from concentrating on their task. We are convinced that TWS-2 has a big advantage over ordinary videophones as a narrowband ISDN service.
Bringing Media Spaces into the Real World BIBA 341-356
  Daniele S. Pagani; Wendy E. Mackay
This paper describes a field study to evaluate the use of audio and video connections in a "real world" setting, that is a distributed product development organization within a large multinational corporation. We installed two types of media space connections: a focused dial-up video-phone for engineering problem solving between designers in England and the shop floor of a factory in the Netherlands and an unfocused "office share" to support administrative tasks. We observed that users quickly integrated the new video links into their existing media space of telephone, beepers, answering machines, video conference, fax, e-mail, etc. Users easily learnt how to shift from one medium to another. This suggests that "real world" media spaces should be designed to allow a user-driven smooth transition from one medium to another according to the task at hand and the bandwidth available: from live video to stored video, from moving video to still frames, from multimedia spaces to shared computing spaces for synchronous sketching and asynchronous message posting, and from two user conversation to multi-user conference calls.