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ECSCW Tables of Contents: 8991939597990103050709111315

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

Fullname:Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work ECSCW'95
Editors:Hans Marmolin; Yngve Sundblad; Kjeld Schmidt
Location:Stockholm, Sweden
Dates:1995-Sep-11 to 1995-Sep-15
Publisher:Kluwer Academic Publishers
Standard No:ISBN 0-7923-3697-6; hcibib: ECSCW95
Papers:21
Pages:353
Links:Online Proceedings
  1. Distributed Social Worlds
  2. Cooperation and Power
  3. Collaborative Activities
  4. CSCW Mechanisms I
  5. Electronic Meetings I
  6. CSCW Mechanisms II
  7. Electronic Meetings II
  8. Workplace Studies

Distributed Social Worlds

Work, Locales and Distributed Social Worlds BIBA 1-16
  Geraldine Fitzpatrick; William J. Tolone; Simon M. Kaplan
Efforts to build systems to support the complex social reality of cooperative work need both a grounding in the social i.e., a rich abstract basis for understanding work, and a bridging link between the social and the technical to provide new insights into how to approach designing systems based on this understanding. We propose Anselm Strauss' (1993) Theory of Action as a candidate from which to evolve a framework to ground an understanding of work. Insights from Strauss' work on the importance of structural conditions for social world (cooperative ensemble) interactions can help us to view support systems in a new role as setting/locale for cooperative work interaction, thus providing a bridge between the social and the technical. We briefly overview a locales-based environment called WORLDS we are building concurrent with our theoretical exploration.
POLITeam: Bridging the Gap between Bonn and Berlin for and with the Users BIBA 17-32
  K. Klockner; P. Mambrey; M. Sohlenkamp; W. Prinz; L. Fuchs; S. Kolvenbach; U. Pankoke-Babatz; A. Syri
Supporting the cooperation of people in large organizations which are distributed geographically is one of the great challenges for the CSCW research. With POLIKOM, the German Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Technology launched a framework in which telecooperation applications will be developed to support the distributed government in Bonn and Berlin. POLITeam is one project embedded in that framework. Its aim is to support asynchronous cooperation in administrative or industrial settings by an integrative groupware system that applies the metaphors of electronic circulation folders and shared workspaces. The development process is based on the approach of using an existing groupware system that is evaluated and redesigned in close cooperation with selected pilot partners. This paper describes the initial design, our development approach and the first experiences of the POLITeam project.
Fragmented Exchange: Disarticulation and the Need for Regionalized Communication Spaces BIBA 33-49
  Andrew Clement; Ina Wagner
This paper relates the discussion of articulation work (and of disarticulation) to issues of the creation and control of collective communication spaces. Four different types of settings are examined -- occupationally segregated terrains, emergency situations, scarce-resource settings and performance-intensive settings. What is articulated in such settings is seen as depending on the properties of the communication spaces actors build, their zoning and contextuality; while instances of disarticulation within this space can be interpreted as a consequence of both regionalisation and/or a deterioration or even breakdown of envisioning and interrelating. CSCW design needs to take account of the regionalised character of "real world" communications by offering tools for creating a corresponding multiplicity of communication spaces.

Cooperation and Power

Workflow from Within and Without: Technology and Cooperative Work on the Print Industry Shopfloor BIBA 51-66
  John Bowers; Graham Button; Wes Sharrock
This paper reports fieldwork from an organization in the print industry, examining a workflow system introduced to the shopfloor. We detail the indigenous methods by which members order their work, contrast this with the order provided by the system, and describe how members have attempted to accommodate the two. Although it disrupted shopfloor work, the system's use was a contractural requirement on the organization to make its services accountable. This suggests workflow systems can often be seen as technologies for organizational ordering and accountability. We conclude that CSCW requirements should acknowledge such exigencies and the organizational status of workflow technologies.
Cooperation and Power BIBA 67-82
  John Sherry
New technologies are not only transforming workplace practices in familiar settings. They are also finding their way into the types of "exotic" locales which have traditionally been of interest to anthropologists. This paper presents an ethnographic analysis of technologically mediated communication in one such atypical setting, among a grassroots group of activists from the Navajo Indian Reservation in the southwestern United States. As this case illustrates, mere access to technology does not solve all of the problems such groups face in terms of empowerment, access to resources for action, and coordination. The discursive practices embodied in technological design may perpetuate the relations of dominance and subordination which characterize interactions between "marginalized" groups and "mainstream" organizations, and force groups into forms of organization which they find inappropriate.

Collaborative Activities

Reconsidering the Virtual Workplace: Flexible Support for Collaborative Activity BIBA 83-99
  Christian Heath; Paul Luff; Abigail Sellen
Despite the substantial corpus of research concerned with the design and development of media space, the virtual workplace has failed to achieve its early promise. In this paper, we suggest that a number of problems which have arisen with the design and deployment of media space, derive from their impoverished concept of collaborative work. Drawing from our own studies of video connectivity, coupled with analyses of work and interaction in real-world settings, we consider ways in which we might reconfigure media space in order to provide more satisfactory support for collaboration in organisational environments.
Contact: Support for Distributed Cooperative Writing BIBA 101-116
  Andrew Kirby; Tom Rodden
This paper presents a novel system to support the activities of distributed cooperative writing. The system builds upon the results from previous studies of cooperative work, and on a set of short focused studies of cooperative authoring to outline a framework and system to meet the requirements of cooperating authors. The system provides facilities to represent the decomposition of the writing task and assignment of responsibilities. In addition, a series of monitoring facilities is provided which allows authors to coordinate their activities in the construction of documents.
CSCW for Strategic Management in Swiss Enterprises: An Empirical Study BIBA 117-132
  Christian Sauter; Othmar Morger; Thomas Muhlherr; Andrew Hutchison; Stephanie Teufel
This paper presents the results of an empirical study into the current usage of groupware in strategic management and the potential of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) for the top management in large-scale Swiss business enterprises. For this purpose we conducted a survey amongst 168 organisations.

CSCW Mechanisms I

Medium versus Mechanism: Supporting Collaboration Through Customisation BIBA 133-148
  Richard Bentley; Paul Dourish
The study of cooperative work as a socially-situated activity has led to a focus on providing 'mechanisms' that more closely resonate with existing work practice. In this paper we challenge this approach and suggest the flexibly organised nature of work is better supported when systems provide a 'medium' which can be tailored to suit each participant's needs and organised around the detail of their work. This orientation towards 'medium' rather than 'mechanism' has consequences for cooperative system design, highlighting a need to allow participants to adapt details of policy currently embedded in the heart of the systems we build. We describe an approach which allows users to perform such 'deep customisation' through direct manipulation of user interface representations.
The Session Capture and Replay Paradigm for Asynchronous Collaboration BIBA 149-164
  Nelson R. Manohar; Atul Prakash
In this paper, we describe a paradigm and its associated collaboration artifact to allow flexible support for asynchronous collaboration. Under this paradigm, a user session with an application's user interface is encapsulated into a data artifact, referred to as a session object. Users collaborate by annotating, by modifying, and by a back-and-forth exchange of these session objects. Each session object is composed of several data streams that encapsulate audio annotations and user interactions with the application. The replay of a session object is accomplished by dispatching these data streams to the application for re-execution. Re-execution of these streams is kept synchronized to maintain faithfulness to the original recording. The basic mechanisms allow a participant who misses a session with an application to catch up on the activities that occurred during the session. This paper presents the paradigm, its applications, its design, and our preliminary experience with its use.

Electronic Meetings I

Virtual Reality Tele-Conferencing: Implementation and Experience BIBA 165-180
  Chris Greenhalgh; Steve Benford
This paper describes the implementation of and early experiences with a virtual reality tele-conferencing system called MASSIVE. This system includes a full realisation of the spatial model of interaction and its concepts of aura, awareness, focus, nimbus and adapters as was presented at ECSCW'93. This model supports users in interacting over ad-hoc combinations of audio, graphical and textual media through both 3-D and 2-D interfaces. Observations arising from the use of MASSIVE to support laboratory meetings are discussed; these include the need to support richer peripheral awareness, the need to improve the sensitivity of navigation, problems with lack of engagement between users, the need to support varying degrees of presence and problems arising from different perceptions of space between 2-D and 3-D users. Possible solutions to these problems are proposed.
Can the GestureCam be a Surrogate? BIBA 181-196
  Hideaki Kuzuoka; Gen Ishimoda; Yushi Nishimura; Ryutaro Suzuki; Kimio Kondo
The GestureCam is a remote-controlled actuator onto which a small camera and laser pointer are mounted. The term "GestureCam System" includes other user interfaces which control the GestureCam, such as the master actuator and the touch-sensitive CRT. We expect the system to act as the surrogate of a remote person. In order to clarify advantages and problems of the GestureCam system, we conducted some experiments. As a result of those experiments, we found that the GestureCam has the ability to support gaze awareness and remote finger pointing. We also found, however, that the system has some problems which need to be refined.
The Use of Hypermedia in Group Problem Solving: An Evaluation of the DOLPHIN Electronic Meeting Room Environment BIBA 197-213
  Gloria Mark; Jorg M. Haake; Norbert A. Streitz
In this paper, we report on an empirical evaluation of selected aspects of DOLPHIN, a meeting room environment of computers networked with an electronic whiteboard. Our results show that in a face-to-face meeting, the use of DOLPHIN's hypermedia functionality changed the nature of the product and the way groups worked, compared to using only electronic whiteboard functionality. Groups organized their ideas into network, rather than pure hierarchical, structures. These were more deeply elaborated, contained more ideas, and had more relationships between the ideas. The problem solutions were also judged to be more original. Groups were more likely to use a top-down planning strategy, and to exhibit a different temporal work pattern. The results suggest that work groups can benefit from using hypermedia in problem solving.

CSCW Mechanisms II

The Parting of the Ways: Divergence, Data Management and Collaborative Work BIBA 215-230
  Paul Dourish
Systems coordinating distributed collaborative work must manage user data distributed over a network. The strong consistency algorithms which designers have typically borrowed from the distributed systems community are often unsuited to the particular needs of CSCW. Here, I outline an alternative approach based on divergence and synchronisation between parallel streams of activity. From a CSCW perspective, this strategy offers three primary advantages. First, it is scalable, allowing smooth transitions from highly interactive collaboration to more extended, "asynchronous" styles of work. Second, it supports "multi-synchronous" work, in which parties work independently in parallel. Third, it directly supports observed patterns of opportunistic activities in collaborative working.
A General Multi-User Undo/Redo Model BIBA 231-246
  Rajiv Choudhary; Prasun Dewan
A general multi-user undo/redo model must satisfy several requirements. It must be compatible with an existing single-user undo/redo model, give individual users autonomy in executing undo/redo commands, support undo/redo of remote commands and the remote effects of local commands, be independent of the coupling, multicast, and concurrency control model, and allow undo/redo of arbitrary commands. We have developed a multi-user undo/redo model for meeting these requirements. The model constructs the command history of a particular user by including all local commands and those remote commands whose results were made visible to that user. It allows a user to undo/redo corresponding commands in the command histories of all users of a program. Moreover, it allows a user to undo/redo both symmetric user-interface commands and asymmetric collaboration commands. We have implemented the model in a collaboration system called Suite. In this paper, we motivate, describe, and illustrate these requirements and our model.
Supporting Cooperative Awareness with Local Event Mechanisms: The GroupDesk System BIBA 247-262
  Ludwig Fuchs; Uta Pankoke-Babatz; Wolfgang Prinz
An event distribution model for a computer based cooperative working environment is presented. The proposed model aims to provide information about the on-going and past activities of collaborating users, based on the semantics and contextual relationships of the shared artifacts and contributes to increase the awareness of the ongoing state of affairs without overloading the user with additional information.
   GroupDesk, a prototype implementation of this model is introduced. The system provides a simple environment for the coordination of cooperative document production. Support for shared awareness is achieved by visualizing the event information using the desktop metaphor.

Electronic Meetings II

Why Groupware Succeeds: Discretion or Mandate? BIBA 263-278
  Jonathan Grudin; Leysia Palen
Single-user applications are designed with a 'discretionary use' model. In contrast, for large systems, upper management support is considered crucial to adoption. Which applies to groupware? The relatively low cost of groupware reduces high-level visibility, but some argue that social dynamics will force mandated use -- the large system approach. Interview studies of recently adopted on-line meeting schedulers in two large organizations found successful, near-universal use achieved without managerial mandate. Versatile functionality and ease of use associated with discretionary products appeared to be factors leading to adoption. Other factors included organization-wide infrastructure and substantial peer pressure that developed over time.
MAJIC Videoconferencing System: Experiments, Evaluation and Improvement BIBA 279-292
  Yusuke Ichikawa; Ken-ichi Okada; Giseok Jeong; Shunsuke Tanaka; Yutaka Matsushita
We need to know the real intentions of participants that are not expressed by verbal languages. This means that not only verbal information but also non-verbal information (i.e., gestures, facial expression, eyes of participant, etc.) is a very important factor. We proposed and implemented MAJIC, a multi-party videoconferencing system that enables eye contact among people in remote places, with life-sized images of participants.
   In order to evaluate users' perceptions of MAJIC, we have experimented with the size, background and boundary of the video images. These experiments verify the sense of presence in MAJIC environments where life-size video images without boundaries are supported. We developed a new MAJIC prototype based on these experiments.
Multimedia Support of Collaboration in a Teleservice Team BIBA 293-308
  Steinar Kristoffersen; Tom Rodden
The purpose of this paper is to outline an architectural model for how multimedia can establish and support cooperative work. The proposed architecture emerged from empirical work in a large UK bank. Previous efforts have, as we see them, been largely experimental, and have focused on supporting informal work. Few examples concern the support of actual work tasks in companies outside a research context. The outlined model offers a conception of work as distributed across time, space, tasks, people, and artefacts. It aims to integrate informal and formal aspects of work by supporting the initiation and management of interaction as well as the cooperative work process itself.

Workplace Studies

What Are Workplace Studies For? BIBA 309-324
  Lydia Plowman; Yvonne Rogers; Magnus Ramage
We have considered the role of workplace studies from the CSCW literature which are intended to inform system design and implementation. We present a critique of these studies, categorised according to which phase of the design process they most inform, and discuss the tensions between providing explanatory accounts and usable design recommendations, the pressures on fieldworkers to provide both, the purposes different approaches serve, and the transition from fieldwork to system design.
Chalk and Cheese: BPR and Ethnomethodologically Informed Ethnography in CSCW BIBA 325-340
  Dave Randall; Mark Rouncefield; John A. Hughes
Recently a number of methodological approaches have been presented as proffering radical solutions to organisational change. This paper discusses one such approach, Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) and contrasts it with Ethnography, a method that has gained some prominence in CSCW. The paper suggests, using a number of empirical examples, that despite some superficial similarities, the two approaches differ markedly in their analytical purchase. In particular, ethnography's emphasis on understanding 'systems' within the situated context of the work setting rather than as an abstract model of process, has consequences for the successful identification and implementation of system re-design.