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Computer Supported Cooperative Work 10

Editors:Kjeld Schmidt
Dates:2001
Volume:10
Publisher:Kluwer Academic Publishing
Standard No:ISSN 0925-9724
Papers:18
Links:www.wkap.nl | Table of Contents
  1. JCSCW 2001 Volume 10 Issue 1
  2. JCSCW 2001 Volume 10 Issue 2
  3. JCSCW 2001 Volume 10 Issue 3/4

JCSCW 2001 Volume 10 Issue 1

Landscapes of Practice: Bricolage as a Method for Situated Design BIBAK 1-28
  Monika Buscher; Satinder Gill; Preben Mogensen; Dan Shapiro
This paper proposes a 'bricolage' approach to designing systems for cooperative work. This involves users, participatory designers and ethnographers in a continuing cycle of design and revised work practice, often in settings where resources are limited and short-term results are required. If exploits the flood to market of hardware, software and services. The approach is illustrated with results from a project with a practice of landscape architects. Their work is analysed in terms of communities of practice and actor networks. These perspectives help to identify the 'socilities' of people and technologies and of the relationships between them. They help to distinguish different forms of cooperation with differing support needs, opportunities and vulnerabilities. They inform the design of technical support, the assessment of outcomes, and the design of further solutions, in a cycle of 'situated experimentation'.
Keywords: actor-networks, bricolage, communities of practice, CSCW, ethnography, participatory design
The Communication Bottleneck in Knitwear Design: Analysis and Computing Solutions BIBAK 29-74
  Claudia Eckert
Communication between different members of a design team often poses difficulties. This paper reports on the results of a detailed empirical study of communication in over twenty British, German and Italian knitwear companies. The knitwear design process is shared by the designers, who plan the visual and tactile appearance of the garments, and the technicians, who have to realise the garment on a knitting machine. They comprise a typical but small design team whose members have different backgrounds and expertise. Knitwear design allows a detailed analysis of the causes and effects of communication breakdown. Designers specify their designs inaccurately, incompletely and inconsistently; technicians interpret these specifications according to their previous experience of similar designs, and produce garments very different from the designers' original intentions. Knitwear is inherently difficult to describe, as no simple and complete notation exists; and the relationship between visual appearance and structure and technical properties of knitted fabric is subtle and complex. Designers and technicians have different cognitive approaches and are very different people. At the same time the interaction between designers and technicians is badly managed in many companies. This paper argues that improving the accuracy and reliability of designers' specifications would significantly enhance the design process. It concludes with a description of the architecture of an intelligent automatic design system that generates technically correct designs from the designers' customary notations.
Keywords: automatic design, communication, design, ethnography, knitwear, notation, team working
An Integrated Approach to Designing and Evaluating Collaborative Applications and Infrastructures BIBA 75-111
  Prasun Dewan
Collaborative systems include both general infrastructures and specific applications for supporting collaboration. Because of the relative newness and complexity of these systems, it has been unclear what approach should be used to design and evaluate them. Based on the lessons learned from our work and that of others on collaborative systems, we have derived an integrated approach to researching collaborative applications and infrastructures. The approach can be described as a sequence of steps: We decompose the functionality of collaboration systems into smaller functions that can be researched more-or-less independently. For each of these functions, we adopt general (system-independent) principles regarding the design and implementation of the function, identify collaboration scenarios at multiple levels of abstraction, identify requirements based on the scenarios, adopt an interaction model to meet the requirements, realize the interaction model as a concrete user interface, develop a logical architecture of the system, identify a physical architecture for placing the logical components in a distributed system, develop infrastructure abstractions, use the abstractions to implement applications, and perform lab studies, field experiments, and simulations to evaluate the infrastructure and applications. As in other models with multiple phases, feedback from subsequent phases is used to modify the results from the previous phases. In this paper, we describe, illustrate and motivate this research plan.
Co-Constructing Non-Mutual Realities: Delay-Generated Trouble in Distributed Interaction BIB 113-138
  Karen Ruhleder; Brigitte Jordan

Review

"Social Navigation of Information Space" by Alan J. Munro, Kristina Hook and David Benyon (eds.) BIB 139-141
  Mike Fraser
"Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart" by Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O'Day BIB 143-145
  Geoffrey C. Bowker
"Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences" by Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star BIB 147-153
  D. W. Randall

JCSCW 2001 Volume 10 Issue 2

Work Practices Surrounding PACS: The Politics of Space in Hospitals BIBAK 163-188
  Hilda Tellioglu; Ina Wagner
This paper uses a case study of collaborative work practices within the radiology department of a hospital, for examining the usefulness of spatial approaches to collaboration. It takes a socio-political perspective on understanding the shaping effects of spatial arrangements on work practices, and seeks to identify some of the key CSCW issues that can be addressed in spatial terms. We analyse the spatial settings or layers (physical, digital and auditory) within which work takes place, and the qualities of connections between them, examining in how far they support (professional) boundaries or help maintain a sense of context. Guiding themes are the relationships between space and the visibility of work, and how to accommodate social world needs through spatial arrangements.
Keywords: CSCW, ethnographic case study, health care, space
Computer Supported Social Networking For Augmenting Cooperation BIBAK 189-209
  H. Ogata; Y. Yano; N. Furugori; Q. Jin
The exploration of social networks is essential for finding capable cooperators who can help problem-solving and for augmenting cooperation between workers in an organization. This paper describes PeCo-Mediator-II to seek capable cooperators through a chain of personal connections (PeCo) in a networked organization. Moreover, this system helps to gather, explore, and visualize social networks in an organization. The experimental results show that the system facilitates users' encounters with cooperators and develops new helpful connections with the cooperators.
Keywords: collaborative help networks, mediation, on-line social networks, personal connections, software agents
Bridging Work Practice and System Design: Integrating Systemic Analysis, Appreciative Intervention and Practitioner Participation BIBAK 211-246
  Helena Karasti
This article discusses the integration of work practice and system design. By scrutinising the unfolding discourse of workshop participants the co-construction of work practice issues as relevant design considerations is described. Through a mutual exploration of ethnography and participatory design the contributing constituents to the co-construction process are identified and put forward as elements in the integration of 'systemic analysis' and 'appreciative intervention'. The systemic analysis proposes collaboratively grounding the emergent understandings on an inductive and iterative analysis of actual technologically mediated work practice. The appreciative intervention, in turn, calls for envisioning images of future system and context through a recognition of presence and change intertwined in the existing ways of working. The identified elements are joined into three dimensions of interplay, namely the analytic distance, the horizon of work practice transformations and the situated generalisations, which reformulate new conceptualisations of what the integration of work practice and participatory system design is all about. It is suggested that these dimensions together with practitioner participation call into question some of the taken-for-granted assumptions and commonly forwarded intractable disciplinary dichotomies and contribute more generally to bridging work practice and participatory design.
Keywords: analysis, ethnography, image interpretation, integration, interdisciplinarity, intervention, participatory design, practitioner participation, radiology, system design, work practice
Reviewing Practices in Collaborative Writing BIBAK 247-259
  Hee-Cheol (Ezra) Kim; Kerstin Severinson Eklundh
This paper presents an interview study in which 11 academics as interviewees participated for the purpose of revealing common collaborative writing practices, with particular focus on reviewing documents. First, we present the findings obtained concerning the issues of co-operating strategies underlying the reviewing process, how people revise their documents and comment on them, what they use the previous revision history for, and to what extent current technology is used in the reviewing process. Second, we also discuss aspects of the design of collaborative writing tools.
Keywords: change notification, change representation, collaborative writing, comment, communication, coordination, practice, revision history, reviewing, version management

JCSCW 2001 Volume 10 Issue 3/4

Hunting for the Treasure at the End of the Rainbow: Standardizing corporate IT Infrastructure BIBAK 261-292
  Ole Hanseth; Kristin Braa
This paper tells the story of the definition and implementation of a corporate information infrastructure standard within Norsk Hydro. Standards are widely considered as the most basic features of information infrastructures -- public as well as corporate. This view is expressed by a high level IT manager in Hydro: ''The infrastructure shall be 100% standardized.'' Such standards are considered universal in the sense that there is just one standard for each area or function, and that separate standards should fit together -- no redundancy and no inconsistency. Each standard is shared by every actor within its use domain, and it is equal to everybody. Our story illustrates that reality is different. The idea of the universal standard is an illusion just like the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Each time one has defined a standard which is believed to be complete and coherent, during implementation one discovers that there are elements lacking or incompletely specified while others have to be changed to make the standard work, which makes various implementations different and incompatible -- just like arbitrary non-standard solutions. This fact is due to essential aspects of standardization and infrastructure building. The universal aspects disappear during implementation, just as the rainbow moves away from us as we try to catch it.
Keywords: actor network theory, global information systems, information infrastructure, standardization
Unpacking a Timesheet: Formalisation and Representation BIBAK 293-315
  Barry A. T. Brown
While the use of formal systems has been an important topic within CSCW, their use as representations has been relatively neglected. This paper, using ethnographic data from a British oil company, investigates how representations are used. In the company studied an electronic timesheet system was implemented to be used by staff to account for their work. Looking at this system in use provides insights on what changes when processes are computerised. In particular, the computerised system used inflexible computerised rules to enforce a division of labour between the accountants who ran the system, and those who filled in their timesheets. However, this rigidity was not a purely negative feature; it helped the accountants who ran the system to do ''representational work'', and establish the accuracy of the timesheet system. Looking into the politics of this system in use illustrates the danger of generalising the relationship between formalisation and power.
Keywords: ethnography, formalisation, organisational politics, representation, timesheets, workflows, work practices
Shift Changes, Updates, and the On-Call Architecture in Space Shuttle Mission Control BIBAK 317-346
  Emily S. Patterson; David D. Woods
In domains such as nuclear power, industrial process control, and space shuttle mission control, there is increased interest in reducing personnel during nominal operations. An essential element in maintaining safe operations in high risk environments with this 'on-call' organizational architecture is to understand how to bring called-in practitioners up to speed quickly during escalating situations. Targeted field observations were conducted to investigate what it means to update a supervisory controller on the status of a continuous, anomaly-driven process in a complex, distributed environment. Sixteen shift changes, or handovers, at the NASA Johnson Space Center were observed during the STS-76 Space Shuttle mission. The findings from this observational study highlight the importance of prior knowledge in the updates and demonstrate how missing updates can leave flight controllers vulnerable to being unprepared. Implications for mitigating risk in the transition to 'on-call' architectures are discussed.
Keywords: anomaly, common ground, decision, ethnography, event, knowledge, mutual awareness, observation, plan, shift change, update
Designing Work Oriented Infrastructures BIBAK 347-372
  Ole Hanseth; Nina Lundberg
Healthcare is making huge investments in information systems like Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) and Radiological Information Systems (RIS). Implementing such systems in the hospitals has been problematic, the number of systems in regular use is low, and where the systems are in use the benefits gained are far below what has been expected. This paper analyzes and identifies a number of challenges one will be confronted with when implementing PACS and RIS. To deal with these problems it is suggested to consider them as ''work oriented infrastructures''. This term is supposed to draw our attention to the fact that these systems have the same general characteristics as traditional infrastructures at the same time as they are developed to support specific work tasks. These are, and should be, designed and implemented primarily by their users based on their actual use of the technology. Standards are equally important for both work oriented and other kinds of infrastructures. But in the first case, the standardization process is more of a ''cleaning up'' type which follows a period where the infrastructures have been changed in different ways in different regions or communities.
Keywords: artefacts, gateways, healthcare, information infrastructure, work practice
Distributed High-End Audio-Visual Content Creation: An Experience Report BIBAK 373-386
  Apostolos Meliones; Antonis Karidis
In the recent years the world has witnessed an unprecedented expansion in the global audio-visual industry and actions have been initiated to strengthen its actors, especially in filmmaking and video production. Companies seeking ways to improve their performance and productivity and become more competitive are investing in modern digital technologies. High-performance computing systems are found today even in small production facilities. Yet, little effort has been used to implement activities other than production/post-production and even less to integrate the whole cycle of content development and creation within a networked collaborative environment. This paper reports the experience of the DAViD project aiming to establish ways to interact and collaborate during pre-production phases. Several benefits have been demonstrated, such as reduction of the overall production time and cost, increased productivity and increased ability to execute complex, multi-company productions in shorter times and lower budgets.
Keywords: audio-visual industry, audio-visual production, audio-visual content creation, DAViD, HPCN, video production

Review

"Organisational Change and Retail Finance: An Ethnographic Perspective" by Richard Harper, Dave Randall and Mark Rouncefield BIB 387-391
  Geraldine Fitzpatrick
"From Web to Workplace: Designing Open Hypermedia Systems" by Kaj Grønbæk and Randall H. Trigg BIB 393-396
  Wolfgang Prinz