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CRIWG 2007: Groupware: Design, Implementation, and Use 2007-09-16

Fullname:CRIWG 2007: Groupware: Design, Implementation, and Use: 13th International Workshop
Editors:Jörg M. Haake; Sergio F. Ochoa; Alejandra Cechich
Location:Bariloche, Argentina
Dates:2007-Sep-16 to 2007-Sep-20
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4715
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-74812-0; ISBN: 978-3-540-74811-3 (print), 978-3-540-74812-0 (online); hcibib: CRIWG07
Papers:27
Pages:353
Links:Online Proceedings
  1. Group Negotiation and Knowledge Management
  2. Group Awareness and Social Aspects
  3. Groupware Design and Development
  4. Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)
  5. Groupware Applications and Studies
  6. Groupware Activities and Evaluation

Group Negotiation and Knowledge Management

The Gap Between Small Group Theory and Group Support System Research BIBAKFull-Text 1-14
  Joey F. George
Small group research and the development of small group theory have flourished in recent years, yet most group support systems (GSS) research is conducted without regard to theories of small groups. Here we contrast the richness of small group theory with the theoretical poverty of most experimental group support systems research. We look first at the state of small group theory, contrasting it with the state of theory in GSS work, using 10 recently published GSS studies as examples. Looking to small group theory as the basis for GSS research would add a great deal to GSS work, the topic of the next section in the paper. Absent a reliance on small group theory, however, we propose an alternative approach: Drop the GSS term altogether and return to a term that better describes what GSS research has always been about, supporting meetings, as captured in the phrase Electronic Meeting Systems.
Keywords: Group support systems; small group theory; electronic meeting systems
Alternative Dispute Resolution Based on the Storytelling Technique BIBAFull-Text 15-31
  Pedro Antunes; Sara Relvas; Marcos R. S. Borges
This paper describes a groupware prototype addressing the alternative resolution of legal conflicts. The groupware prototype integrates the storytelling and argumentation models with the legal process, accomplishing two major complementary objectives: eliciting spontaneous and informal explanations about the conflict, while contributing to the process with correct inferences and logic. The paper discusses in detail the integrated information model and provides a prototype implementation. These results were significantly enriched by a formative evaluation conducted by a dispute resolution professional. The contributions of this research to the state of the art are twofold: (1) the innovative integration of the storytelling and argumentation models; and (2) the support to self-help legal representation based on group technology.
Fostering Knowledge Exchange in Virtual Communities by Using Agents BIBAKFull-Text 32-39
  Javier Portillo-Rodríguez; Aurora Vizcaíno; Juan Pablo Soto; Mario Piattini; Gabriela N. Aranda
Nowadays, the increase in information and in sources from which to obtain knowledge have generated a large-scale development of knowledge sharing systems. However, these systems do not always live up to the expectations of the organisations that use them, as they do not take the fundamental social aspects necessary for the flow and sharing of knowledge between the members of a community into consideration. The objective of our work is to emulate the behaviour of communities of practice, where the confidence that exists between the members of these communities leads to an exchange of knowledge. We have, therefore, designed a three-level multi-agent architecture which takes into account both the way in which a community member behaves and the community to which that member belongs.
Keywords: Knowledge Management; Multi-agent Systems; Reputation; Trust

Group Awareness and Social Aspects

Leveraging Visual Tailoring and Synchronous Awareness in Web-Based Collaborative Systems BIBAFull-Text 40-55
  Mohamed Bourimi; Stephan Lukosch; Falk Kühnel
Web-based cooperative systems hardly use approved user interface concepts for the design of interactive systems and thereby aggravate the interaction of the users with the system and also with each other. In this article, we describe how the flexibility and usability of such systems can particularly be improved by supporting direct manipulation techniques for navigation as well as tailoring. The new functionality for tailoring and navigation is complemented by new forms of visualizing synchronous awareness information in web-based systems. We show this exemplarily by retrofitting the web-based collaborative system CURE. However, the necessary concepts can easily be transferred to other web-based systems.
Visualizing Shared-Knowledge Awareness in Collaborative Learning Processes BIBAFull-Text 56-71
  César A. Collazos; Luis A. Guerrero; Miguel A. Redondo; Crescencio Bravo
SKA (Shared-Knowledge Awareness) refers to the perception about the shared knowledge students have while working in a collaborative learning context. If we understand the shared comprehension of the problem to be solved as a key part of any collaborative learning activity, SKA will be an indispensable aspect to take into account when designing CSCL systems. In this paper, we propose some design guidelines that can help in the process of graphical user interface design for CSCL tools. We have evaluated some CSCL tools according to the proposed design guidelines depicting how these recommendations materialize in the graphical user interface of some CSCL tools.
An Improved Design and a Case Study of a Social Visualization Encouraging Participation in Online Communities BIBAKFull-Text 72-86
  Julita Vassileva; Lingling Sun
The paper describes a further development of the design of a motivational visualization encouraging participation in an online community. The new design overcomes shortcomings in previous designs, by using more attractive appearance of the graphic elements in the visualization, by giving up the largely unused in the previous design user customization options. The visualization integrates more information in one view, and uses an improved user clustering approach for representing graphically their different levels of contribution. A case study of the new design with a group of 32 students taking a class on Ethics and Computer Science is presented. The results show that the visualization had a significantly effect participation and with respect to two activities (logging into the community and rating resources).
Keywords: participation; online communities; social visualization; evaluation
Social Theatres: A Web-Based Regulated Social Interaction Environment BIBAKFull-Text 87-94
  Hugo Paredes; Fernando Mário Martins
The growth of the Internet and its associated technologies did open space for a new type of human interaction: virtual, social interaction environments. The introduction of regulated interaction in these virtual interaction spaces may be a solution towards their organization and inherent increased credibility. In this paper we propose a model for interaction regulation and control for virtual, social interaction spaces, called Social Theatres. A multi-layer software architecture was developed to support this web-based interaction model, allowing easy construction of such social interaction spaces and adaptation to users' devices. This paper discusses the advantages of regulated interaction, addresses the Social Theatre metaphor and presents the software architecture for the implementation of these regulated social interaction spaces.
Keywords: Software architecture; interaction regulation; rules; roles; interaction workflow; Social Theatres; Social Spaces

Groupware Design and Development

The Collaboration Engineering Approach for Designing Collaboration Processes BIBAKFull-Text 95-110
  Gwendolyn L. Kolfschoten; Gert-Jan de Vreede
Collaboration Engineering is an approach to design and deploy collaboration processes that can be executed by practitioners for high value recurring tasks. A collaboration engineer designs collaboration processes and transfers them to practitioners in an organization. Through the recurring nature of the task, combined with lower investment in training, the approach is more likely to be successful in organizations because it is easier to adopt and sustain collaboration support in this way. In order to be successful, collaboration engineers need to develop collaboration process designs that have many more functions and requirements than traditional process agenda's of facilitators. This paper describes a step-by-step approach for the design of such collaboration processes. The approach was evaluated in a number of iterations. The evaluation results provide support for the usefulness of the approach.
Keywords: Collaboration Engineering; ThinkLets; Design approach; Design patterns
A Proposal of Integration of the GUI Development of Groupware Applications into the Software Development Process BIBAKFull-Text 111-126
  Ana I. Molina; William J. Giraldo; Miguel A. Redondo; Manuel Ortega
In the last years the production of systems supporting work-in-group has been high. However, the design and development of this kind of systems is difficult, especially due to the multidisciplinarity involved and technical complexity (concurrence, distribution, data sharing, user interface, etc.). We propose a design and development process of the user interface in this kind of applications. This process is based on the use of several models for representing collaborative and interactive issues. In this process several techniques and notations are used. In this paper we introduce our methodological approach and describe how it is integrated into the Software Engineering Process.
Keywords: GUI development; Software Engineering; Groupware design; interaction design; model based design; Methodological framework
Coordinating Multi-task Environments Through the Methodology of Relations Graph BIBAKFull-Text 127-142
  Adailton José Alves Da Cruz; Léo Pini Magalhães; Alberto Barbosa Raposo; Rafael S. Mendes; Dennis G. Pelluzi
This paper presents Relations Graph -- GR a methodology to automate the generation of coordination mechanisms in computational environments. GR explores encapsulation and compacting capabilities of Colored Petri Nets to generate temporal coordination mechanisms, although the use of the GR methodology does not depend on the knowledge of PN formalism. GR supports alternative temporal behaviors and alternative activities changing the temporal relations among activities in processing time. An algorithm to identify and model coordination mechanisms linear to the number of activities and its application to an illustrative collaborative authoring environment will be presented.
Keywords: Coordination; Petri nets; temporal behaviors modeling
Fostering Groupware Tailorability Through Separation of Concerns BIBAFull-Text 143-156
  Diego Torres; Alejandro Fernández; Gustavo Rossi; Silvia E. Gordillo
Groupware must deal with a myriad of concerns. Some of them are typical of "conventional" software while others are idiosyncratic of CSCW applications (e.g., awareness). We claim that separating concerns fosters tailorability. While existing approaches for groupware design deal with the basic problem of separation of concerns (e.g., using well-known object-oriented techniques), they do not address the problems triggered by crosscutting concerns -- i.e., when the realization of the same concern is scattered along multiple components, or when different concerns are "tangled" in the same component. This paper presents a concern-oriented approach to requirement specification of groupware, characterizing the situations in which crosscutting exists. It follows the Theme approach for identification and design of crosscutting concerns, uses AOP to eliminate tangling and scattering, and proposes a concern centric approach to groupware tailorability.
An Approach to the Model-Based Design of Groupware Multi-user Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 157-164
  María Luisa Rodríguez; José Luis Garrido; María Visitación Hurtado; Manuel Noguera
The rapid development of technology allows organizations to operate on interactive environments in which work is organized and assigned to groups of people cooperating in order to reach their purposes. In groupware applications, the user interface is essential because it must support the process of sharing information and group work appropriately. Thereby, the user interface design requires the understanding of the tasks that a group must accomplish in the system and the different users' characteristics, as well as to address technological issues. The use of models, at different abstraction levels, should be taken into account in order to tackle the complexity while designing groupware interfaces. This paper proposes an approach to the model-based design of multi-user interfaces for groupware applications.
Keywords: Groupware applications; model-based development; multi-user interfaces; group awareness
Computer Aided Pattern-Based Collaboration Process Design: A Computer Aided Collaboration Engineering Tool BIBAKFull-Text 165-172
  Gwendolyn L. Kolfschoten; Gert-Jan de Vreede; Robert O. Briggs
As many business processes are collaborative in nature, process leaders or process managers play a pivotal role designing collaboration processes for organization. To support the design task of creating a new collaborative business process, best practices or design patterns can be used as building blocks. For such purposes, a library of design patterns and guidelines would be useful, not only to capture the best practices for different activities in the process in a database, but to also offer the users of this database support in selecting and combining such patterns, and in creating the process design. This paper describes the requirements for a tool for pattern based collaboration process design, specifically for design efforts following the Collaboration Engineering approach.
Keywords: Collaboration process design; Collaboration Engineering; thinkLets; Design patterns; Pattern language
Designing Mobile Shared Workspaces for Loosely Coupled Workgroups BIBAKFull-Text 173-190
  H. Andrés Neyem; Sergio F. Ochoa; José A. Pino
Recent advances in mobile computing devices and wireless communication have brought the opportunity to transport the shared workspace metaphor to mobile work scenarios. Unfortunately, there are few guidelines to support the design of these mobile shared workspaces. This paper proposes a design process and several guidelines to support the modeling of these groupware systems. Particularly, workspaces that support loosely coupled workgroups. The process and guidelines are based on a literature review and authors' experience in the development of mobile shared workspaces.
Keywords: Mobile shared workspaces; groupware design guidelines; loosely coupled work
A Decentralized Middleware for Groupware Applications BIBAFull-Text 191-206
  Pablo Gotthelf; Alejandro Zunino; Marcelo Campo
Many advances have been done to allow groups of people to work together and collaborate in the Internet. Most of these advances rely on a single server or other centralized communication topologies. However, pure decentralized approaches can bring many benefits to groupware applications, such as scalability, robustness, availability and easy deployment. In this paper, a decentralized middleware for groupware applications is presented, which enables people to join and cooperate in groups in a robust and easy deployable way, without relying on a central server or requiring any other special infrastructure. Two applications, one for synchronous groupware and other for asynchronous collaboration are shown as examples of successful experiences. This groupware middleware is based on a binary tree as overlay structure, which implements all groupware communication functionality, including membership management and packet forwarding, at application level, making it suitable for the Internet. Comparisons with other approaches in aspects such as throughput, protocol overhead, resource utilization and group bandwidth, shows that this middleware is a scalable and robust communication scheme to synchronous or asynchronous groups in the Internet.

Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)

Modelling Shared Knowledge and Shared Knowledge Awareness in CSCL Scenarios Through Automated Argumentation Systems BIBAFull-Text 207-222
  María Paula González; Carlos Iván Chesñevar; César A. Collazos; Guillermo Ricardo Simari
Over the last few years, argumentation systems have been gaining increasing importance in several areas of Artificial Intelligence, mainly as a vehicle for facilitating rationally justifiable decision making when handling incomplete and potentially inconsistent information. Argumentation provides a sound model for dialectical reasoning, which underlies discussions among students when solving tasks collaboratively in a CSCL environment. In this setting, we identify the problem of constructing Shared Knowledge and its related Shared Knowledge Awareness. While Shared Knowledge refers to the common knowledge students acquire when they work in a collaborative activity, Shared Knowledge Awareness is associated with the consciousness on the Shared Knowledge that a particular student has. This paper presents a novel approach to model Shared Knowledge construction and the associated Shared Knowledge Awareness through an automated argumentation system.
Deployment of Ontologies for an Effective Design of Collaborative Learning Scenarios BIBAKFull-Text 223-238
  Seiji Isotani; Riichiro Mizoguchi
Two of the most important research subjects during the development of intelligent authoring systems (IAS) for education are the modeling of knowledge and the extraction of knowledge flows from theory to practice. It bridges the gap between theoretical understanding about learning and the practical foundations of design the knowledge of intelligent systems that support the learning process. Developing an IAS for collaborative learning is especially challenging in view of knowledge representation because it is based on various learning theories and given the context of group learning where the synergy among the learner's interactions affect the learning processes and hence, the learning outcome. The main objective of this work is to introduce an ontological infrastructure on which we can build a model that describes learning theories and to show how we can use it to develop programs that provide intelligent guidance to support group activities based on well-grounded theoretical knowledge.
Keywords: Collaborative learning design; ontological engineering; knowledge representation; intelligent authoring system; learning theory
Dynamic and Flexible Learning in Distributed and Collaborative Scenarios Using Grid Technologies BIBAFull-Text 239-246
  Andreas Harrer; Adam Lucarz; Nils Malzahn
This paper presents an architecture for the support of dynamic learning activities and its implementation in the GLIDE prototype. the learning courses are dynamically determined at runtime based on the available tools, devices, and situational context of a learner by using abstract descriptions of learning scenarios and the conceptual mapping of abstract activities to concrete learning support tools This is facilitated by the usage of grid service technology, e-Learning standards, and mechanisms to guarantee semantic interoperability of learning outcomes across various tools and learning activities.
Directions to Acknowledge Learners' Self-organization in CSCL Macro-scripts BIBAKFull-Text 247-254
  Pierre Tchounikine
In this article we present a conceptual analysis of the notion of learners' self-organization in CSCL macro-scripts. We highlight that taking into account self-organization as an emergent feature of activity requires considering issues such as conceptual and technological tools to support learners' self-organization, maintenance of coherence between the script pedagogical objective and the emergent organization and between the technological setting and the emergent activity.
Keywords: CSCL; scripts; learners' self-organization; CSCL platforms

Groupware Applications and Studies

Supporting Informal Co-located Collaboration in Hospital Work BIBAKFull-Text 255-270
  David A. Mejia; Alberto L. Morán; Jesús Favela
Informal interactions, an important subject of study in CSCW, are an essential resource in hospital work; they are used as a means to collaborate and to coordinate the way in which the work is performed, as well as to locate and gather the artifacts and human resources necessary for patient care, among others. Results from an observational study of work in a public hospital show that a significant amount of informal interactions happen face to face due to opportunistic encounters. That is due to hospital work being mainly characterized by intense mobility, task fragmentation, collaboration and coordination. This encouraged us to develop an architecture and system tool aimed at supporting mobile co-located collaboration. Based on the findings of our study, this paper presents a set of design insights for developing collaborative applications that support co-located interactions in hospital work, as well as the implementation of these design insights in a collaborative tool. Additionally, we generalized the characteristic that must be fulfilled by tools that support mobile informal co-located collaboration through the design of a generic architecture that includes the characteristics of this type of tools.
Keywords: Informal interactions; mobile informal co-located collaboration; hospital work
Relating Interactions to Artifacts Through Content Analysis: A Practical Investigation BIBAKFull-Text 271-286
  Adriana Santarosa Vivacqua; Jano Moreira de Souza; Jean-Paul A. Barthès
Nowadays, information workers often work within networked structures, where relations between individuals become active according to the needs and workers multitask between several collaborations. One of the difficulties pointed out in these studies lies in keeping track of the many collaborations and ties to others, managing the relationships involved and the different roles and activities in each situation. Two important activities in this context are remembering (who one is or could be collaborating with, in what capacity, pending tasks, etc.) and communicating (as a means to strengthen relationships, negotiate joint work or keep others informed.) In this paper, we explore the possibility of linking relationships to activities through interaction analysis. More specifically, we explore content analysis as a means to determine collaboration themes and identify artifacts or resources that pertain to a certain social world.
Keywords: Interaction analysis; content analysis; information retrieval
Studying the Impact of Personality and Group Formation on Learner Performance BIBAFull-Text 287-294
  Víctor Sánchez Hórreo; Rosa M. Carro
This paper presents a study being carried out at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid to ascertain the influence of the way students are grouped to do collaborative work (regarding intelligence and personality parameters) on the results they get. Data about student's personality are analysed along with information about group composition and student performance. The results of this analysis are expected to throw light about the impact of personal traits and group formation on learning. This information can be incorporated in collaborative systems as criteria for group formation, with the aim of favouring CSCL situations in which students are prone to get better results.
Transferring a Collaborative Work Practice to Practitioners: A Field Study of the Value Frequency Model for Change-of-Practice BIBAKFull-Text 295-302
  Robert O. Briggs; Alanah J. Davis; John D. Murphy; Lucas Steinhauser; Thomas F. Carlisle
Collaboration engineers design collaborative work practices for high-value recurring tasks and transfer them to practitioners to execute for themselves without the on-going intervention of professional facilitators. It would be useful to increase the predictability of developing self-sustaining and growing community of practice around these designed processes. This paper reports a field study that applies the Value Frequency Model (VFM) for change-of-practice to the deployment of an engineered work practice to groups in a large global organization. The results suggest that VFM provides useful insights for discovering candidate tasks for Collaboration Engineering (CE) interventions, for designing new work practices, and for designing transition interventions for creating a self-sustaining and growing community of practice.
Keywords: Collaboration engineering; organizational change; change of practice; value frequency model; acceptance; adoption; diffusion; transition

Groupware Activities and Evaluation

An Agent-Based Recommender System to Support Collaborative Web Search Based on Shared User Interests BIBAFull-Text 303-318
  Daniela Godoy; Analía Amandi
Personal information agents emerged in the last decade as an alternative to assist users to cope with the increasing volume of information available on the Web. In order to provide personalized assistance, these agents rely on user profiles modeling user information preferences, interests and habits. Inserted in communities of people with similar interests, personal agents can improve their assistance by gathering knowledge extracted from the observed common behaviors of single users. In this paper we propose an agent-based recommender system for supporting collaborative Web search in groups of users with partial similarity of interests. Empirical evaluation demonstrates that the interaction among personal agents increases the performance of the overall recommender system.
How to Choose Groupware Tools Considering Stakeholders' Preferences During Requirements Elicitation? BIBAFull-Text 319-327
  Gabriela N. Aranda; Aurora Vizcaíno; Alejandra Cechich; Mario Piattini
The main challenges during global software development projects are related to the lack of face-to-face communication and the need of people feeling comfortable with the technology they use. In this paper we introduce an approach that proposes a way of choosing the most suitable technology for a given group of people, taking advantage of information about stakeholders' cognitive characteristics. As our research focuses on the importance of communication during the global requirements elicitation process, we present preliminary results of two surveys that analyze stakeholders' preferences in such environments.
Evaluation Methods for Groupware Systems BIBAFull-Text 328-336
  Valeria Herskovic; José A. Pino; Sergio F. Ochoa; Pedro Antunes
Evaluation of collaborative systems is necessary in several situations. However, evaluation is frequently done in an ad-hoc manner or not at all. This paper presents a survey of evaluation methods for groupware systems. The analysis, comparison and classification of these methods will help developers choose the appropriate methods for their situation. Furthermore, the survey allows identification of strengths and weaknesses of existing methods, opening opportunities for research in this area. The proposed comparison criteria represent a framework to evaluate and classify new evaluation methods.
Activity-Aware Computing in Mobile Collaborative Working Environments BIBAKFull-Text 337-353
  Monica Tentori; Jesús Favela
Highly mobile hospital workers experiment intense and ad-hoc collaboration during their everyday practices. This has motivated the introduction of collaborative applications enhanced with ubiquitous technology in hospitals. However, an environment filled with many different systems augmented with a wide range of functionality, introduces an extra burden for hospital workers in selecting the services and information that are adequate to the task at a hand. Activity-Based Computing (ABC) has emerged as a new interaction paradigm in support of these problems. In this paper, we empower the vision of ABC with a degree of consciousness about the physical changing context towards the design of activity-aware applications. Based on workplace studies conducted in a hospital, we established a set of design principles for the development of activity-aware applications. To exemplify the design principles proposed, we designed and implemented an activity-aware map that personalizes the information shown to hospital workers, enforces availability and sends collaboration warnings.
Keywords: Activity-aware computing; Collaboration; Hospital Work