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JCSCW Tables of Contents: 010203040506070809101112131415

Computer Supported Cooperative Work 5

Editors:Kjeld Schmidt
Publisher:Kluwer Academic Publishing
Standard No:ISSN 0925-9724
Links:www.wkap.nl | Table of Contents
  1. JCSCW 1996 Volume 5 Issue 1
  2. JCSCW 1996 Volume 5 Issue 2/3
  3. JCSCW 1996 Volume 5 Issue 4

JCSCW 1996 Volume 5 Issue 1

The Coordination of Work Activities: Cooperation and Conflict in a Hospital Context BIBAKFull-Text 1-31
  Gillian Symon; Karen Long; Judi Ellis
An understanding of the ways in which work coordination is achieved in practice is essential to the development of effective CSCW technologies. However, previous studies are limited in their focus on small, self-contained work groups. In this analysis of work coordination in a hospital context, a broader perspective was adopted, allowing examination of activities across time, group and location. The use of a relevant structured methodology and a focus on deviations from formal procedures enabled the consideration of a range of contextual factors in interaction. Important aspects of work coordination to emerge included: status influences on the effectiveness of working practices; the social and political uses of information; conflicts between work goals and between motivations for coordinating activities; the role of informal practices; and the use of formal procedures to regulate inter-group relations. The implications of these issues for CSCW design in the hospital context are illustrated.
Keywords: Coordination, Medical work, Formal procedures, Informal practices, CSCW design
Your Place or Mine? Learning from Long-Term Use of Audio-Video Communication BIBAKFull-Text 33-62
  Paul Dourish; Annette Adler; Victoria Bellotti; Austin Henderson
Workstations and personal computers are increasingly being delivered with the ability to handle multimedia data; more and more of us are linked by high-speed digital networks. With multimedia communication environments becoming more commonplace, what have we learned from earlier experiences with prototype media environments? This paper reports on some of our experiences as developers, researchers and users of flexible, networked, multimedia computer environments, or "media spaces". It focusses on the lessons we can learn from extended, long-term use of media spaces, with connections that last not hours or days, but months or years. We take as our starting point a set of assumptions which differ from traditional analytical perspectives. In particular, we begin from the position that that real-world baseline is not always an appropriate point of comparison for new media technologies; that a set of complex and intricate communicative behaviours arise over time; and that media spaces connect not only individuals, but the wider social groups of which they form part. We outline a framework based on four perspectives -- individual, interactional, communal and societal -- from which to view the behaviour of individuals and groups linked by multimedia environments. On the basis of our long-term findings, we argue for a view of media spaces which, first, focuses on a wider interpretation of media space interaction than the traditional view of person-to-person connections, and, second, emphasises emergent communicative practices, rather than looking for the transfer of face-to-face behaviours.
Keywords: Desktop videoconferencing, Emergent behaviours, Long-term use, Media space, Video-mediated interaction
Information Needs in Technical Work Settings and Their Implications for the Design of Computer Tools BIBAKFull-Text 63-92
  Andreas Paepcke
We interviewed information workers in multiple technical areas of a large, diverse company, and we describe some of the unsatisfied information needs we observed during our study. Two clusters of issues are described. The first covers how loosely coupled work groups use and share information. We show the need to structure information for multiple, partly unanticipated uses. We show how the construction of information compounds helps users accomplish some of this restructuring, and we explain how structuring flexibility is also required because of temperamental differences among users. The second cluster of issues revolves around collections of tightly coupled work groups. We show that information shared within such groups differs from information shared across group boundaries. We present the barriers to sharing which we saw operating both within groups and outside, and we explain the function of resource and contact broker which evolved in the settings we examined. For each of these issues we propose implications for information tool design.
Keywords: Digital library, Groupware, Information sharing, Information compounds, Collaborative work, Information brokers, Knowledge workers, Information search and retrieval
Object-Oriented Activity Support: A Model for Integrated CSCW Systems BIBAKFull-Text 93-124
  Gunnar Teege
This paper proposes a model for integrated CSCW systems, the model of Object-Oriented Activity Support OOActSM. In contrast to existing systems for the support of collaborative work, the model aims at the integrated support of all aspects of CSCW in a single frame system. The major properties of our model are the use of "activity" as the basic concept and the use of object-oriented mechanisms for providing solutions of typical CSCW problems. I demonstrate how all major aspects of current CSCW systems can be supported and integrated with each other in our model.
Keywords: Integrated CSCW, Activity support, Object-oriented paradigm, Workflow support, Activity design

JCSCW 1996 Volume 5 Issue 2/3

Design of Cooperative Systems

Introduction: The COOP'95 Workshop Perspective BIBFull-Text 131-132
Modelling Co-Operation in the Design of Knowledge Production Systems: The MadeIn'Coop Method: An Example in the Field of C{cubed}I Systems BIBAKFull-Text 133-154
  Manuel Zacklad; Francis Rousseaux
This paper presents the latest developments of the MadeIn'Coop method for modelling the human-machine and human-human co-operation process, and an application of this method for the design of a more co-operative version of the C{cubed}I system CHEOPS. We first consider that the design of software systems for organizations is tied more and more to the perspective of 'compound' Knowledge Production Systems that link humans and machines engaged in a co-operative problem solving process. After exposing the four principles upon which MadeIn'Coop rests for modelling co-operation, we present an artificial problem solving dialogue between CHEOPS and its users. Consistent with the 'Group Cognitive Processes Theory' framework, we propose a dialogue analysis according to two complimentary points of view: the 'Collective Problem Solving model', and the 'Coordination model'. This analysis should help system designers to identify new system functionalities to assist problem solving.
Keywords: Co-operation modelling, Methodology, C{cubed}I systems
Coordination Mechanisms: Towards a Conceptual Foundation of CSCW Systems Design BIBAKFull-Text 155-200
  Kjeld Schmidt; Carla Simone
The paper outlines an approach to CSCW systems design based on the concept of 'coordination mechanisms.' The concept of coordination mechanisms has been developed as a generalization of phenomena described in empirical investigations of the use of artifacts for the purpose of coordinating cooperative activities in different work domains. On the basis of the evidence of this corpus of empirical studies, the paper outlines a theory of the use of artifacts for coordination purposes in cooperative work settings, derives a set of general requirements for computational coordination mechanisms, and sketches the architecture of Ariadne, a CSCW infrastructure for constructing and running such malleable and linkable computational coordination mechanisms.
Keywords: Cooperative work, Articulation work, Coordination, Artifact, Coordination mechanisms, CSCW environments, Ariadne
Normalized Interactions between Autonomous Agents: A Case Study in Inter-Organizational Project Management BIBAKFull-Text 201-222
  Jeremy Pitt; Matthew Anderton; Jim Cunningham
The CEC Project GOAL (Esprit 6283) aims to develop generic software tools to support a new project management paradigm, in which projects are collaborative, decentralised and inter-organizational. To support inter-organizational interaction, communication and cooperation, we are developing a design framework for formalizing the flow of information between organizations, specifying access to and provision of project services, and defining project-wide standards and procedures. This framework is based on normalizing interactions between autonomous software agents by specifying messages and protocols for inter-agent communication and cooperation. This paper reviews the framework, and then focusses on the specification and implementation of a case study, the automation of a distributed document review procedure. This is both a successful proof of concept and a demonstration of how Artificial Intelligence technologies can support inter-organizational project management. It also points the way to 'agent brokering', an enhancement of object brokering in distributed open systems, where the satisfaction of service requests can be subject to negotiation.
Keywords: Intelligent agents, Cooperative systems, Project management
Contexts, Work Processes, and Workspaces BIBAKFull-Text 223-250
  Alessandra Agostini; Giorgio De Michelis; Maria Antonietta Grasso; Wolfgang Prinz; Anja Syri
In this paper a framework for the conceptual modelling of organizational contexts is provided and it is embodied into an extension of the TOSCA organizational handbook.
   The context of a work process is relevant since the effectiveness of the cooperation among its actors is highly dependent on their awareness of it. It requires, on the one hand, that the context is made available in terms of visibility and/or transparency; on the other, that at any time a selection is made so that only what is relevant to the context is provided, leaving the rest in the background. With respect to the first requirement a model of the organizational context is needed, so that all the information regarding its dimensions can be linked together. With respect to the second requirement, a work process model provides some guidelines for designing a system offering a selective access to the context of a work process. The workspace metaphor is a good paradigm to make that information ready at hand, since it is the natural framework within which people do their work.
Keywords: Organizational context, Awareness, Work process, Workspace
Collaboration and Underlying Issues or The Surprises of Cooperative Dialogues BIBAKFull-Text 251-266
  Catherine Sauvagnac; Pierre Falzon
The observation of cooperative dialogues between production and maintenance workers of a dairy has revealed that socio-organisational factors had strong effects on cooperation. In order to better understand the nature of these factors, the sociological literature on autonomy, rule generation, negotiation and conflict is reviewed. A methodology based on inferential pragmatics is developed in order to analyze what takes place socially in operational exchanges and makes it possible to identify rules for cooperative functioning that are specific to this work situation, and that relate to the defence of the territory of each individual. The conclusion stresses that cooperative dialogues are also the place where social stakes are adjusted and discusses potential applications of the proposed framework to the design of cooperative systems.
Keywords: Cooperation, Conflict, Negotiation, Dialogue, Pragmatics
Negotiation Based on Constraints in Cooperation BIBAKFull-Text 267-284
  M. J. Huguet; J. Erschler; G. De Terssac; N. Lompre
This paper presents some aspects of cooperation in organizations. In the first part, we present the importance to coordination processes within an organization. Indeed, the information perceived by the company no longer pertains to the realm of the repetitive, predictable and programmable. In this context of limited rationality, how can one define an efficient and acceptable decision coordination and distribution structure? We argue that the intervention of man in the decisional process remains inescapable on account of the limitations of the coordination process, and define several forms of cooperation between decision centers on an industrial site.
   In the second part, the assumption retained is that for the management of a production system the decision is made through a network of decision centers. The approach presented puts forward the development of decision and cooperation aid tools only exploiting the information contained in the constraints linking together the decision variables so as to highlight the degrees of freedom effectively available to the decision maker. Finally, we discuss about cooperation and power, where the power issue cannot be disregarded.
Keywords: Analysis of organizations, Network decision center, Constraints, Negotiation
Cooperation and Cooperator Modeling BIBAKFull-Text 285-297
  Beatrice Cahour; Pascal Salembier
In this text, we argue that user modeling and system modeling should be taken into account at the same time to allow cooperativity: they are two sides of a same interaction. We focus on interlocutor modeling (the human-human homonym of user modeling) and develop three situations where interlocutor modeling is crucial: when there is a need of transforming the beliefs of the cooperator (when there is a knowledge gap or a resistance), when the interpretation of the cooperator's communication act is ambiguous and relies on implicit meaning, and when there is a specific need of anticipating the other's understanding (in risky or irreversible situations).
Keywords: Cooperation at work, Interaction, User modeling, System model, Mutual understanding
Cooperation between Humans and Machines: First Results of an Experiment with a Multi-Level Cooperative Organisation in Air Traffic Control BIBAKFull-Text 299-321
  M. P. Lemoine; S. Debernard; I. Crevits; P. Millot
The increasing air traffic and the ensuing increasing burden on air traffic controllers suggest to attempt to provide enhanced assistance to air traffic controllers. As it is difficult to reduce the number of primary tasks, a solution is to give active assistance to controllers by means of computer tools that allow for optimal control in order to maintain the level of safety and at the same time regulate the air traffic controllers' workload.
   The objective of our research is to propose and validate a new organisation of air traffic control. It aims at integrating both levels of the organisation of air traffic control: a tactical level managed by a radar controller and a strategic level managed by a organic controller. Our study at first addresses the tactical level, aiming at 'horizontal cooperation' consisting in dynamic allocation of control tasks between a human air traffic controller and an assistance tool. The results of this first approach has oriented the study toward the implementation of a scheduling module for the tactical level.
   This paper reports the functionalities of air-traffic control and the results of few preceding experiments. A description of the new multi-level organisation is given, to conduce to the presentation of experimental platform, experimental protocol and the first results of experiments.
Keywords: Air traffic control, Human-machine cooperation, Dynamic task allocation, Load evaluation, Tasks allocation criterion
Constructive Difference and Disagreement: A SuprA-Cooperation among Agents BIBAKFull-Text 323-336
  Catherine Tessier; Laurent Chaudron
Differences among agents may be constructive in so far as they can bring solution enhancements or conflicts, the second case leading to solution modifications. What is dealt with in this paper is a cooperation involving different rational agents resulting in more than a mere addition to the agents' individual skills, thanks to a process of approval and refutation of the current solution. Lakatos' work is taken as a basis and adapted to a set of cooperating agents, so as to define the concept of suprA-cooperation and the corresponding interaction model. Three case studies are given, involving suprA-cooperating human or artificial agents.
Keywords: Multi-agent systems, Rational agents, Cooperation, Philosophical foundations, Lakatos, Interaction model

JCSCW 1996 Volume 5 Issue 4

Studies of Cooperative Design

Introduction BIBFull-Text 337-339
  Wes Sharrock; Kjeld Schmidt
Embodied Actions in Time and Place: The Cooperative Design of a Multimedia, Educational Computer Game BIBAKFull-Text 341-367
  Toni Robertson
This paper reports a field study of the design of a multimedia, educational software product, from the early articulations about the kind of product to be made, to the production of the prototype used for capital raising. The designers were members of a small distributed company who used computer systems and communication technology, as well as highly developed communication skills and procedures, to enable them to work together over distance. The focus of the paper is the work people did to create and maintain the cooperative design process within a specific organisational framework and in relation to the design of an actual product. The basic conclusion is that the cooperative design of the product was enabled and achieved by the work the designers did communicating with each other. Any future selection of additional CSCW technology by the company will be determined by its contribution to the communicative resources of the designers.
Keywords: Cooperative design, Distributed design, CSCW, Embodied action, Small company, Women designers, Personal communication skills
Project Work: The Organisation of Collaborative Design and Development in Software Engineering BIBAFull-Text 369-386
  Graham Button; Wes Sharrock
This study is one in a series of investigations into software and hardware engineering based mainly upon the observation of four projects developing photocopying technology. Our general interest in this paper is in the work of software engineering, with how software engineers organise their work in order to be get it done. Our particular interest is in one common form the organisation of the work takes which is that of the project, and consequently we are concerned with the organisation of engineering work as project work. The project provides a formatted organisational arrangement within which engineers co-ordinate their day-to-day design and development work, and is thus a form of social organisation through which they make their work mutually and organisationally accountable. We are concerned to identify some of the methods through which the engineers build in the formatted arrangements of the project into their work, and with how they display an orientation to these arrangements in the way in which they order their work on a project.
From the Social to the Systematic: Mechanisms Supporting Coordination in Design BIBAKFull-Text 387-413
  Peter H. Carstensen; Carsten Sorensen
Large design and manufacturing projects are conducted in elaborate settings. Interdependent specialists work together, building complex systems. A substantial part of their daily work concerns the coordination of distributed work. This paper reports from a field study at Foss Electric, a Danish manufacturing company, where the development of an instrument for testing the quality of raw milk was studied. Scheduled and informal project meetings together with paper-based coordination systems were the primary means of managing the complexity of coordinating work within the project. This paper investigates the origination, use, and function of these coordination mechanisms applying a Coordination Mechanism perspective (Schmidt and Simone, 1996). We argue that the complexity of coordinating distributed work in large design projects result in the adoption of coordination systems. These systems formalize aspects of coordination work through artifacts, procedures for use and conventions.
Keywords: Formalization, Coordination mechanisms, Design work, Manufacturing, Field study
Collaborative Conceptual Design: A Large Software Project Case Study BIBAKFull-Text 415-445
  Colin Potts; Lara Catledge
During software development, the activities of requirements analysis, functional specification, and architectural design all require a team of developers to converge on a common vision of what they are developing. There have been remarkably few studies of conceptual design during real projects. In this paper, we describe a detailed field study of a large industrial software project. We observed the development team's conceptual design activities for three months with follow-up observations and discussions over the following eight months. In this paper, we emphasize the organization of the project and how patterns of collaboration affected the team's convergence on a common vision. Three observations stand out: First, convergence on a common vision was not only painfully slow but was punctuated by several reorientations of direction; second, the design process seemed to be inherently forgetful, involving repeated resurfacing of previously discussed issues; finally, a conflict of values persisted between team members responsible for system development and those responsible for overseeing the development process. These findings have clear implications for collaborative support tools and process interventions.
Keywords: Collaboration, Software process, Conceptual design
Supporting Articulation Work Using Software Configuration Management Systems BIBAKFull-Text 447-465
  Rebecca E. Grinter
Software product development is a highly collaborative activity, where teams of developers need to collaborate to produce a system. It is also a domain where systems are used to try to help the developers coordinate their work. This paper describes the results of an empirical study of the use of one such system, a configuration management tool. Specifically it describes three aspects of the support that the tool provides: the challenges of representing the work, the need to support both individuals and groups working together, and how the assumptions about software development built into the tool interact with others in the organization. The study suggests that long after the initial adoption the tool and the organization continue to interact with each other. It also opens up questions for empirical studies of the organizational context behind the tool usage.
Keywords: Configuration management (CM), Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), Empirical studies, Articulation work, Coordination mechanisms