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OIS Tables of Contents: 8284868890

Proceedings of the Conference on Office Automation Systems

Fullname:Proceedings of the Second ACM-SIGOA Conference on Office Information Systems
Editors:Clarence A. Ellis
Location:Toronto, Canada
Dates:1984-Jun-25 to 1984-Jun-27
Standard No:ISBN 0-89791-140-7; ACM Order Number 611840; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: OIS84
  1. Office Software Technology
  2. Organizational Factors
  3. Communication and Technology
  4. Implementation Strategies
  5. Organizational Factors
  6. Document Retrieval and Processing
  7. Office Forms and Databases
  8. Document Modeling and Management
  9. Human Factors
  10. Implementation Strategies
  11. Organizational Factors
  12. Document Retrieval and Processing

Office Software Technology

VITRAIL: A Window Manager for an Office Information System BIBA 1-12
  Alain Wegmann
This paper describes the implementation of a window manager called 'Vitrail'. Vitrail has been designed with a highly modular and open architecture allowing activities to interface to it at various levels while favouring overall consistency in the interface that is presented by these activities to the user. The most interesting module is the outermost, which handles the user interface of the window manager and facilitates the exchange of information between the user and the various activities. In addition, it permits information exchange among the various activities themselves.
Object Management System Concepts BIBA 13-19
  Stanley B. Zdonik
An office database should be a "total" information resource in that it should be capable of storing data of many arbitrary types. Users of such a system should be able to store conveniently their documents and graphics objects in the same logical storage space as their more traditional records-oriented data.
   This paper presents a data model that can be used to describe more effectively the objects that occur naturally in the office environment. This model exploits some of the richer semantics of office objects such as the containment of one object within another (e.g., reports contain chapters) and the version histories of objects and their constituent parts. This model forms the basis for our experimental object management system which is used to support the creation of new office application programs.
An Architecture for Object Management in OIS BIBA 20
  Matts Ahlsen; Anders Bjornerstedt; Stefan Britts; Christer Hulten; Lars Soderlund
The design of a prototype for an application development environment in OIS (Office Information Systems), OPAL, is outlined. OPAL is based on an object management approach.
   The paper starts with a short discussion on object oriented systems and some important related concepts including Modularity, Instantiation, Property Inheritance and Subclassing, Active Objects and finally OIS-Modeling Tools.

Organizational Factors

38 Offices: Analyzing Needs in Individual Offices BIBAK 21
  Raymond R. Panko
There is considerable interest within office automation for the creation of methodologies to describe the needs of offices and build tools to support those needs. Most of the analysis, design, and implementation methodologies, however, involve only a single type of support -- the creation of tools to automate procedures found in the office. Although the procedures to be supported are generally less well structured than the procedures supported by classic data processing, the focus is still on procedures.
   These procedurally-oriented methodologies are likely to work extremely well in only one kind of office, which the author and Sprague have called the Type I department [10]. There is another general category of offices, Type II, that handles the firm's nonroutine information processing chores. Examples are the offices of top executives, the offices of line managers, legal departments, and engineering departments. In these offices, procedures exist, but immediately jumping from functional analysis and goals to the analysis of procedures is not likely to be helpful. First, the procedures in these offices are usually few, so their automation is not likely to bring extensive gains. Second, the strategies that Type II offices do need are likely to be professionally complex and nonprocedural. Too strong a procedural focus in a methodology could blind analysts to the real needs of the office.
   Two studies were conducted in an attempt to test a broader analysis methodology that the author had earlier proposed to study Type II offices as well as Type I offices. While it was concluded that there were differences in Type I and Type II office support, it was found that people in both kinds of offices tended to pick mundane applications. A major goal for the future should be to find ways to help office principals articulate more visionary goals that can be made possible because of computer support.
   Type II offices present a major problem to designers of office methodologies. The traditional procedural analysis skills taught in systems analysis and office analysis methodologies are not likely to be central to the needs of the office. The strategies that must be designed and supported, rather, are likely to depend very heavily on the professional content of the work being done in that office. It is possible that the office analyst in the future will be less a driving force in the design of support systems than a catalyst to help users define their own needs -- just as designers of decision support systems are increasingly helping managers define their own data needs [13]. Critical success factors and external contribution analysis are likely to be only preludes to comprehensive methodologies to help office principals define their goals and strategies.
Keywords: Information systems applications, Office automation, Project and people management, Systems analysis and design
Task Support in an Office System BIB 22-24
  W. Bruce Croft; Lawrence S. Lefkowitz
Modeling the Office Structure: A First Step Towards the Office Expert System BIBA 25-32
  Luigia Aiello; Daniele Nardi; Maurizio Panti
A structural description formalism for the construction of office models is proposed. In this formalism an office is represented in terms of interacting agents. Each agent is characterized by a structural component and a specification of the office functions he is enabled to perform.
   The advantages of our approach to office modeling are generality and flexibility. In fact, the formalism allows to model various kinds of office organizations and to reflect changes and updates in the office structure. The model is intended to be the basis for the construction of an integrated Office Information System and of an Office Expert System which is a tool for decision making in the domain of office organization.

Communication and Technology

Managing Transient Internetwork Links in the Xerox Internet BIB 33-35
  Siranush Radicati
High-Speed Image Scaling for Integrated Document Management BIBA 36-45
  Kuniaki Tabata; Tetsuo Machida; Haruo Takeda; Hiroaki Kambayashi
Document information often includes image data (eg. handwritten annotations, signatures, maps, sketches and photos) as well as alphanumeric and other coded data. Thus, the capability of handling these image data plays an important role in reforming current office-work activities.
   This paper presents a high-speed scaling method to enlarge or reduce digital images defined as two-dimensional pixel arrays. Scale factors are assumed to be rational numbers R/r and S/s for the vertical and horizontal directions, respectively, where R, S, r, s denote positive integers. Under this assumption, coordinate determination for image scaling is performed by simple table look-up and shift operations. This method excludes time-consuming arithmetic operations for coordinate determination. Thus, high-speed scaling is realized. Experiments showed that the execution time per output pixel is about 150 ns when the shift clock frequency is 8 MHz.
   The proposed algorithm has been successfully applied to a multi-functional office workstation featuring integrated functions of data processing, document processing and image processing.
Software for Interactive On-Line Conferences BIBA 46-58
  Sunil K. Sarin; Irene Greif
A layered architecture for the implementation of real-time conferences is presented. In a real-time conference a group of users, each at his or her own workstation, share identical views of on-line application information. The users cooperate in a problem solving task by interactively modifying or editing the shared view or the underlying information, and can use a voice communication channel for discussion and negotiation.
   The lower layer in this architecture, named Ensemble, supports the sharing of arbitrary application-defined objects among the participants of a conference, and the manipulation of these objects via one or more application-defined groups of commands called activities. Ensemble provides generic facilities for sharing objects and activities, and for dynamically adding and removing participants in a conference; these can be used in constructing real-time conferencing systems for many different applications. An example is presented of how the Ensemble functions can be used to implement a shared bitmap with independent participant cursors.
   The relation between this layered architecture and the ISO Open Systems Interconnection reference model is discussed. In particular, it is argued that Ensemble represents a plausible first step toward a Session-layer protocol for "multi-endpoint connections", a neglected area of communication protocol development.

Implementation Strategies

Determining Computer Support Requirements: Implications for Design BIBA 59-79
  Sidney E. Harris; Harvey J. Brightman
In this research paper, we discuss a design methodology for determining computer support system needs. We were aware that research work is communications-oriented and highly cognitive in nature, it was necessary to define a profile of the tasks that characterize the key elements of research work. The researcher then selects those tasks that constitute bottlenecks in completing the various research activities. In addition, the modes of support which are essential in completing the tasks are evaluated along several dimensions -- quality, timeliness, dependability, reliability, and cost. This procedure allowed us to define the primary tasks that are consistent barriers in the completion of research work and the modes and nature of support which are inadequately provided as support service capabilities. The design methodology approach was implemented and evaluated using the research faculty at Georgia State University.
Distributed Software Personnel -- When, How, and Why? BIB 80-87
  Roger Webster

Organizational Factors

Office Automation: Organizational Learning and Technological Change BIBA 88-95
  Mary Sumner
The purpose of this study is to describe the process of office technology growth within sixteen companies. This growth process involves not only the expansion of office technologies and applications but also the process of organizational learning. In this study, the evolution of office automation is depicted using an analysis of technology benchmarks, applications portfolio, organizational strategies for systems development and operations support, and planning and control activities.
   The analysis of firms experiencing office technology growth reveals certain stage characteristics similar to those reported in previous research by Nolan and Zisman. Office technologies, initially introduced to mechanize tasks, rapidly proliferate and drive a process of experimentation monitored by analysts representing a central MIS organization. At initial phases the role of data processing is in establishing guidelines for technology acquisition and in establishing standards for an information technology architecture which will support office applications on both centralized and decentralized systems. After gaining experience in designing office applications, organizations in more mature stages of development decentralize the responsibility for systems development, while maintaining centralized control over hardware operations and systems support.
An Office Study: Its Implications on the Understanding of Organizations BIBA 96-103
  Gerald R. Barber
The results of an office study are presented. The goals of the study were to determine some parameters of the problem solving and knowledge level processing that occurs in a particular organization. The problem solving processes in the organization are described and the relationship between these problem solving processes and some characteristics of the knowledge used to solve the problems is discussed. In addition we describe the impact exceptions have on the evolution of the organization and identify two mechanisms that help the organization adapt to change. The implications of the results of the study on the understanding of organizations are discussed. Areas of further study are described.

Document Retrieval and Processing

OTTER -- An Information Retrieval System for Office Automation BIBA 104-112
  Giovanni Maria Sacco
Design choices and most important features of an information retrieval system for office automation are described. The office environment is shown to be quite different from the traditional bibliographic search environment for which well-established information retrieval techniques exist. Therefore, the system offers facilities to model the semantics of portions of text (for example numeric data), to acquire a certain amount of user knowledge, and to support repetitive interactions.
   All pertinent documents are presented to the user, with the system ordering them in inverse estimated relevance order. It is shown that no single estimator can accurately estimate document relevance, because intended user access patterns are different. Consequently, knowledge on how the user wants to access data is acquired, and the appropriate estimators are used in each case.
Towards an In-House Integrated Publishing Service BIB 113-122
  W. J. Kease

Office Forms and Databases

Office Form Definition and Processing Using a Relational Data Model BIBA 123-131
  Bogdan Czejdo; David W. Embley
Office forms have a particular structure and semantics that make them a suitable communication medium. The Natural Forms Query Language, NFQL, capitalizes on these features of ordinary forms to provide a communication language between human beings and the computer. Given a form, NFQL analyzes it to deduce plausible interpretations and then generates database queries and function specifications applicable to the form. This paper explains how NFQL recognizes computational relationships between arguments and results and formulates function specifications. General rules are given, in terms of a relational data model, that can resolve computational relationships for ordinary forms.
Form Document Management System SPECDOQ -- Its Architecture and Implementation -- BIBA 132-142
  Hiroyuki Kitagawa; Makiko Gotoh; Sohei Misaki; Motoei Azuma
Architecture and implementation of a form document management system SPECDOQ are presented. The system automates or semi-automates manipulation of conventional form documents combining alphanumeric and Kanji/Kana character strings, texts, and graphics. SPECDOQ features uniform management of the document database in terms of unnormalized relations, named nested tables. Complicated manipulation of form documents can be accomplished by combinations of abstract, algebraic operations on the nested tables. The system also features graphics-based user friendly manipulation of external form documents on the screen. Architectural key concepts in SPECDOQ and their implementation are explained. Some system-user interaction examples and early experiences on SPECDOQ field use are also given in this paper.
Towards an Integrated Environment for Accessing External Databases BIBA 143-151
  Dennis Heimbigner
Diverse is a system that is designed to provide sophisticated access to external database systems. The requirements for such a system are outlined and the Diverse architecture is proposed for meeting those requirements. The Diverse system is built upon a relational database system for storing data and a knowledge base for interpreting procedural information. Diverse is intended to be an integrated environment consisting of a directory of information about the operation and semantics of external databases and media, a syntax-directed database translator, and a dialogue system for mechanizing routine operations.

Document Modeling and Management

An Object-Oriented Office Document Architecture Model for Processing and Interchange of Documents BIBA 152-160
  W. Horak; G. Kronert
The office document architecture model provides for the description of the internal structures and correlations in documents independently of applications. The Technical Committee TC 2 of the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) is currently developing the standards Office Document Architecture (ODA) and Office Document Interchange Formats (ODIF). It is in close liaison with ISO/ TC97/SC18/WG3, which has the same working target, and with the CCITT Commission VIII, which is standardizing the Teletex and Facsimile Group 4 Mixed Mode Of Operation. The ODA model is for a comprehensive description of documents and is a basis for interchange formats, that support not only reproduction, but also editing and formatting of documents at the receiving end.
The Structure of Abstract Document Objects BIBA 161-169
  Gary D. Kimura; Alan C. Shaw
Underlying every document processing system is a model of the document. For many applications a simple model, such as a long string of characters, is adequate. However, more expressive models are desirable for more demanding applications that involve complex textual material and also nontextual objects, such as mathematical notation, tables, and figures. In this paper we present an expressive model, suitable for paper and electronic documents, that is based on a graph-like structure.
   The principal concepts are the notions of abstract and concrete objects, hierarchical composition of ordered and unordered objects, sharing of components, and reference links. This model has proven useful for specifying a wide variety of document objects, and is the basis for an implemented document preparation system.
Officeaid: An Integrated Document Management System BIBA 170-180
  Alison Lee; Carson C. Woo; Frederick H. Lochovsky
Document management is a major activity in an office. Documents are created, edited, distributed, and stored. While facilities for managing electronic documents exist, they are often poorly integrated. In this paper, the design and implementation of an integrated document management system -- Officeaid -- is described. In the design, four major objectives were considered: develop effective and useful man-machine interfaces, provide integrated facilities, utilize data base management techniques, and provide support for different types of data.

Human Factors

An Approach to Assessment of Text Handling Systems BIB 181-187
  R. H. Irving
Mnemonic Strategies in Word Processing Systems BIBA 188-198
  Avshalom Aderet; Paul J. Hoffman
The usability of character mnemonics in office information systems is discussed and several issues involved in the use of mnemonics as effective design concept are highlighted in the context of word processing tasks.
   In a series of studies, the mnemonics technique was compared to other user interfaces, such as function-key interface or menu-driven interface. In these studies we found significant differences between novices and experienced operators with respect to ease of performance and ease of recall of word processing operations. Our results suggest that experience plays an important role in operating a mnemonics-driven system compared to a non-mnemonics driven system. Additional research is needed in order to understand the ways by which mnemonics strategies affect the performance of office information systems.
Some Observations on Field Trials as a Means for Assessing the Impact of New Technology Systems BIB 199-202
  Michael Gurstein; Fernande Faulkner

Implementation Strategies

A Daemon-Based Programming System for Office Procedures BIBA 203-211
  Giovanni Cortese; Franco Sirovich
The paper presents a daemon-based approach to office programming systems. Daemons are "agents" users created to automate their tasks. They can be seen as user assistants which are able to recognize when their activation is required. Daemons can be exemplarly defined, by supplying them with concrete examples of what they will be asked to do, and are useful to support the individual work as well as to automate in a decentralized, "bottom-up" fashion complex office procedures. In fact, since they are independent pieces of code, they seem well suited for programming systems which are 'incrementally' developed by different users. A facility for "run-time" exception handling is also discussed.

Organizational Factors

Cooperation in the Office -- Office Communication Systems as a Management Tool BIBA 212-218
  Ralf Reichwald
Traditional methods for the analysis of office work have focussed on the quantitative rather than on the qualitative and social aspects, while neglecting cooperation and the social context of managerial work. Based on an empirical study, a framework for office work analysis is presented. It shows the kind of support required for different components of managerial work and the dependence of management on contributions of secretaries. Finally, possibilities for increasing the effectiveness of managerial work through new technology are presented.

Document Retrieval and Processing

A Conceptual Approach to Document Retrieval BIBA 219-226
  E. Barbi; F. Calvo; C. Perale; F. Sirovich; F. Turini
A document retrieval system is a quite useful tool in office environments, especially for professionals who are interested in keeping along with the state of the art of their field by quickly consulting documents. The paper describes the design and the implementation of a document retrieval system based on a concept extraction from documents. Concept extraction is implemented using an internal knowledge representation (semantic network memory) of the subject the documents deal with. Retrieving concepts from a text is performed by search/inferential algorithms. Advantages of such methods are shown by comparing it to keyword extraction. The prototype system implementation is described. This system is actually in experimental phase. Several test descriptions provide a sketch of the first results.