Computational Mechanisms of Interaction in Cooperative Work
- Project Title:
- Computational Mechanisms of Interaction in Cooperative Work
- Work Area:
- Models & Theory for Human Computer Interaction
- Lancaster University
UK - LANCASTER LA1 4YR
- Coordinator Country:
- GMD D
RISē National Laboratory DK
Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya E
Università di Milano I
Universiteit van Amsterdam NL
Swedish Institute of Computer Science S
University of Manchester UK
University of Nottingham UK
- Contact Point:
- Dr T. Rodden
- +44/524 593823
- +44/524 381707
- CSCW, HCI, distributed systems, requirements engineering, multi-user interfaces, virtual reality
- Start Date:
- 1 September 92
- 36 months
- COMIC aims to develop the theories and techniques necessary to support the development of future CSCW systems. These will be informed by a range of disciplines which combine an understanding of the nature of groups with the technology to support cooperative work within a real world setting. The project involves researchers from computer science and social science backgrounds working together on the techniques and theories to support cooperative systems development.
The increased prominence of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) as a research area and the recent emergence of groupware products within the USA and Japan has highlighted the growing market for this form of IT product. It is imperative that Europe captures a significant share of this future market. To do so, future CSCW developers will need to construct effective and well-founded cooperative systems. This basic research project examines the fundamental research questions which need to be solved to improve future CSCW systems development. A central aim of the project is the development of effective support cooperative work based on an understanding of the social character of work.
APPROACH AND METHODS
To lay the foundation for the future development of CSCW systems, COMIC's approach is to examine the practical and theoretical problems which need to be overcome to allow effective CSCW product development. This research will be undertaken in a multi-disciplinary manner by a strong team of key CSCW researchers.
COMIC will concentrate on the development of CSCW systems designed to work within a real-world context. The project combines an understanding of work practice with an investigation of future technical infrastructures for CSCW. To maximise the effect of the research being undertaken, the project focuses on four key research topics in CSCW systems development:
- the organisational setting of CSCW systems
- the derivation of requirements for the design and development of CSCW systems
- the assessment and augmentation of notations to describe and represent cooperative activities
- the development of novel interaction mechanisms for CSCW.
This work necessitates the effort of a strong multi-disciplinary team of CSCW researchers. Each of themes are been examined from a different disciplinary perspective in order to inform cooperative systems development.
PROGRESS AND RESULTS
The project results are described in detail in a series of working documents an index of which is available by email from the project co-ordinator. Work has focused on the four project themes:
- Organisational Setting: A number of different perspectives of organisations of direct relevance to the development of CSCW systems have been highlighted and contrasted. An initial framework to allow multiple perspectives of organisations has been developed.
- Requirement: A consideration of the effectiveness of different requirements methods for CSCW systems has been undertaken with the outlining of initial support for constructing CSCW systems requirements.
- Notations for CSCW: A wide range of available CSCW systems and products have been assessed in terms of their use of notation. This assessment will inform a set of recommendations for the use of notations in future CSCW systems.
- Interaction Mechanisms: Interaction has been considered in terms of its spatial characteristics and a spatial model of cooperation has been development. In addition, interaction has been studied in terms of the use of shared objects and of a service to support this sharing is been developed.
This basic research project will result in recommendations, new techniques, architectures and demonstrators of direct applicability for future CSCW developments. Results of the project will provide an understanding of the relationship between cooperative work and supporting technology. They will also inform future methods for the development of CSCW systems and the different technologies required to support them.
- De Michelis G Computer Support for Cooperative Work: Computers between Users and Social Complexity In: Organisational Learning and Technological Change, Springer Verlag (1993)
- Benford S, Fahlen L A Spatial Model of Interaction in Large Virtual Environments Proceedings of ECSCW'93, Milan, September 13-17, 1993, Kluwer Academic Press
- Bowers J, Rodden T Exploding the interface: experiences of a CSCW network Proceedings of InterCHI'93, ACM international conference on CHI, Amsterdam, April 1993, ACM Press
- Mariani J, Prinz W From Multi-User to Shared Object Systems: Awareness about Co-Workers in Cooperation Support Object Databases' in Proceedings of the GI-Jahrestagung, September 1993, Dresden, Springer-Verlag
- Schmidt K, Rodden T Putting it all together: requirements for a CSCW platform 12th Schaerding International Workshop on Design of Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Groupware Systems, June 1-3, 1993, Springer-Verlag
The project presented a demonstration of on-going work at interCHI'92 in Amsterdam. All project reports and documents are available electronically by emailing the project co-ordinator. In addition, the project plans to hold a series of workshops at future CSCW conferences.
Sven Müßig, last update 07-nov-1995. Your feedback is welcome.