ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work

16-20 September 2001, Bonn, Germany.

General Chairs: Wolfgang Prinz, GMD-FIT, Germany, Volker Wulf, GMD-FIT, Germany
Program Chairs: Matthias Jarke, RWTH Aachen, Germany, Yvonne Rogers, University of Sussex, UK
Proceeding Chair: Kjeld Schmidt, Technical University of Denmark

Schmidt and Bannon (1992) introduced the concept of common information space by contrasting it with technical conceptions of shared information: Cooperative work is not facilitated simply by the provisioning of a shared database, but rather requires the active construction by the participants of a common information space where the meanings of the shared objects are debated and resolved, at least locally and temporarily. (Schmidt and Bannon, p. 22) A CIS, then, encompasses not only the information but also the practices by which actors establish its meaning for their collective work. These negotiated understandings of the information are as important as the availability of the information itself: The actors must attempt to jointly construct a common information space which goes beyond their individual personal information spaces. . . . The common information space is negotiated and established by the actors involved. (Schmidt and Bannon, p. 28) This is not to suggest that actors’ understandings of the information are identical; they are simply “common” enough to coordinate the work. People understand how the information is relevant for their own work. Therefore, individuals engaged in different activities will have different perspectives on the same information. The work of maintaining the common information space is the work that it takes to balance and accommodate these different perspectives. A “bug” report in software development is a simple example. Software developers and quality assurance personnel have access to the same bug report information. However, access to information is not sufficient to coordinate their work.

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  • Text Document
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001)
  • Text Document
    Collaboratively improvising magic: An approach to managing participation in an on-line drama
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) Drozd, Adam; Bowers, John; Benford, Steve; Greenhalgh, Chris; Fraser, Mike
    We describe how a behmd—the-scenes production crew managed participation in an on-Iine improvised dramatic performance In a shared vrrtual world that was broadcast to viewers We introduce the approach of collaboratively Improvising magic. where particrpants indirectly request interactions with objects through extended incantations. rather than manipulating them directly InVISIble stage~hands follow these participants around the world, monitoring their activities and granting requests when appropriate. We describe how this was realised in Avatar Farm, a two hour long Improwsed drama that Involved four members of the public, seven actors and an extensrve production crew We discuss the provrsron of technical support within the MASSIVE-3 system to realise our approach. Empirical analysis of interaction in Avatar Farm Illustrates some key Issues. We see how partrcrpants weave accounts of technical problems into the narrative
  • Text Document
    Spaces of practice
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) Büscher, Monika; Mogensen, Preben; Shapiro, Dan
    ThlS paper compares the properties of physucal and digital workspaces In the context of a prototype of a collaborative Virtual enwronment that has been developed With reference to work In demgn professrons and concentrates on the organisation of work materials Spatial properties are analysed In terms of the soonality of workspace use Digital spaces can be engineered to mllTllC or to transcend various constraints and affordances of physncal workspaces, and they can be given parallel, folded and tunnelled properties We examine the consequences these have for the readiness—to-hand. Intelllglblllty, and accountability of the resulting workspaces. We address means of interacting With these extended enwronments Usmg case study scenarios, we demonstrate how ethnographic analyse and particupatory desugn have Informed the architecture, features and development of the system
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    Flexible support for application-sharing architecture
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) Chung, Goopeel; Dewan, Prasun
    Current application-sharing systems support a single architecture for all collaborations, though different systems support different architectures. We have developed a system that support a wide rage of architectural mappiongs, which include to the best of our knowledge, all of the existing architectures defined so far including the centralized, replicated and hybrid architecrues. Instead of being bound to a specific I/O protocol such as the X protocol, it is based on a simple abstract I/O protocol to which specific I/O protocols must be mapped by client-suppled code. We have used the system to perform experiments that compare the performance of the centralized and replicated architectures. Our experiments show that the chioce of the architecure depends on the computers used by the collaborators, the speed of the connections between the computers and the cost of the operations performed by the shared application. Under some conditions the centralized architecture gives better performance. Our results contradict the popular blief that the replicated architecture always gives better performance, and show the need fore supporting both architectures in a system.
  • Text Document
    Creating coherent environments for collaboration
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) Heath, Christian; Luff, Paul; Kuzuoka, Hideaki; Yamazaki, Keiichi
    Drawing on studies of experimental systems and eveyday settings we epxlore the relationship between social interaction and its environment. We show how interaction is inextricably embedded within its environment and discuss the ways in which innovative systems designed to support remote collaboration madvertently fracture conduct fromn its setting, and undermine the participants abilities to produce, interpret and coordinate activities. We deiscuss the implications of these issues for the design of future systems, and, more critically, for studies of work and collaboration.
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    Supporting distributed software development by modes of collaboration
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) Schümmer, Till; Haake, Jörg M.
    Work processes in team based software development need to be strucured to minise and resolve conflicting or divergent work. Current software development methodologies propose ways for diving the whole task of software development between team members. This paper suggests a different way of working by introducing modes of collaboration (MoCs), which support concurrent and collaborative work. A MoC defines how tight two people can work together and how much the rest of the group can demand to know about a programmer. Different MoCs are ordered in a specturm from single users's offline usage up to concurrent editing of the same source code. Special emphasis is put on balancing gains and efforts that are related to a specific MoC. The second part of the paper presents how MoCs are implemented in the distributed co-operative software development environment TUKAN. TUKAN includes synchronous co-operative tools and awareness widgets, which operate on a spatial representation of the software under construction. TUKAN provides tools for each MoC and allows programmers to swich between MoCs.
  • Text Document
    Team automata for spatial access control
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) ter Beek, Maurice H.; Ellis, Clarence A.; Kleijn, Jetty; Rozenberg, Grzegorz
    Team automata provide a framework for capturing notions like coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in distributed systems. They consist of an abstract specification of components of a system and allow one to desribe different interconnection mechanisms based upon the concept of "shared actions". This document considers access control mechanisms in the context of the team automata model. It demonstrates the model usage and utility for capturing information security and protection structures, and critical coordinations between these structures. On the basis of a spatial access metaphor, varous known access control strategies are given a rigorous formal description in terms of synchronizations in a team automata.
  • Text Document
    Finding patterns in the fieldwork
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) Martin, David; Rodden, Tom; Rouncefield, Mark; Sommerville, Ian; Viller, Stephen
    This paper considers the potential of using patterns of cooperative interaction to support the development of general design principles drawn from a range of work settings. it reports on the development of patterns from ethnographic studies in anumber of work envirnments. Our particular interest is in the possibilities surrounding the use of ethnographic material and in the contribution this might make to CSCW design. in this paper we focus on outlining some of our experiences and difficulties in developing patterns from ethnographic studies and present some initial ideas towards the development of a pattern langiage to exploit the experience gained from a decade of field studies.
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    When worlds collide: Molecular biology as interdisciplinary collaboration
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) O'Day, Vicky L.; Adler, Annette; Kuchinsky, Allan; Bouch, Anna
    The field of molecular biology is in a remarkably rapid period of change, as the genome sequencing projects and new experimental technologies have generated an explosion of data To analyze and draw insights from the vast amounts of information, biologists use a new generation of bioinformatics software tools, often working closely with mathematicians and computer scientists There are elements of both collision and convergence in these interdisciplinary encounters We conducted user studies with biologists engaged in investigating the molecular basis of disease. We describe several issues that arise in this collision/convergence of disciplines, drawing on the notion of boundary objects m-the-makmg. We provide recommendations on building technology for people whose work now sits at the crossroads of diverse and rapidly changing scientific fields.
  • Text Document
    Decentralizing the control room: Mobile work and institutional order
    (ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2001) Juhlin, Oskar; Weilenmann, Alexandra
    This paper seeks to inform the ongoing redesign of air traffic management by examining current practices and the adoption of a new system aiming to relieve traffic control from work and reduce radio communication We report from ethnographic fieldwork among mobile, distributed airport ground personnel By examining the ways in which they use the 'old' technology, i e. VHF radio, we identify a set of important aspects of work carried out through radio talk These are: repairing misunderstandings, discussing the task-at-hand, and negotiating next actions. The new system fails to support this negotiation work, and is hardly ever used by the ground personnel. The distributed workers in the field make their own decisions and negotiate coordination with the tower based on local information. In this respect, current work practice is already decentralized to a certain extent The problem with the new system, we argue, is the idea to decentralize the organization by providing distributed workers with more information, whereas the current institutional arrangement for coordination is built upon highly formal and hierarchical ideas. When redesigning the system it is necessary to take into account the ways in which radio talk is used to carry out the everyday work among ground personnel