COMIC Project, 1993-1995

The COMIC Project, Esprit Basic Research Action 6225

Project coordinator: Tom Rodden Computing Department University of Lancaster Lancaster LA1 4YR United Kingdom Phone: (+44) 524 593 823 Fax: (+44) 524 593 608 Email: tom@comp.lancs.ac.uk

The COMIC project comprises the following institutions:

  • Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung (GMD), Bonn, Germany
  • Risø National Laboratory, Roskilde, Denmark
  • Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden
  • Swedish Institute for Computer Science (SICS), Stockholm, Sweden
  • Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
  • University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • University of Lancaster, Lancaster, United Kingdom (Coordinating Partner)
  • University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • University of Milano, Milano, Italy
  • University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

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  • Report
    Social Mechanisms of Interaction
    (1994) Schmidt, Kjeld
    The present report documents the research activities undertaken in Task 3.1 of the COMIC project. The objective of the three years of research of Strand 3 is to de- velop a conceptual foundation for designing computational mecha- nisms of interaction for CSCW applications that can support the complex task of articulating distributed cooperative activities. The present deliverable presents analyses of a number of real- world mechanisms of interaction. In doing that, the deliverable focuses on the features of these mechanisms that enable them to provide efficient and flexible support of coordination of distributed activities and the way these mechanisms are managed cooperatively. On the other hand, based on these and other studies, the deliverable presents and discusses a conceptual framework for analysis of mechanisms of interaction and derives a set of re- quirements for a notation for constructing computational mechanisms of interaction
  • Report
    CSCW Requirements Development
    (1994)
    This deliverable considers the work of the COMIC project on involving ethnographic studies of work into the development of CSCW systems. The particular focus of our work has been to incorporate ethnographic studies of work into the general set of resources drawn upon by the designers of cooperative systems. This deliverable presents the framework for the analysis and presentation of ethnographic material across a series of fieldstudies. The work on the framework is complemented by an ethnographic handbook that considers best practice in CSCW systems design.
  • Report
    Computational Mechanisms of Interaction for CSCW
    (1993) Simone, Carla; Schmidt, Kjeld
    The present report documents the research activities undertaken in Task 3.2 of the COMIC project. The objective of the three years of research of Strand 3 is to develop a conceptual foundation for designing computational mechanisms of interaction for CSCW applications that can support the complex task of articulating distributed cooperative activities. The report consists of three parts: Based on a survey of social science studies of cooperative work, Part 1 outlines a conceptual framework for the development of the concept of mechanisms of interaction. Part 3 presents the comprehensive analysis of CSCW systems (applications, shells, models) that have been analyzed in order to unravel and assess the underlying mechanisms of interaction. Part 2 brings the two bodies of evidence together, identifies requirements for mechanisms of interaction, and outlines the conceptual foundation for the design of mechanisms of interaction in CSCW systems.
  • Report
    Informing CSCW System Requirements
    (1993)
    The thrust of this Strand of the COMIC Project is mainly methodological in investigating aspects of the relationship between the social analysis of work settings and the systems development context. It has been assumed throughout the work that real world CSCW systems will be large scale and, thus, need be produced by appropriate software engineering processes. In addition, it has also recognised that CSCW raises special problems regarding the effective analysis of the social organisation of work settings and that among the more promising methods in this regard, namely ethnography, does not sit easily with many of the current methods of requirements elicitation and system development.
  • Report
    Field Studies and CSCW
    (1994)
    The thrust of this Strand of the COMIC Project is mainly methodological in investigating aspects of the relationship between the social analysis of work settings and the systems development context. It has been assumed throughout the work that real world CSCW systems will be large scale and, thus, need be produced by appropriate software engineering processes. In addition, it has also recognised that CSCW raises special problems regarding the effective analysis of the social organisation of work settings and that among the more promising methods in this regard, namely ethnography, does not sit easily with many of the current methods of requirements elicitation and system development.
  • Report
    A Conceptual Framework for Describing Organizations
    (1994) Bowers, John
    This is Deliverable 1.2 of the COMIC project. It gives an account of the framework for describing organizations that we are working with. After an introductory chapter which clarifies the status of the framework and the relation that the current work has to past and future work in COMIC, the framework is described and exemplified over nine further chapters and two appendices. The framework attempts to recognise the various theoretical perspectives and orientations pursued in COMIC and integrate them with the perspectives which are guiding technical development. The framework is exemplified through a series of field studies and prototypes alongside theoretical discussion.
  • Report
    A Computational Model of Organizational Context in CSCW
    (1995) Fuchs, Ludwin; Prinz, Wolfgang
    This is Deliverable 1.3 of the COMIC project. It gives an account of a computational model for organizational context. The deliverable contains an introduction followed by the presentation of the reasearch that has been done during the last year in the project. This research is described and exemplified over nine further chapters, that focus on theoretical perspectives and fieldwork investigations as well as computational models and their application.
  • Report
    Tool Support for CSCW Requirements
    (1994)
    This deliverable considers the work of the COMIC project on the use of tool support to incorporate the results emerging from fieldstudies into the development process. This work builds upon previous work to consider the use of the tool in the development of a particular prototype and a general reflection on the use of the tool by ethnographers.
  • Report
    Computable Models and Prototypes of Interaction
    (1994) Benford, Steve; Bullock, Adrian; Fuchs, Ludwin; Mariani, John
    This document forms Deliverable 4.2. of the COMIC project. The input for this deliverable comes from two tasks within workpackage 4, Task 4.2 “Computer modelling and prototyping of interaction within virtual computer spaces” and Task 4.3 “Modelling, prototyping and assessment of multi-user interaction with and through shared artifacts”. Each of these tasks is addressed by a separate part of the deliverable, although this is not to say that they present unrelated work. To the contrary there has been significant cooperation between the partners involved in both of these tasks. The first portion of the deliverable focuses on the development and prototyping of a computational model of interaction within virtual computer spaces. The second portion of the deliverable presents the work undertaken within task 4.3 of the COMIC project. The work described in this section of the deliverable focuses on the sharing of objects across a community of users.
  • Report
    An Integrated View of COMIC
    (1994) Rodden, Tom
    This deliverable considers the general nature of the COMIC project. It presents the different contributions brought to the project and the various integrated results which have emerged. The deliverable also reflects on the challenges of integration set out in the project from the outset and how this integration has manifest itself during the project.