ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

18-22 September 2005, Paris, France

General Chairs: Michel Beaudouin-Lafon, Université Paris-Sud, France Wendy Mackay, INRIA, France
Program Chairs: Hans Gellersen, Lancaster University, UK, Kjeld Schmidt, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

<ü>The emergence and widespread use personal computers and network technologies have seen the development of interest in the use of computers to support cooperative work. This volume presents the proceedings of the ninth European conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). This is a multidisciplinary area that embraces the development of new technologies grounded in actual cooperative practices.

These proceedings contain a collection of papers that reflect the variegated research activities in the field. The volume includes papers addressing novel interaction technologies for CSCW systems, new models and architectures for groupware systems, studies of communication and coordination among mobile actors, studies of cooperative work in complex settings, studies of groupware systems in actual use in real-world settings, and theories and techniques to support the development of cooperative applications. The papers present emerging technologies alongside new methods and approaches to the development of this important class of applications.

The work in this volume represents the best of the current research and practice within CSCW. The collection of papers presented here will appeal to researchers and practitioners alike, as they combine an understanding of the nature of work with the possibility offered by new technologies.

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    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2005)
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    Managing currents of work: Multi-tasking among multiple collaborations
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) González, Victor M.; Mark, Gloria
    This research reports on a study of the interplay between multi-tasking and collaborative work. We conducted an ethnographic study in two different companies where we observed the experiences and practices of thirty-six information workers. We observed that people continually switch between different collaborative contexts throughout their day. We refer to activities that are thematically connected as working spheres. We discovered that to multi-task and cope with the resulting fragmentation of their work, individuals constantly renew overviews of their working spheres, they strategize how to manage transitions between contexts and they maintain flexible foci among their different working spheres. We argue that system design to support collaborative work should include the notion that people are involved in multiple collaborations with contexts that change continually. System design must take into account these continual changes: people switch between local and global perspectives of their working spheres, have varying states of awareness of their different working spheres, and are continually managing transitions between contexts due to interruptions.
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    The duality of articulation work in large heterogenous settings - a study in health care
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) Færgemann, Louise; Schilder-Knudsen, Teresa; Carstensen, Peter
    Based on an empirical study of articulation work in a health care setting this paper discusses core characteristics of articulation work in large settings. We argue that articulation work in large-scale settings is characterized by a dual nature, especially by a duality between articulation handled internally in a local work arrangement and articulation activities undertaken across boundaries of local work arrangements appears. We suggest that our understanding of articulation activities is related to a distinction between local and global work arrangements. We illustrate how cooperating actors involved in any given trajectory (e.g., a patient trajectory) have to articulate their activities in accordance with both a local and a global dimension. The distinction between local and global is important when aiming at understanding articulation work in large-scale heterogenous settings. The differences and their consequences are discussed. The paper conclude in some reflections on the challenges implied by the local/global variations, both for the analysis of large heterogeneous work settings and for design of IT support.
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    Working together inside an emailbox
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) Muller, Michael J.; Gruen, Daniel M.
    In this paper we look at a situation in which email is not simply a channel for collaboration and communication but a site of collaboration itself, involving email inboxes that are jointly accessed by more than one person. We conducted two studies of shared email usage. We learned about a diversity of shared email practices in 14 schools, museums, and support centers through semi-structured interviews and (where feasible) site visits. We also explored in depth one type of shared email usage: executives and assistants sharing an emailbox. We describe the strategies that people use today to meet their collaborative needs by exploiting mailbox structures they currently have. We close with a discussion of email as a site of reinvention – i.e., where users’ work practices have given existing technology new meanings.
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    Emergent temporal behaviour and collaborative work
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) Seebeck, Lesley; Kim, Richard M.; Kaplan, Simon M.
    Although collaboration manifestly takes place in time, the role of time in shaping the behaviour of collaborations, and collaborative systems, is not well understood. Time is more than clock-time or the subjective experience of time
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    Formally analyzing two-user centralized and replicated architectures
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) Junuzovic, Sasa; Chung, Goopeel; Dewan, Prasun
    We have developed a formal performance model for centralized and replicated architectures involving two users, giving equations for response, feedthrough, and task completion times. The model explains previous empirical results by showing that (a) low network latency favors the centralized architecture and (b) asymmetric processing powers favor the centralized architecture. In addition, it makes several new predictions, showing that under certain practical conditions, (a) centralizing the application on the slower machine may be the optimal solution, (b) centralizing the application on the faster machine is sometimes better than replicating, and (c) as the duration of the collaboration increases, the difference in performances of centralized and replicated architectures gets magnified. We have verified these predictions through new experiments for which we created synthesized logs based on parameters gathered from actual collaboration logs. Our results increase the understanding of centralized and replicated architectures and can be used by (a) users of adaptive systems to decide when to perform architecture changes, (b) users who have a choice of systems with different architectures to choose the system most suited for a particular collaboration mode (defined by the values of the collaboration parameters), and (c) users locked into a specific architecture to decide how to change the hardware and other collaboration parameters to improve performance.
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    A groupware design framework for loosely coupled workgroups
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) Pinelle, David; Gutwin, Carl
    Loosely coupled workgroups – where workers are autonomous and weakly interdependent – are common in the real world. They have patterns of work and collaboration that distinguish them from other types of groups, and groupware systems that are designed to support loose coupling must address these differences. However, loosely coupled groups have not been studied in detail in CSCW, and the design process for these groups is currently underspecified. This forces designers to start from scratch each time they develop a system for loosely coupled groups, and they must approach new work settings with little information about how work practices are organized. In this paper, we present a design framework to improve the groupware design process for loosely coupled workgroups. The framework was developed to provide designers with a better understanding of how groupware systems can be designed to support loosely coupled work practices. It is based on information from CSCW and organizational research, and on real-world design experiences with one type of loosely coupled group— home care treatment teams. The framework was used to develop Mohoc, a groupware system for home care, and the system and underlying framework were evaluated during two field trials.
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    Supporting high coupling and user-interface flexibility
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) Roussev, Vassil; Dewan, Prasun
    Collaborative systems that automate the sharing of programmer-defined user interfaces offer limited coupling flexibility, typically forcing all users of an application to share all aspects of the user interfaces. Those that automatically support high coupling flexibility are tied to a narrow set of predefined user-interfaces. We have developed a framework that provides high-level and flexible coupling support for arbitrary, programmer-defined user interfaces. The framework refines an abstract layered model of collaboration with structured application layers and automatic acquisition, transformation, and processing of updates. It has been used to easily provide flexible coupling in complex, existing single-user software and shown to support all known ways to share user-interfaces. Coupling flexibility comes at the cost of a small amount of additional programming. We have carefully crafted the framework to ensure that this overhead is proportional to the degree of coupling flexibility desired.
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    The work to make a home network work
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) Grinter, Rebecca E.; Edwards, Keith; Newman, Mark W.
    Recently, households have begun to adopt networking technologies to interconnect devices within the home. Yet little is known about the consequences for households of setting up and living with these complex networks, nor the impact of such technologies on the routines of the home. In this paper, we report findings from an empirical study of households containing complex networks of computer and audio/visual technologies. Our study finds that home networks require significant household effort not just to coordinate their use, but also their set up and maintenance. We also show how the coordination around networking has to be worked into the routines of the home and the householders.
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    Informing public deliberation: Value sensitive design of indicators for a large-scale urban simulation
    (ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2005) Borning, Alan; Friedman, Batya; Davis, Janet; Lin, Peyina
    We investigate informing public deliberation regarding major land use and transportation decisions with the results from a sophisticated computer simulation of urban development. Our specific focus is on indicators that portray key results from the simulations. Our design addresses a number of challenges, including responding to the values and interests of diverse stakeholders, making documentation ready-to-hand, and balancing the value of fairness with presenting a diverse set of advocacy positions. We use Value Sensitive Design as our theory and design methodology