Consistency Control for Synchronous and Asynchronous Collaboration Based on Shared Objects and Activities
We describe a new collaborative technology that bridges the gap between ad hoc collaboration in email and more formal collaboration in structured shared workspaces. Our approach is based on the notion of object-centric sharing, where users collaborate in a lightweight manner but aggregate and organize different types of shared artifacts into semi-structured activities with dynamic membership, hierarchical object relationships, as well as real-time and asynchronous collaboration. We present a working prototype that implements object-centric sharing on the basis of a replicated peer-to-peer architecture. In order to keep replicated data consistent in such a dynamic environment with blended synchronous and asynchronous collaboration, we designed appropriate consistency control algorithms, which we describe in detail. The performance of our approach is demonstrated by means of simulation results.