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Special Issue IJeC: “Collaborative usage and development of models and visualizations”

The International Journal of e-Collaboration will have a Special Issue on “Collaborative usage and development of models and visualizations”, which will be published in winter 2012 or spring 2013. Guest editors will be Michael Prila, Alexander Nolte, Thomas Herrmann, Stephan Lukosch and Gwendoly Kolfschoten (Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany and TU Delft, Netherlands). Below you will find important dates and more information on the special issue.

The extended Call for Papers can be downloaded here

Important dates:

  • Submissions due on January 6, 2012
  • Special Issue out in Winter/Spring 2012/2013

Workshop “Collaborative usage and development of models and visualizations” at ECSCW 2011

The 1st International Workshop on “Collaborative usage and development of models and visualizations” has been held at ECSCW:
Date: 24 September, 2011
Venue: Aarhus University, Denmark
Download the workshop description here. For the results, a workspace will be created and shared among the participants and an interested public.

Accepted Papers for the workshop

Authors of submitted papers have been notified of acceptance or rejection. The accepted contributions are:

  • An Approach for a Domain-spanning Collaboration Platform for Decision Support Using Immersive Visualization Techniques in Product Manufacturing – Daniel Eichhorn, Andreas Oberweis, Johannes Herter
  • Combining ThinkLets and Dialogue Games in Collaborative Modeling: an Exploratorive Case – Stijn Hoppenbrouwers, Wim van Stokkum
  • Collaborative diagram drawing: a case study on scaffolding self-regulated behaviors – Ilaria Manno, Giuseppina Palmieri, Vittorio Scarano
  • Strategies in the Collaborative Use of Design Patterns – Claudia Iacob
  • Fostering the usage of process models for supporting departments in organizations – Nina Claus
  • Collaborative Line-and-Symbol Diagramming Component – Diogo Azevedo, Jordan Janeiro, Stephan Lukosch, Robert O. Briggs, Benjamim Fonseca
  • WILDSIDE – Enabling Collaborative Design of Behavioral Simulations for Non-Experts – Stefan Kreitmayer, Robin Laney, Yvonne Rogers, Stephen Peake
  • Practical insights into collaborative drafting of organizational processes using an enhanced wiki environment – Selim Erol
  • Process models as neutral ground in collaboration, but power matters – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla

Theme: Collaborative Usage and Development of Models and other Visualizations

The usage of graphical representations of aspects of an organization (ranging from rather static to rather dynamic such as hierarchies, competences, work and business processes etc.) or results of creative problem-solving and design meetings (e.g. brainstorming results) becomes increasingly important and valuable for modern organizations and can be considered a common practice in a lot of organizations. Corresponding graphical representations include process models, conceptual models and mind maps. They are used to support multiple tasks such as software development, design and engineering, process optimization and reengineering, knowledge explication and transfer as well as marketing, strategic development and cooperation planning. Regarding this background, it is obvious that such representations are not intended to be used by single users creating them for their own personal needs, but rather for the usage of larger target groups throughout organizations, where they can be used to support sense making and to create shared understanding – this collaborative usage, in turn makes such representations even more useful. Analogically, their development should not be done solely by a group of a few expert individuals but include multiple people representing multiple perspectives and experiences in order to increase the quality of a design or a solution being represented. However, despite the fact that models are common and available artifacts in many organizations and notwithstanding the benefits of using and creating them collaboratively, in practice they are hardly used by or available for non-experts – even if they are created collaboratively they still have little impact on actual work in these processes.

One of the reasons for the lacking usage of and interaction with graphical representations is that there are only a few (research) insights on the spreading and sustainment of process documentation and usage in organizations. Moreover, up to now we only know little about the interaction of non-expert users with models, that is, how people can make use of them in practice and interact with them. Interaction in this context includes the contribution to the content of models as well as their usage in people’s daily work for purposes such as discussions, knowledge explication and creating a common understanding. Supporting such interaction needs insights on means for increasing the usage and availability of models after their creation and on suitable tools and modes of interaction with models for people who are not modeling professionals.

Besides the usage and interaction dimensions, there is also a research gap in the collaborative development of graphical representations. Nowadays, this development is usually supported by collocated workshops and similar approaches, in which experts facilitate the work and translate non-expert articulations into a model language. However, despite their applicability and feasibility in many situations these approaches afford organizational overhead, restrict user involvement to certain times, require physical presence instead of dislocated interaction and thus do not fit the need to rapidly adjust processes to changing conditions inside and outside an organization. Fostering the collaborative development of models and including non-expert users into this process needs ways to enable users to contribute actively to creation and maintenance, whether they are co-located or dislocated, synchronous or asynchronous in time or possess different levels of expertise in modeling. This includes enabling users to use modeling languages and contribute directly to a model as well as finding other means such as textual or graphical annotations to enable contributions.

Topics of Interest

Tapping the potential of collaborative usage and development of graphical representations needs further insights on the interaction of non-experts with graphical representations, their usage for supporting individual and collaborative work as well as on their collaborative development. We welcome submissions dealing with either of these topics and stemming from collaboration research, knowledge management, business information systems, business process management and related disciplines. Examples of topics for submissions include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Designing means and functionality for user interaction with models and visualizations
    • Supporting users in contributing to existing visualizations, e.g. helping them to translate their thoughts into a model language
    • Fostering the continuous usage of models by non-experts in their daily work
    • Interplay between formal and non-formal elements of diagrammatic representations
  • Supporting work and collaboration with models and visualizations
    • Communicating about shared models and creating a shared understanding
    • Usage of common visualizations for (collaborative) learning and reflection – e.g. reconsideration of processes with models
    • Using models for knowledge documentation and transfer
    • Using models and visualizations for collaborative design and engineering
  • Supporting collaborative development of models and visualizations
    • Tools and mechanisms for collaborative modeling in workshops or dislocated settings
    • Settings and modes for the collaborative development of representations
    • Roles and participants in collaborative model development, e.g. the role of a facilitator
  • The influence of users on models (e.g. collaborative modeling participants on models) and the influence of models on users (e.g. users discussing a model and behavior changes)
    • Case studies on applications of the collaborative usage and / or development of models in practice
    • Theoretical framework and approaches on the role of graphical representations in collaborative settings

People

Michael Prilla, University of Bochum, Germany
Alexander Nolte, University of Bochum, Germany
Thomas Herrmann, University of Bochum, Germany
Stephan Lukosch, TU Delft, Netherlands
Gwendolyn Kolfschoten, TU Delft, Netherlands