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Improving Collaboration Technology by Modeling Human Behavior

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1 Author(s)
Steven Poltrock ; Boeing Phantom Works

Summary form only given. Development of modern complex systems such as aircraft would be impossible without detailed descriptive and predictive models, but models are little used in the development of collaboration technology. Can models of human collaboration provide a foundation for development of new and improved collaborative technologies? The author explores this issue by considering the potential contributions and weaknesses of different approaches for modeling collaboration. Modeling approaches such as UML, workflow models, and coordination theory, and GOMS are ostensive, describing intended collaboration behavior. Modeling approaches such as grounded theory, social network theory, and temporal models are performative, describing observed behavior. The author illustrates and assesses these approaches by applying them to the domain of engineering change management, which is a well practiced, complex collaborative activity. The performative approaches generally have potential for (a) improving technology requirements by enriching understanding of collaborative behavior and (b) monitoring ongoing collaborative behavior. The ostensive approaches can help guide or constrain collaborative behavior. Taken together these approaches may enable collaboration technology to adapt to changes in behavior and provide guidance about ways that people can improve their collaboration

Published in:

2006 International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing

Date of Conference:

17-20 Nov. 2006