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[ba-unrev-talk] gIBIS/MUCH System for "Modelling Situated Actions in Collaborative Hypertext Databases"


gIBIS & the MUCH System for "Modelling Situated Actions in Collaborative
Hypertext Databases"
"This study analyzes the relationship between awareness-seeking
behaviours and several contextual aspects of a collaborative hypertext
database. People need awareness-seeking facilities to detect, monitor,
and reduce various discrepancies that arise in using collaborative
hypertext databases. The framework of the study is built on discrepancy
reduction theories found in social psychology, such as the theory of
cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957). The discrepancy reduction models
address motivating factors behind people's behaviour, that when people
recognise a discrepancy between an existing cognitive model and reality,
people tend to act so as to reduce or resolve the discrepancies.
Empirical work on cognitive dissonance particularly concerns with how
people would change their cognitive models. "    (01)

... "In a broad sense, human awareness can be defined as follows:    (02)

     1. people's ability to recognise their own existence and
     experience, and the existence and experience of others;    (03)

     2. people's knowledge of their own agency and of that of
     others; and people's ability to monitor events in their own
     lives, and to make decisions about their own future on the
     basis of that knowledge;    (04)

     3. people's ability to communicate their awareness of
     themselves and others to other human beings.    (05)

It is clear from this definition that human awareness involves both
awareness of the self and awareness of other people. Human awareness is
a social process. Shared electronic workspaces need to provide users
necessary mechanisms to facilitate such a process."
< http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol2/issue3/chen.html >    (06)

The MUCH System (developed at the University of Liverpool)
"The Multiple Users Creating Hypermedia (MUCH) system has been developed
for collaborative authoring of research papers, knowledge sharing, and
electronic publishing.    (07)

The user interface of the MUCH system consists of an outline window and
a content window. The outline window displays an outline of the
hypertext, which is generated by a graph traversal algorithm. The
content window shows the content of the current node selected through
the outline window. The MUCH system provides a set of functions in its
user interface for various tasks, such as manipulating the underlying
semantic-network and editing the contents of nodes. These functions form
a framework for users to interact with the collaborative hypertext. The
main functions in the MUCH user interface include:    (08)

   * Unfold - This operation is always based on a selected entry in the
     outline. As the outline is unfolded, new entries at a lower level
     are inserted to the existing outline according to a one-step
     forward breadth-first traversal algorithm for nodes that are linked
     to the selected node;
   * Read -  This operation displays the content of the selected entry
     in the outline;    (09)

   * Lock - The operation applies a lock to the content of the current
     node. If the operation is successful, the content is protected from
     other users until the lock is released. However, the content of a
     locked node is readable to concurrent users;    (010)

   * Info - This operation displays statistical information regarding
     the current node.    (011)

   * Update - This operation saves the updated content to the underlying
     database.    (012)

... In addition to high-level writing strategies such as planning,
drafting, and revising, Markov chain models of collaborative writing
highlight behavioural patterns for browsing, awareness-seeking, and
balancing between local details and the global structure of a large
collaborative hypertext. Transitions with predominant probabilities
require special consideration and support from the underlying
computing infrastructure for the work."
< http://www.brunel.ac.uk/~cssrccc2/papers/jasis1997.pdf >    (013)

MUCH System 2000 - Hypertext to Knowledge to Workflow    (014)

Intro (i.e., "C-activities to improve improvement")
"Todayís business environment is characterized by increased complexity
and change. Complexity may be attributed to increases in knowledge and
specialization of the organizational resources (e.g. people,
information, products, services). Business events are emerging faster,
their duration is shorter, and are more likely to affect the
organization structure and resources due to increased interdependencies
(Malone and Crowston, 1990). Business needs that arise in response to
increased complexity and change include:    (015)

   * improved cooperation and communication between managers and the
     people they are managing,
   * reduced time to make decisions and improved quality of decisions,
     and
   * rapid re-engineering and redesign of organizational processes.    (016)

Organizations need the ability to re-engineer and optimize their
information and business processes (Daft and Lengel, 1986; Malone et al,
1999). To achieve this goal they need to manage (create, access,
communicate, evaluate, apply, and distribute) knowledge and use that
knowledge to make informed decisions on how to re-engineer business
processes. That is, knowledge and information have little value unless
they lead to action towards achieving organizational goals (Papows,
1998).    (017)

Knowledge and workflow management share a common motivation: to ensure
that organizational outcomes satisfy the organizationís objectives.
However, process re-engineering and technology interventions alone are
not sufficient to achieve the organizationís goals. It has been argued
that changes in organizational structure, administrative policies,
management style, information technology, organizational learning
practices and workflow design, stimulate cognitive changes on how
individuals perceive their work environment, which in turn lead to
individual behavioral changes on how they perform their work. Individual
behavior and performance is considered an instrumental mediating factor
in determining the effect of organizational change on organizational
output (performance, quality, productivity, production cost, and
efficiency). Empirical evidence also suggests that enhanced individual
performance would result in improved organizational outcome and
performance (Leonard et al, 1997).    (018)

Given these observations, organizations should augment knowledge and
workflow management with quality control mechanisms in order to measure
and monitor individual performance. Quality control requires that an
organizationís activities be documented and in line with its objectives
(Rada, 1997). How do organizations exploit knowledge and workflow
management to help address these problems? A seamless information
infrastructure is proposed for integrating hypertext, knowledge, and
workflow management."
< http://jodi.ecs.soton.ac.uk/Articles/v01/i06/Rada/rada2.pdf>    (019)