[unrev-II] Re: Cascade Collaborative Document Processor

From: Jack Park (jackpark@verticalnet.com)
Date: Fri Jan 12 2001 - 12:56:11 PST

  • Next message: Rod Welch: "[unrev-II] 4th WORLD CONGRESS on KM"

    I believe you've made a great use case of OHS. It would read email or forum
    posts and automagically tag words it knows exist elsewhere. It should do
    that AT INPUT TIME as well as output time (when users receive the post).
    That way, people like me with short memories (with posts whose Subject
    doesn't reflect keywords buried in the body) would not repeat great works of
    Cascade is not an open source project. You can download binaries. If you
    want the server, you have to ax for it.

    From: John J. <mailto:JJDeneen@ricochet.net> Deneen
    On 9/7/00, I sent an interesting email with links regarding CASCADE based on
    Doug's augmentation theories.:

    The CASCADE (Computer Augmented Support Collaborative Authoring and Document

          project is based on the augmentation theories of Engelbart
    (1984,1988,1992). CASCADE was

          developed to augment and aid document review tasks. Reviewers
    communicate through documents

          and annotations created. A number of tasks are off-loaded from
    reviewers or inspectors so that

          more time and effort can be allocated for the primary (review) task.
    In addition, CASCADE's

          interaction style using point-and-clicking, in-line, color-coded and
    form-based annotations - are

          intuitive and "natural" for reviewing textual documents. This would be
    true for software

          artifacts, e.g. source code listing. From this perspective, software
    inspection tasks could be

          facilitated by the use of the CASCADE system. CASCADE involves
    SGML/XML, hypertext,

          multimedia, DBMSs ,network protocols, system design, visualization,
    data mining, social

          computing, and intelligent agents to name a view. CASCADE is an
    email-centric environment that

          allows groups of people to work together writing, revising,
    commenting, and discussing

          documents. CASCADE offers a number of notable features including,
    placement of annotations

          at specific locations, color coded labeling, flexible comment
    classifications, and navigational

          tools. With minor reorganization and a few enhancements, CASCADE can
    serve as a testbed for

          asynchronous software inspection research.

          CASCADE, has been developed to augment commenting and review on
    electronic documents, is a

          three-tier client server application. Its design was guided by four
    principles most simply

          described as: augmentation, information utilization, visualization,
    and agents. Each is briefly

          elaborated on here.

          Augmentation. Given some task, only a small portion of the subtasks
    require cognitive

          processing (Engelbart, 1961; Engelbart, 1962). In CASCADE, the system
    is so structured as to

          offload the mechanical tasks to the computer. For example, making a
    hypertext comment

          requires 10-15 actions (depending on how the process is defined). Only
    one of these tasks,

          writing the comment itself, actually requires the commenter - the rest
    can be done by the

          system. "Augmentation", as used by Engelbart (1984,1988,1992),
    involves task analysis and

          redesign to create a set of processes that optimize the human side of
    the human computer

          interaction. CASCADE currently augments comment and comment review
    processes. This current

          research will extend the augmented processes to inspection and defect

          Information Utilization. Zuboff (1984) uses the term "informating" to
    refer to a process

          where an information stream generated by a computer is used to improve
    the process. She draws

          parallels between automation and information, and automating and
    informating. CASCADE uses

          information about documents, groups, and actions to inform simple
    functions. For example,

          sending mail begins with the subject, recipient, and originator fields
    of a mail note filled in.

          CASCADE knows the email addresses, and how group members like to
    receive their mail. Clicking

          one button attaches the document. The user simply types the note and
    the document is sent out.

          This kind of redesign is called "information" in the Zuboffian sense
    of the term as a direct

          parallel to "automation".

          Visualization. The visualization of data can increase the speed with
    which targets of

          opportunity can be addressed. CASCADE has a set of visual navigation
    tools that increase the

          speed with which sets of documents, document components, and areas
    within documents can be

          accessed. Current research is aimed at assessing the utility of these
    tools contrasted with other

          mechanisms for accessing particular documents. Apart from navigational
    tools, CASCADE

          provides visualization tools, that augment activity analysis, tracking
    and reporting on various

          forms of activity in a way that supports different views, and controls
    access to a large complex

          document set.

          Agents. There are many things that we would like others to do for us.
    With advances in

          computing power and techniques, it is increasingly possible to design
    simple software programs

          (agents) that appear to be intelligent (in some cases the learning
    algorithms and control logic

          merit that title). In CASCADE, the current plan for agent design
    focuses on simple

          "contribution" agents that do little tasks on behalf of the user. For
    example, the communication

          agent keeps track of where people "live" when they are using CASCADE.
    Knowing that, the agent

          can check those places when someone wants to contact them. The CASCADE
    communication agent

          does just this. It keeps track of who a user wants to talk to and
    watches for them. When found,

          it let's the user know, and if the timing is still right, sets up an
    interactive talk session.

          CASCADE is a multiple-platform three-tier client-server application
    and its screen is divided

          into four main panels. Across the top are menus. Across the bottom are
    status and informational

          panels. On the left-hand side of the CASCADE screen, there is a file

          navigational panel showing the user available documents and folders.
    The majority of the screen

          is the main viewer where the document is displayed. To make a comment,
    the user simply clicks

          the mouse at a target location in the document. The comment creation
    and review dialogs allow

          comments to be entered and comment types to be classified. Once a
    comment is created, it will

          appear as a color coded label inside the document and will be
    available for all users to view.

          Users can quickly identify comments through an intra-document
    navigational facility, called the

          mural bar, located at the right most of the

          window. CASCADE also has a number of security features. User
    privileges and document

          permission enforce accessibility and operations inside CASCADE.

           http://www.sis.pitt.edu/~cascade <http://www.sis.pitt.edu/~cascade>

          "This research is still in its early stages. A number of questions are
    still being explored. Among

          these are the development of an optimized application protocol and
    refinement of the database

          structure. There are also questions about overall process efficiency
    that may require violation

          of some of the conceptual principles of DBMS design. While locking has
    been implemented at a

          gross level in the current version, a more accurate assessment of the
    capability of the system

          will have to await the implementation of element level locking which
    is currently being

          implemented. Also, the incorporation of augmented XML document
    construction and XML

          document display will represent an important step in the refinement of
    the system as a usable

          system for practical application."


          Appendix E, Bordin Sapsomboon thesis (Shared Defect Detection : The
    Effects of Annotations

          in Asynchronous Software Inspection)


          *Off-loading routine tasks to computer for allowing humans to focus on
    high-level cognitive



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