Monday, 16 June 2008

collaborative IR workshop

Let me start by apologising for any rubbish you find below - i just landed in pittsburgh for JCDL08. I keep going form hot sweats to shivers depending on if i'm outdoors or in!

Next week is the, what looks to be, exciting first international workshop on collaborative information retrieval. to be clear, the main focus is on teams of people trying to achieve a shared goal, either co-located or distributed, and either at the same time, or asynchronously.

One of the papers sets itself out from the crowd, as far as I am concerned, but also worries me slightly. Instead of delving straight into ideas of communication and task-allocation, one author (who shall remain nameless till after the workshop - but attendees have been asked to read each paper before the event) steps back and asks: what is the definition of collaboration, and how does it differ to/consume cooperation, coordination, and many more similar terms. His paper is clearly well researched and well informed, but the level of model-detail also worries me: how much detail is too much detail on these things, when designing a model. Interfaces that try to differentiate/support each individually could be confusing. The discussion will certainly be valuable, and that and other papers will make a very intersting workshop. stay tuned to hear more about it.

first time for JCDL08!

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