CSCI 6448

Object Oriented Analysis and Design

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   ECCR 150

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   Tuesday and Thursday
   9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

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   August, 1998
   September 1-9, 1998
   September 10-30, 1998
   October, 1998

Wide Area Collaboration: A Proposed Application

Starting Assumptions

The generation of knowledge has to be done by humans for the foreseeable future.

There are domains where no one person or group can summarize the field, because the domain is changing rapidly or it is a "wicked" problem with conflicting values. A collaborative summary of the state of knowledge/opinion would be useful to many people.

There are domains that have sufficient number of knowledgeable people who will be willing and motivated to contribute to building these summaries. The value of such knowledge is sufficient to induce organizations to invest their human and computer resources.

Supporting technology is necessary to create such collaborative summaries; that technology is feasible now or within the next few years.


Build an application(s) that will support the capturing and structuring of knowledge from a widely distributed and possibly heterogeneous (in knowledge and values) group of users.


Support the various ways that people want to create meaning and structure out of their discourse. Filtering and structuring is needed to keep the discussion intelligible; hierarchy and summary is needed to orient users and prevent information overload.

The roles and responsibilities of the system must be distributed among the participants. Tools are needed for dividing the work among many participants. No centralized authority can be assumed. Commitment and abilities will vary widely among people and will change with time.

Alternative opinions and values about the domain are expected. Different viewpoints should be supported.

The most valuable resource we have is our own time; every effort must be made to make efficient use of it, and to enhance the perception of users that their time investment is worthwhile.

Users are motivated by a combination of peer approval and recognition of their individual contributions, and by participation in a group project with tangible results. The system should support feedback for both kinds of motivation.

Information needs to be persistent as long as it is deemed relevant.

There must be a critical mass of people willing and able to participate.


Create a working group to define requirements and design, and draft communication protocols and message / document structore.

Create prototype, test, iterate.

Publish reference design and implementation, to be freely available with source

using FSF or similar licence.

For more information, take a look at

© Ken Anderson, 1998.
Last Updated: 8/16/00; 2:46:42 PM