CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Requirements and Architecture for a Group Memory in the Any-Time/Any-Place Domain of Computer Supported Cooperative Work

Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Laurie Dringus

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

W. Shane Bruce

Abstract

When workers are separated in time and space, but have to cooperate in solving a business problem, there is a need for computer-based support to assist the group in remembering group decisions, past activities, current assignments and on-going conversations about the work in progress. Computer technology can provide a repository that allows group members to record and retrieve this type of information from a central system. This dissertation has focused on the system requirements for this type of group memory in the Any-Time/Any-Place domain of computer-supported cooperative work.

A set of requirements for a central system to support distributed group work has been developed. The consolidated requirements have been documented in a requirements specification. This specification has refined the system designs presented in the published literature. The requirements developed were used to produce a software reference architecture for an Any-Time/Any-Place group memory system. The reference architecture that resulted from the consolidated requirements was validated through comparison with representative implementations documented in the published literature of cooperative work. Functional mappings from the reference architecture to the validation instantiations have shown that the reference architecture represents the class of systems that support group memory.

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