A Review of Patterns in Collaborative Work

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A Review of Patterns in Collaborative Work

  1. 1. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grACM 2010 International Conference on Supporting Group Work A Review of Patterns in Collaborative Work Yiannis Verginadis Nikos Papageorgiou Dimitris Apostolou Gregoris Mentzas Information Management Unit Institute of Communication and Computer Systems National Technical University of Athens
  2. 2. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.gr Overview of presentation  Introduction  Survey of Patterns Approaches  Discussion  Collaboration Patterns Assistant
  3. 3. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grIntroduction Collaboration is a critical business function that demands skills and knowledge, spanning a wide range of domains (including social, business and technical domains). Due to the dynamic nature of Group Working environments, the reuse of segments of collaborative work (Collaboration Patterns) can constitute an advantage. With this Review, we try to evaluate and categorize relevant research and commercial pattern efforts in order to detect any shortcomings or possible improvements / new directions of research towards facilitating collaboration through patterns.
  4. 4. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grConcept of Patterns the word Pattern has appeared almost entirely due to the work of Christopher Alexander in architecture. he defined a pattern as a “morphological law that explains how to design an artifact in order to solve a problem in a specific context”. [Alexander et al., 1977] the first notable publication in the context of software engineering was the book "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object- Oriented Software" by the so-called Gang of Four [Gamma et al., 1995], that advanced the popularity of patterns in computer science.
  5. 5. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grThe Role of Patterns in Facilitating Collaboration Although organizations seem to invest increasingly in collaboration tools, they still lack knowledge on how to leverage such tools effectively. Collaborating partners may find the collaboration tools easy to operate, but they cannot typically use their full potential. Moreover, they cannot readily identify what the best collaboration practice is, when to embark on such a practice and how to facilitate it using available tools. To alleviate problems in collaborative work and to encourage the sustained use of collaboration tools in organizations, patterns have been exploited as models for repeatable processes for recurring high-value collaborative tasks.
  6. 6. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.gr Overview of presentation  Introduction  Survey of Patterns Approaches  Discussion  Collaboration Patterns Assistant
  7. 7. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grSurvey of Patterns Approaches Relevant toCollaboration (1/2) Collaboration Patterns in Virtual Communities (CoP), (de Moor et al., 2006) Collaboration Engineering  Thinklets, (Briggs, 2003), (Kolfschoten et al., 2006)  Collaboration Patterns in Knowledge Management, (Qureshi et al., 2004) Event Patterns, (Chakravarty et al., 2008), (Barros & Singh, 2007), (Rapide, 1997) Workflow and Process Patterns  Workflow Patterns, (van der Aalst et al.,2003, 2005)  Patterns for Business Process Management, (Atwood, 2006)  Patterns for Business Object Frameworks, (Barros et al., 2004)  Patterns for Inter-Organisational Business Processes, (Norta et al., 2006), Grefen (2006)  MIT Process Handbook Pattern Model, (Malone et al., 2003)  Action Patterns in Business Process Models, (Smirnov et al., 2009) Activity Patterns, (IBM, 2005), (Geyer et al., 2006) Interaction Patterns  Service Interaction Patterns, (Barros et al., 2005)  Collaborative Interactive Applications Patterns, (Molina et al., 2006)  Interaction Patterns from SNA, (Dustdar et al., 2007)  Action Patterns in Virtual Collaboration, (Biuk-Aghai et al., 2005)
  8. 8. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grSurvey of Patterns Approaches Relevant toCollaboration (2/2) Patterns for Collaborative Working Environments, (Pattberg and Flügge, 2007), (Eace, 2005) Knowledge Flow Patterns, (Sarnikar et al., 2007) e-Business Patterns (Zhao et al., 2007) CPats (Verginadis et al., 2009) Pattern Languages & Ontologies  Pattern Neighbourhoods, ConEngine, (Arevalo et al., 2004)  Pattern Language Mark-up Language (PLML), (Fincher et al., 2003)  Patterns Relations in CoPE, (Schuemmer, 2003)  GAMA, (Schuemmer and Lukosch, 2007)  Task Pattern Markup Language, (Gaffar et al., 2004)  Usability Patterns (Henninger and Ashokkumar, 2006)  Business Function Object Patterns, (OMG, 2004)
  9. 9. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.gr Overview of presentation  Introduction  Survey of Patterns Approaches  Discussion  Collaboration Patterns Assistant
  10. 10. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grComparative Review of Pattern Efforts
  11. 11. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.gr Characteristics Used for the Review (1/5) Model  for portraying a formal or informal modeling mechanism for patterns  We found that  the majority of researchers and commercial developers use a structured descriptive mechanism (e.g.tabular format) for imprinting patterns,  just three efforts use only text for describing patterns (i.e. Patterns for BOF),  only six efforts present a complete model using a structured descriptive mechanism combined with an ontology (e.g. Cpats). Language  for capturing the approach taken for encoding the description of patterns  We found that  five of the approaches examined do not provide a formal language (e.g. Thinklets)  the majority introduces a formal language (e.g. Pattern Language Mark-up Language ) often based on an ontology (e.g. Activity Patterns),  less than half of the approaches use a graphical notation to give a visual overview of the designed patterns (e.g. Business Function Object Patterns) to collaboration designers, facilitators and users.
  12. 12. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grCharacteristics Used for the Review (2/5) Categorization  for pattern approaches: based on pattern objective/function and based on pattern granularity  We found that  in most approaches categorization is based on collaboration objective or function (e.g. Collaboration Patterns in Virtual Communities),  seven approaches present a categorization based on pattern granularity (e.g. Usability Patterns),  just four approaches try to adopt both styles of categorization (e.g. Patterns for Collaborative Working Environments). Collaboration  is a key consideration of our survey.  We found that  the majority of the examined approaches consider collaboration as their main focus; in some cases collaboration may even span across organizational boundaries,  nine of them are considered to be able to support collaborations (e.g. Workflow Patterns) but have not been motivated by the collaboration needs at least in their early phases of their work.
  13. 13. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grCharacteristics Used for the Review (3/5) Interaction  to depict whether an approach supports human tasks, services or both.  We found that  most of the examined approaches focus on patterns on a service interaction level (e.g. Service Interaction Patterns),  seven approaches focus on human-to-human interaction (e.g. Patterns in CoPE) without taking under consideration the services that may be involved in a collaborative work,  only six approaches try to cover human and service interactions simultaneously (e.g. e-Business Patterns) in an effort to establish a complete supporting mechanism for facilitating both humans and services in the context of collaboration. Target User  to focus on the actual beneficiary of the pattern  We found that  the focus of the majority of the approaches is on the designer or the facilitator of the collaboration (e.g. Patterns for Inter-Organisational Business Processes),  only five of the pattern approaches that were examined, focus both on the designer and the participant (e.g. CPats).
  14. 14. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grCharacteristics Used for the Review (4/5) Contribution  in order to portray the vision on how patterns should be used.  We found that  The majority of efforts aim to support pattern mining as ‘guide of best practices’ or as comparative elements between the design and the actual collaborative work (e.g. MIT Process Handbook),  Only five approaches involve patterns that can actually be executed by some kind of engine (e.g. Workflow Patterns, CPats). Distribution  to capture the boundaries of collaboration.  most approaches cover interactions or collaborations that are located both inside a group or an organization and can also span these limited boundaries (e.g. Activity Patterns),  just five efforts are focused mainly on intra-organisational/group interactions (e.g. Patterns in CoPE).
  15. 15. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.gr Characteristics Used for the Review (5/5) Knowledge  to position efforts based on their focus to acquire, distribute and manage knowledge based aspects of collaboration (e.g. knowledge flows, knowledge artefacts) with the use of patterns.  We found that  one third of the examined approaches (e.g. Cpats) is able to capture knowledge related to collaborations,  one third can support aspects of knowledge based collaborations (but it was not their main focus) ,  the remaining one third cannot integrate knowledge elements in their approach (e.g. Service Interaction Patterns). Event-Aware  for capturing whether the approach can be aware of the collaboration state by means of event detection and processing  We found that  the majority of approaches do not provide an event-aware mechanism,  only four of them take under consideration the change of states in order to recommend or detect a pattern (e.g. CPats).
  16. 16. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grResults (1/2) We have detected two broad dimensions of work in existing efforts.  The first dimension distinguishes between approaches that detect/mine patterns in order to identify differentiations from established best practices and propose corrective actions, mainly to the designer/facilitator, and approaches that aim to directly assist participants.  The second dimension distinguishes between approaches that require manual intervention in order to be operable and ones that can provide automatic support to participants.
  17. 17. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grResults (2/2)  We argue on shifting the attention towards  directly assisting participants in automatic ways and developing new tools that can proactively recommend corrective actions in ongoing collaborations.  ontological structures of collaboration patterns that will:  allow the specification of sound and complete conceptual models  enable the processing of rich social interactions and facilitate additional functionalities, such as mining and recommendation of appropriate collaboration tasks  to allow the full exploitation potential of the social semantic web
  18. 18. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.gr Overview of presentation  Introduction  Survey of Patterns Approaches  Discussion  Collaboration Patterns Assistant
  19. 19. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grCollaboration Patterns (CPats) For a solid and unambiguous description of Collaboration Patterns, we present a model that captures the important aspects of a CPat.
  20. 20. The CollaborationICCS of NTUA Assistant Information Management Unit / Patterns www.imu.iccs.gr
  21. 21. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grCPA’s Technical Implementation
  22. 22. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.grCPA Screenshots CPats the User Selected to Participate in Events Related to All the Active CPats of a VO According to the Assignments by Main CPA Area for: the CPat Initiator Collaboration (based on Actionlist or Wf), CPat Configuration, CPat According to the Details Collaboration State Collaboration (Pre-Conditions & Triggers) Activities Pending for a Specific Participant per CPat
  23. 23. Information Management Unit / ICCS of NTUA www.imu.iccs.gr Thank you for your attention!!!

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