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Volume 14 / Issue 1

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-014-01-0004


The Trade-Offs of Blending Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication Services to Support Contextual Collaboration

Werner Geyer (IBM T.J. Watson Research, USA)

Roberto S. Silva Filho (University of California Irvine, USA)

Beth Brownholtz (IBM T.J. Watson Research, USA)

David F. Redmiles (University of California Irvine, USA)

Abstract: Contextual collaboration seamlessly integrates existing groupware technologies into a uniform user experience that combines synchronous and asynchronous interactions. This user experience is usually supported by a collaboration infrastructure that needs to efficiently cope with the fast switching and integration of different modes of interaction. In this paper, we study a model for contextual collaboration that supports multiple modalities of collaboration. Our model is based on generic shared objects that provide building blocks for supporting contextual collaboration applications. We describe a native implementation of this model and evaluate its behavior under different media traffic conditions. We compare the native implementation with an alternative implementation that integrates existing notification and meeting servers to deliver the same model behavior. We discuss trade-offs and limitations of those two implementations.

Keywords: CSCW, architecture, asynchronous collaboration, groupware, notification, simulation, synchronous collaboration

Categories: H.3.4, H.4.3, H.5.3, I.6.0