Knowledge trading : computational support for individual and collaborative sense-making activities
Keel, Paul Erich.
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This dissertation explores the potential for computational systems to analyze and support individual and collaborative human sense-making activities. In this context human sense-making refers to the act of mentally and physically relating pieces of information so as to develop an understanding of a particular situation. Human sense-making activities such as brainstorming, decision-making, and problem solving sessions often produce a lot of data such as notes, sketches, and documents. The participants of sense-making activities usually develop a good understanding of the relations among these individual data items. These relations define the context. Because the relations remain within the minds of the participants they are neither accessible to outsiders and computational systems nor can they be recorded or backed up. This dissertation outlines a first set of computational mechanisms that construct relations from the spatial arrangement, use, and storage of data items. A second set of computational mechanisms takes advantage of these relations by helping users to keep track of, search for, exchange, arrange, and visualize data items. The computational mechanisms are both adaptive and evocative, meaning that the computational mechanisms dynamically adapt to users and changing circumstances while also trying to influence the human sense-making process.
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