Designing Cooperative Systems

The Use of Theories and Models- Proc. of the 5th Int. Conf. on the Design of Coop. Syst. (COOP’2000)

Dieng-Kuntz, R., Giboin, A., Karsenty, L., De Michelis, G.
Pub. date
January 2000
58 of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISBN print
Artificial Intelligence, Computer & Communication Sciences
€92 / US$102 Excl. VAT
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The main goal of the COOP conferences is to contribute to the solution of problems related to the design of cooperative systems, and to the integration of these systems in organizational settings. The conferences are aimed at helping to improve:

- the comprehension of human-human and human-machine cooperative work processes;

- the development of models of cooperation and cooperative work from different perspectives;

- the development of appropriate design methodologies and of new functionalities for cooperative systems.

The main assumption behind the COOP conferences is that cooperative systems design

requires a deep understanding of the cooperative work of dyads, groups and organizations, involving

both artefacts and social conventions. Many disciplines contribute to the field of cooperative systems design: Psychology, Ergonomics, Linguistics, Computer Sciences (Information Systems, Decision-Making Support, Knowledge Engineering, User Interfaces, Distributed Artificial Intelligence, Sociology, Organizational and Management Sciences.

The previous COOP conferences (1995, 1996, 1998) presented both theoretical, and empirical contributions on such topics as analyses of complex work situations, elaboration of conceptual frameworks for understanding cooperative work, guidelines for modelling

collective activities, methodological elements for cooperative system design, and innovative technological solutions.

The Key Topic of COOP'2000 was: The Use of Theories and Models in Designing Cooperative Systems

Two opposite methodological approaches to co-operative system design can be clearly identified today: a bottom-up approach, known as pragmatic, and a top-down approach, which is based on theories and models. The pragmatic approach consists of rapidly developing a basic device (by prototyping it for example), and then to seek experience feedback to iteratively improve the device.

At the opposite, the theory/model-based approach consists of apprehending the problem with a "theorisation" of the application domain (one that may already exist, or one that needs to be achieved), and to guide the design, and even the product development with this "theorisation". A main objective of the COOP'2000 Conference was:

1) to clarify the reasons why one needs or does not need to use a theory or a model for design,

2) to compare the pragmatic and the theory/model-based approaches, and to identify possible joint points between them,

3) to discuss the relevance of the theories/models with respect to the design of cooperative systems,

4) to better delimit the respective application fields of the various theories/models, and to identify their possible joint points