06. – 08. April 1992, Dagstuhl-Seminar 9215

Distributed Cooperation in Integrated Information Systems


C.A. Ellis, M. Jarke

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Increasingly, information systems are being viewed as communication media among cooperating people rather than simply stores for large sets of data. The computer becomes a generalization of the telephone rather than of the pocket calculator. This may have a fundamental impact not only on the way how we design and implement information systems but also how we need to educate students.

The topic area of this workshop was highly interdisciplinary. It joined the expertise of cooperative work researchers and computer scientists to study specifically the impact of cooperation on computer science and practice, focusing on distributed information systems: What are the challenges to computer science resulting from viewing information systems as cooperation media? What are the new technical ideas suggested by the approach for solving difficult questions of information systems integration and evolution? Do we need to change the way how we educate computer scientists so that they can better address the hard system and application management questions of today and tomorrow?

"Intelligent and cooperative information systems" (ICIS) denotes a new generation of information systems intended as socio-technical systems to support human-machine cooperation. Dynamic change and exception handling are ubiquitous in such systems. Consensus-seeking through coordination as well as diversity through explicit conflict management should be supported. After an introduction into the technological, conceptual, and industrial background of computer-supported teamwork, specific working groups studied process and coordination models, group user interfaces, and repositories in their role as an organizational memory. Panel discussions explored problems of research agendas, technology transfer, and education. Participants found the interdisciplinary discussions strenuous but challenging.

The workshop continued the series of ICIS workshops organized by Mike Brodie and John Mylopoulos, begun with the Niagara workshop on development methods for ICIS (April 1991) and continued with the Como workshop on ICIS Core Technology (October 1991). The ICIS Workshop Series is sponsored by the ESPRIT program of the European Community, by the US National Science Foundation, and by the Canadian National Science and Engineering Research Council. Full proceedings with extended position papers are available from M. Jarke.

Thanks to the SchloB Dagstuhl team who, combined with perfect weather, provided a stimulating environment for our discussions.


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