SUPPORTING TRANSACTIVE MEMORY SYSTEMS IN DISTRIBUTED GEOCOLLABORATION

Open Access
Author:
Mancuso, Vincent Francis
Graduate Program:
Information Sciences and Technology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 18, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Dr Mike Mc Neese, Thesis Advisor
  • Michael Mc Neese, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Decision Making
  • GeoTMS
  • Distributed Teams
  • geocollaboration
  • transactive memory
  • GIS
  • NeoCITIES
  • awareness
  • common ground
  • team mental models
  • think-aloud
  • HCI
Abstract:
As technology continues to grow and evolve the systems used to collaborate have found new and better ways to assist distributed teams. Systems are now much more complex and can support an indefinitely large number of collaborators, from anywhere in the world, doing any imaginable task. While the systems keep getting more and more complex, and seemingly better and better, humans have yet to truly adapt to these new, virtual, environments. Many of the things that are taken for granted in face-to-face collaborations are completely absent from distributed teamwork. One such of this is transactive memory systems, which are simply, the knowledge of who knows what. While these transactive memory systems are formed easily in face-to-face communication, there has yet to be support for them in a virtual environment. In order to better understand how transactive memory may work, this thesis explores other domains in which distributed group work is common: 1. Awareness 2. Common Ground 3. Team Mental Models Based on this review of other domains, this thesis proposes a set of design requirements that may be useful in fulfilling the requirements of a transactive memory system. These design requirements are based on a multidisciplinary research approach and provide a generic set of heuristics that can be used in a multitude of systems. Based on these design requirements a system for GeoCollaboration called GeoTMS was designed. This system is explicitly designed to be a front end plug-in for other systems and datasets. It utilizes a new system architecture which will allow programmers to easily and seamlessly integrate it into their own systems. For usability and demonstration purposes, GeoTMS was attached to the NeoCITIES Simulation Engine. This system allowed GeoTMS to be tested across graduate students to better understand the interactions and usability within the interface. This thesis summarizes the results of these studies providing an overview of the system integration and the methods for analysis. Based on these studies, future design and research directions are proposed for the GeoTMS Interaction Environment.