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Lindsley G. Boiney, Bradley Goodman, Robert Gaimari, Jeffrey Zarrella, Christopher Berube, & Janet Hitzeman. (2008). Taming multiple chat room collaboration: Real-time visual cues to social networks and emerging threads. In B. V. de W. F. Fiedrich (Ed.), Proceedings of ISCRAM 2008 – 5th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 660–668). Washington, DC: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: Distributed teams increasingly rely on collaboration environments, typically including chat, to link diverse experts for real time information sharing and decision-making. Current chat-based technologies enable easy exchange of information, but don't focus on managing those information exchanges. Important cues that guide face-to-face collaboration are either lost or missing. In some military environments, operators may juggle over a dozen chat rooms in order to collaborate on complex missions. This often leads to confusion, overload, miscommunication and delayed decisions. Our technology supports chat management. A summary display bar reduces the number of chat rooms operators need open by providing high level situational awareness pointers, in real-time, to: a) rooms with increasing message activity levels, b) rooms in which important collaborators are participating (those in the operator's social network), and c) rooms in which operator-selected keywords are used. This ability to peripherally monitor less critical chat rooms reduces operator overload, while enhancing the ability to rapidly detect important emerging discussion threads. © 2008 The MITRE Corporation. All rights reserved.