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					 COOP2006 7th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative
                 Systems, Marseille, May 10, 2006

 Cooperative Systems Design:
       Seamless Integration of Artifacts and Conversations -
 Enhanced Concepts of Infrastructure for Communication

     Collaboration: Bad Words and Strong Documents
                         Michael Buckland

                   Summary and powerpoint at

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   All documents are artifacts
         but are all artefacts documents?
   Conversations use words
         but words are problematic.

   Three perspectives:
   1. Looking in: Design of cooperative systems.
   2. Looking out: Documents in society
   3. Looking sideways: Words in documentation.

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 Documents in society
  -- Lawyers and law courts use documents as evidence, as proof.
  -- Educators use documents (textbooks, instructional materials) to
      teach, to empower and diminish teachers.
  -- Scientists use documents (articles, offprints) as the archive of
      achievement and for personal status.
  -- Media specialists and publicists use documents to persuade.
  -- Governments use documents to exercise social control.
  -- Religions use documents for authority and adherence.
  -- Patriots use documents to commemorate and for loyalty.
  -- Artists create documents to inspire and to challenge.
  -- Commerce is based on documented transactions. The transition to
      reliable digital documents is a major challenge in commerce
  -- etc., etc.

 Documents pervade society!

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What is a document?
“Tout indice concret ou symbolique, conservé ou enregristré, aux
fins de représenter, de reconstituter ou de prouver un phénomène
ou physique ou intellectuel.” Suzanne Briet Qu’est-ce que la
documentation (1951; English translation 2006).
“Any concrete or symbolic indexical sign, preserved or recorded
towards the ends of representing, of reconstituting, or of proving a
physical or intellectual phenomenon.”
Is a star a document?
Is a stone in the river a document?
Is an antelope a document?
A phenomenological, semiotic perspective

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                           Elements of a document
   Universe of documents
                            Document -- perceived

                            Document – expressed
                            -- Code, language
                            -- Mode of expression
                            -- Technology

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             1. Phenomenological aspect: Documents are objects perceived
Status       as signifying something. The status of being a “document” is not
             inherent but attributed (given to) an object. Meanings are always
             constructed by observers.
            2. Cultural codes: All forms of expression depend on some
            some shared understandings, language in a broad sense.

            Convergence here is cultural convergence or interpretation.
            3. Media Types: Different type of expression have evolved: Texts,
            images, numbers, diagrams, art …
            4. Physical Media: Paper; film; analog magnetic tape; bits;….

        Anything perceived as a DOCUMENT (=1) has cultural (2), type (3),
        and physical (4) aspects.

                                  Being digital affects directly only aspect 4.

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           Collections of documents need indexing
Documentary languages: Subject headings, classification, etc.

Indexer is forward-looking: Using words for future use:
Briet: “Comme le chien du chasseur – tout à fait en avant, guidé,
guidant” (Like a hunting dog, out in front, guided and guiding).

Indexer is backward-looking: “About X” necessarily refers to past
discussion / dialog / description concerning what is now named X.

Indexing is inscribed in a point in time; time continues. So all indexing
is necessarily obsolescent.

Names and technology: Mention (using this word) is not Meaning
(having this sense).

 . . . and worse!

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    Language evolves differently in different social groups

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                     Dialects and contexts

Ludwig Wittgenstein:
• Language games: meaning is constituted through activity /
  language usage (different contexts)
• Language regions: language games differ in different language
  zones (different dialects)

  Language is disambiguated within contexts and specialized

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 Words and Documentation: Indexing and searching problem

Concept                                                              Space

                              Match!                         Text

                 Search                       Document
                Statement                   Representation
 •   Mapping between searcher’s words and indexing system terms
 •   Mapping between author’s words and indexing terminology
 •   Mapping between search query and document metadata
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Individuals from different communities need different help

                        Did you mean…

             Search                                             Specialty

               Specialty Term                    Specialty
               Specialty Term
               Specialty Term
               Specialty Term                     Information Collection
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Exploratory Search Interfaces: Medical specialties

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Performance of Search Term Recommender: Ohsumed
                           Ohsumed specialties and general STR
                                                          Individual Specialty STRs
        0.6                                               General STR

                                                                                       First 3


        0.3                                                                            Recall: 26%

        0.2                                                                            Precision: 25.6%

                 0   0.1       0.2       0.3 Recall 0.4     0.5       0.6        0.7

  Recall and precision at 10 cut-off levels for specialty and general
  search term recommenders (averaged over 33 specialties) in the
  Ohsumed collection.
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Exploratory search term interfaces in different discourses

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Effect on retrieval of using specialists’ words in Inspec. Four degrees of
   specialization: Entire data base -- Computers & Control -- Computer
   Hardware -- Circuits & Devices.

                            Four levels of specificity in the Inspec collection
                                                                         Sub-sub specialty STR
                0.6                                                      Sub-specialty STR
                                                                         Specialty STR
                                                                         General STR





                      0.0    0.1          0.2   Recall 0.3         0.4            0.5       0.6

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Exploratory Search Interfaces by Vivien Petras
Inspec: Physics, engineering, computing, control
Medline (Ohsumed)

Acknowledgements: This presentation draws on the work of
  Robert Fairthorne, Fredric Gey, Ray Larson, Vivien Petras,
  Patrick Wilson, and others and the support of the U.S.
  Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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                      See also:


                       Thank you!

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