Research Group for Applied Software Engineering
Forschungsgruppe für Angewandte Softwaretechnik

Awareness Builder

Distributed software development has become a fact of life for many organizations. While the current telecommunication infrastructures support cheap and effective data sharing and communication

An environment that helps the participants become aware of the activities of others in spite of physical separation can increase group cohesion and thus improve communication. We propose a system called Awaren

ABX will enable the participants of distributed software development projects to monitor the activities of others over a wide range of artifacts (e.g., system artifacts, organizational charts, or rationale models). Participants can subscribe to be notified when specific system artifacts are modified, when specific participants trigger an activity, or when participants trigger activities related to specific issues. Relationships among the system, organizational, and rationale models are then used to provide observers a context to interpret the activities of others. By providing context in terms of issues (as opposed to only system or communication artifacts), we hope to disseminate richer and more targeted awareness information, hence creating more opportunities for informal information exchanges and for distributed collaboration.

ABX is currently under development. This summer, after the implementation is completed, we plan to perform a series of short studies with a limited number of students to calibrate the system.Those studies will

The calibrated system will then be used by the participants of our next distributed project course ARENA (October 2002 - February 2003), where we will study the impact of increased awareness.