Paper presentation at COOP2006

Today, I presented my PhD research at COOP2006. It as called "The Underwhelming Effects of Location-Awareness of Others on Collaboration in a Pervasive Game" (Nicolas NOVA, Fabien GIRARDIN, Gaëlle MOLINARI and Pierre DILLENBOURG).

Abstract. In this paper we seek to empirically study the use of location-awareness of others in the context of mobile collaboration. We report on a field experiment carried out using a pervasive game we developed called CatchBob!. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, we show the underwhelming effects of automating location-awareness. Our results indeed shows that automating this process does not necessarily improve the task performance and that it can be detrimental to socio-cognitive processes involved in collaboration such as communication or the modeling of partners’ intents. The paper concludes with some potential impacts for location-based application practitioners.

Keywords: location-awareness, socio-cognitive processes, pervasive game, cscw, field experiment.

This paper can be downloaded here. Some interesting comments had been made about new possible conditions to be tested (having one player who has the location-awareness tool and not the two others; having a crossed repartition of the subjects for example). Of course, I still have some people who are unhappy by the fact that I controlled my sample, having only people who know each others and who know the campus but that's life... I understand that they don't like experimental research but hey... Some have pointed out the fact that the study shows how communication is important and how it's very different from broadcasting information. There was also a good discussion about the neverending debate concerning "awareness": is it knowledge? information? is it about being conscious of a phenomenon or just being aware of it (even though the word "awareness" is based on the english word, sometimes it's not taken as such by some scholars). Finally, I was encouraged to keep looking at the qualitative data, in terms of coordination information, which is actually what I am heading towards in the next month.