Call for Participation

The Fourth International Workshop on Collaborative Editing

ACM CSCW 2002, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

November 16, 2002

Workshop Program



Collaborative editing systems support a group of people editing a document collaboratively over the computer network. People may work on the same document simultaneously (synchronous) or at different times (asynchronous). The document types include text, diagrams, more complicated graphic objects, images, CAD drawings, multimedia, etc. The major benefits of collaborative editing include reducing task completion time and distributed collaboration.

Challenging issues faced in collaborative editing range from technical to social. Technical issues are concerned with system and algorithm design to solve distributed system problems. Some of the issues developers need to resolve are concurrency control, distributed object identification and user initiated undo etc. Social issues in collaborative editing range from low level implementation issues, such as how to deal with conflicts, intermediate level issues such as the extent and timing of sharing of individual work, to high level questions about how collaborative editing should function.

Collaborative editing shares a lot of similarities with other interactive multi-user applications such as database systems, multi-player games, shared whiteboard and collaborative virtual environments, etc. In their abstract form, these applications all maintain a global state, and multiple users edit the global state by issue operations. Hence, some of the technical and social issues in collaborative editing can be applicable to other multi-user applications and vice versa.

This workshop builds on the success of similar workshops at Groupí99, CSCW 2000 and Group 2001. The Groupí99 workshop focused on algorithms and consistency maintenance. The CSCW 2000 workshop included more issues of usability. The Group 2001 workshop focused on the people and organizational issues in developing collaborative documents. In this workshop, we would like to have a more in depth discussion regarding the usage scenarios of collaborative editing.  A scenario is composed of factors such as the nature of the work, the document type, and the environment etc. A collaborative editing system, if used in a suitable scenario, can be a very powerful tool. However, collaborative editing is not suitable for all group editing scenarios. So identifying (or hypothesizing) and categorizing the scenarios which are suitable for collaborative editing (and which ones are not) is an important step in the development of collaborative editing.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from various backgrounds having interest in collaborative editing. We invite contributions from experts in the area of distributed computing, human-computer interaction, and social science. Furthermore, we also encourage participation from users who are in need of such systems to discuss their usage scenarios and requirements.



Topics of interest for this workshop include but are not limited to the following:

         Concurrency control and consistency maintenance in group editors.

         Undo of group operations.

         Usability studies of group editors and human factors.

         Social aspects of collaborative editing.

         Scenarios for collaborative editing.

         Application of group editing techniques and algorithms in distributed applications.

         Organizational and workflow requirements and issues associated with collaborative editing.



Participants should prepare a one or two page position statement focusing on topics for discussion during the workshop. Participants may also submit a 4 to 8 page working paper pertaining to their research area for presentation and discussion during the workshop. Papers should be formatted using the standard ACM SIGCHI format and should include an abstract of no more than 150 words. All submissions should be sent to David Chen,, by 16th September 2002. Accepted papers will be published in a special issue of Collaborative Computing in IEEE Distributed Systems Online.

While everyone is encouraged to submit a position or working paper, other participants will be accepted on a space available basis. The expected number of participants is around 15.


Important Dates


Web References



The organizers have experience in organizing the three prior collaborative editing workshops in ACMís Group 1999, 2001 and CSCW 2000 conferences.

Dr David Chen is a Lecturer at the School of Computing & Information Technology, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. He received his Ph.D. from Griffith University in 2001. Before he rejoined Griffith University in 2002, he worked as a Technology Research Officer (team leader) and Software Engineer in a company called ActivSky Pty Ltd. He has been conducting research in the area of CSCW, particularly in collaborative editing systems, for more than 6 years. He is involved in the design and development of two collaborative editing systems: REDUCE and GRACE. His research interests include collaborative computing, computer networks, cryptography, distributed systems, computer systems architecture, and multimedia.

Dr. Clarence (Skip) A. Ellis is Professor of Computer Science and Co-Director of the Collaboration Technology Research Group at the University of Colorado. At Colorado, he is a member of the Systems Software Lab, and the Institute for Cognitive Science. He is involved in research and teaching of groupware, coordination theory, and operating systems. Dr. Ellis has worked as a researcher and developer at MCC, Xerox PARC, Bull Corp, Bell Telephone Labs, IBM, Los Alamos Scientific Labs, and Argonne National Lab. His academic experience includes teaching at Stanford University, MIT, University of Texas, Stevens Institute of Technology, and at Chiaotung University in China under an AFIPS overseas teaching fellowship.

Dr. Du Li is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science Department, Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. degree in 2000 from the Department of Computer Science, UCLA. His research areas include CSCW, Middleware, Programming Languages, Logic Programming, and Database Systems, with a focus on collaboration modeling and infrastructure support. He chaired the second international workshop on collaborative editing systems in the CSCW'00 conference. He is on the papers committee of CSCW'02. He received an NSF CAREER award in 2003. His PhD thesis developed COCA which is a framework for modeling synchronous collaboration. His recent work includes end-user programming of collaboration protocols and developing collaborative editing systems through transparent sharing of familiar single-user editors.

Dr. Matthias Ressel is a Senior Developer at the Java Engineering in the IT section of the UBS AG, Basel, Switzerland. In the framework of a cooperation he is currently located at the Institute for Computer Science of the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Developing algorithms for consistency maintenance and group undo were part of his doctoral thesis which he finished in 1997 at the University of Stuttgart. He has worked for several national and international research projects in the areas of workflow and collaborative multimedia authoring. His areas of expertise and interest include object-oriented programming, human-computer as well as human-computer-human interaction, and distributed collaborative real-time groupware. He teaches CSCW and software ergonomy.

Dr. Chengzheng Sun is a Professor (Chair of Internet Computing) in the School of Computing & Information Technology, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Before joining Griffith University in 1993, he had worked in Changsha Institute of Technology, University of Amsterdam, Phillips Research Labs Eindhoven, and ACE in Amsterdam, for over 15 years in the areas of distributed and parallel computing systems. His current research interests include: collaborative computing systems and CSCW; Internet computing technologies and applications; and distributed operating systems and computer networks. Dr Sun has been the leader and chief investigator of REDUCE-related projects since 1994, and he was one of the co-chairs of the first international workshop on collaborative editing.