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Tom Erickson <[log in to unmask]>
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Tom Erickson <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 28 Nov 2001 06:59:16 -0600
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           A CHI 2002 WORKSHOP

           Discourse Architectures:
           Designing and Visualizing
           Computer-Mediated Conversation

- What: A Workshop on Designing and Visualizing CMC
- Where: CHI 2002, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- When:
      * Submission: Position paper and profile by January 25, 2002
      * Notification: Accept/Reject feedback by February 22, 2002
      * Workshop: Monday, April 21, 2002
- Organizers: Tom Erickson, Susan Herring, Warren Sack

- Thomas Erickson, [log in to unmask]
      IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

- Susan Herring, [log in to unmask]
      School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University

- Warren Sack, [log in to unmask]
      School of Information Management and Systems, UC Berkeley


The goal of this workshop is to examine the issue of coherence in
computer-mediated (text-based) conversation (CMC), and how it can be
visualized graphically. Coherence, broadly defined, is that which in
a discourse connects utterances with utterances, utterances with people,
and people with other people. It is, in short, the "glue" of text and
conversation. Coherence is manifested in and through patterns of
message exchange (including turn-taking, threading, and
cross-posting), citation and other forms of intertextual reference,
and social networks. Visualizations of coherence phenomena take
the form of graphical user interfaces and graphical representations
produced by quantitative and/or qualitative analyses.

In this workshop, we will approach the issue of coherence from two
perspectives: design and analysis. As designers of CMC systems, we
often sense that computer-mediated conversation has a tendency towards
drift, dissolution and chaos, and that participants in CMC have to do
extra work to 'stay on course.' Therefore, we solicit approaches to
designing CMC systems that aim to support participants in achieving
coherence in their conversational interactions. We especially
encourage reports of novel CMC system designs that support coherence,
as well as analyses that visualize ways in which participants have
developed practices that support the achievement of coherence in
conventional CMC systems.

At the same time, as analysts, we recognize that computer-mediated
conversations are often not as chaotic as they appear to the
untrained eye. Coherence lurks below the surface, and we have
developed a wide range of analytical techniques for uncovering and
explicating it. Often these techniques involve diagrams or other
graphical representations of structure (among utterances, persons,
groups, or some combination of these). We solicit descriptions and
demonstrations of analytical techniques for representing coherence
in CMC.

We use the phrase 'Discourse Architectures' as a rubric for both
of these perspectives. That is, we are interested both in the
structure or architecture *of* discourse (the ways in which the
utterances which form a conversation interrelate and build upon one
another), and in architectures *for* discourse (the ways in which CMC
systems can be designed to shape the conversation that takes place
within them).

The basic premise underlying the workshop is that the understandings
of coherence developed by designers and researchers can usefully
inform one another. Analytical representations based on discourse
research and/or theory might, suitably modified, serve as interface
designs, and the interplay between graphical user interfaces and the
achievement of coherence by users might advance research

By January 25th, submit the following (preferably electronically):

1. Submit a position paper of no more than six pages. The paper should
(a) A discussion of your understanding of "coherence", as a theoretical
        or analytical construct, or as a practical result of the use of
        a CMC system.
(b) A description of your approach to analyzing or designing to
        support coherence, applied to a specific CMC system or data
(c) Examples of the graphical representations produced by your approach,
        and some discussion of what they reveal about or how they
        support coherence.

2. The position paper should include, as an appendix, a profile of
        yourself consisting of:
(a) a short biography (no more than 250 words)
(b) the discipline(s) you are situated in
(c) a brief description of your relevant analytical and/or
        design work, with references (URLs preferred)
(d) a pointer to someone else's design or analysis that
         you think is interesting (URLs preferred)

3. Those from outside the HCI community should note that you are
NOT required to pay the conference registration fee if you only want
to attend the workshop. First-time attendees are most welcome.

- On the workshop: contact the organizers
- On CHI 2002:
- For a web-based version of this CFP:

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