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|Title: ||Defining the mechanisms of a cooperative computer system based on theories of cooperation|
|Authors: ||Chui, Yoon Ping|
|Keywords: ||Knowledge based expert systems|
|Issue Date: ||1994|
|Publisher: ||© Yoon Ping Chui|
|Abstract: ||There is a growing interest in the development of computer systems that are
actively involved in the tasks of the users and serve to augment the users' creativity.
Cooperative computing is a major contribution to this research field. A survey of current
developments in knowledge based systems led to the conclusion that there has
hitherto been an absence of a formal definition of the mechanisms of cooperative
computer systems based on theories of cooperation. The work in this thesis seeks to
provide a full definition of cooperation derived from the behaviours of living cooperative
Studies on human cooperation and cooperation in the animal kingdom, established
that cooperation is a dynamic behaviour; in that the interaction processes
between the cooperative partners serve to facilitate the achievement of a common
goal, or a set of goals that are mutually desired by the partners. Partners in cooperation
are interdependent: one member's actions are contingent on another. Therefore,
the underlying processes which induce and maintain cooperation were identified.
These are: communication between the partners; emergence of norms and roles governing
the behaviour of the cooperating members; resolution of conflicts; distributed
and coordinated activities. These factors were further elucidated within the context of
small problem solving groups. A model of cooperationw hich encapsulatedth esef actors
was produced. From the discussionso f the advantageso f cooperationw ithin different
contexts, the potential for synergy was found to be the main benefit of
cooperation. The potential for achieving this synergy between a human and a
computer is the main motivation for the work undertaken in this research.
From the theoretical analysis of cooperation, the underlying mechanisms of a
cooperative computer were successfully defined. A conceptual model of human-computer
cooperation was presented. It was established that the quality of cooperation is
closely associated with the nature of the task. Therefore, it is not practicable to
produce a general purpose cooperative system. A specific task must be used. Creative
tasks of a problem identifying and solving nature, were found to be more suitable
to cooperative behaviour than others. Typical of these, and the one selected, was
computer screen design. Current screen design practice was analysed, and the
functional requirements and knowledge base needs of the systems were established.
The underlying mechanisms of cooperation were formalised and successfully
implemented within a software exemplar, named COSY. COSY exhibits the behavioural
characteristics of cooperation, and utilises the knowledge of screen design to
support users in the task of formatting computer screens. COSY successfully
demonstrated the synergistic relationship in its cooperation with the users.
It is concluded that the approach undertaken in this thesis has lead to a successful
definition and implementation of the formal mechanisms of cooperation in a computer
system, one which potentially enhances the innovative and creative aspects of
|Description: ||A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD Theses (Computer Science)|
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