Coordination and Communication Protocols for Synchronous Groupware: A Formal Approach

J. Gallardo and C. Bravo (Spain)


Groupware, Collaboration protocols, Formal Methods, Human-Computer Interaction.


The design and implementation of groupware is very complex in contrast with traditional single-user systems. This complexity increases when these systems have to support distributed synchronous collaboration. In this article we contribute to reduce this complexity by studying processes of low-level coordination and structured communication following the approach of collaboration protocols, and by specifying them at different levels using formal and descriptive methods. Collaboration protocols are in this way design and interaction patterns: they represent the proposal of a solution to the common problem of supporting coordination and communication mechanisms in synchronous groupware. Such a solution, including a collaborative user interface, can be implemented as a component. Both the building blocks (the components) and the patterns allow the reuse of experience and of previous development efforts, making the groupware development improve.

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