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CM30076 / CM30082
Individual Project

Project Ideas

Dr Leon Watts


A collaborative annotation system to support group activity
Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) involves people using technologies to get things done together. Technologies that are explicitly designed to support collaborative work are known as Groupware. This project will design, implement and evaluate a lightweight groupware system for knowledge sharing. It will work by allowing group members to "leave a trail" of notes for one another that (1) refer to and (2) describe web resources, such as images and html documents, with some group purpose in mind. These notes can be thought of as annotations. The tool will organise the trail with reference to group puroposes. Evaluation will be carried out by getting small groups of people to use the tool to complete a set information gathering and problem-solving task or the student's own creation.
Prerequisite Knowledge: Confidence in working with the underlying technologies of the web, including XML; Firefox extensions.
Background Reading: Proceedings of ACM CSCW'04 (available from the ACM Digital Library), http://www.w3.org/Collaboration/, http://del.icio.us/doc/ about, http://www.annotea.org/lifews2004/Annoteabookmarks.html
A behaviour recorder and analyser
Research in all kinds of disciplines typically involves gathering event data in the field. Traffic density is measured by people with clipboards at the side of the road who note down when different kinds of vehicle pass a fixed point. Ethologists record predefined classes of things that animals do, as they do them. Such researchers then examine their time-series data for patterns and regularities. This project would be to research, design, construct and evaluate such a system.
A transcript analysis tool for multiple coding systems
Language is a very rich resource for all kinds of investigation. The things people say matter. However, detailed analysis of transcripts is difficult and very time consuming. Typically, analysts work with a set of codes for statements of different kinds. They then examine their codes for patterns and regularities, along with basic data (number of words in a statement, number of statements, mean duration of speech), to help answer their questions. This project would be to research, design, construct and evaluate such a system.
A force-feedback collaboration game
It is convenient to suppose that collaboration is primarily a cognitive activity; that it involves two or more people thinking through what needs to be done, and then reasoning about the abilities of each person in relation to the proposed course of action. However, some kinds of collaboration are much more dynamic and responsive to the situation. This project would be to design, implement, test and evaluate a force-feedback game in order to examine coordination and action between two people.
Techniques for analysing eyetracker data
Eyetrackers are becoming increasingly popular for determining users' moment-to-moment point of regard on a computer display. Data is typically in the form of x-y coordinates, time of dwell, order of fixation, and extent of pupil dilation. This project would be to research, design, construct and evaluate an analysis package for data exported from a contemporary eyetracker system, to permit Exploratory Sequential Data Analysis (ESDA) and display the results two or more visualizations.