Our workshop had the following six presenters and a good discussion at the end with all the audience. A summary of the discussion will follow; below I include the abstracts and bios of that presenters.
An Integrative Framework for Developing and Employing Interactive Digital Media
John Connolly is the Professor and Chair of the Department and Director of the new Cognitive Science of Language program. He is a member of MiNDS (the McMaster Institute for Neuroscience Discovery & Study) and an Associate Member of the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB) at McMaster. He is Professeur associé, Université de Montréal, Departement de psychologie and Chercheur – directeur de laboratoire, Université de Montréal, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Centre de recherche (CRIUGM). He is an Affiliated Scientist of the Institute for Biodiagnostics of the National Research Council of Canada. His major area of investigation is the cognitive neuroscience of language with emphasis on the use of brain imaging techniques in the study of phonology, orthography, and semantics. His research includes applications to brain injury with reference to the vegetative state, locked-in syndrome and coma. This work focuses on developing brain imaging tools to enable the assessment of cognitive functioning in patients who are unable to use language to communicate. Aspects of this research have been patented and are in further development. His teaching focuses on linguistics and the brain, language disorders, and alternative communication strategies.
Interactive digital media (IDM) applications have grown rapidly in strategic value and IDM is the emerging social fabric of society. IDM applications are highly complex, required to run on varied and combined platforms and may be embedded into devices. They must also be highly dependable when used in critical applications as often encountered in health care settings. When creating or using IDM products, it must be recognized that information comes from disparate domains, each having its own vocabulary and knowledge capture process. We describe here the development of a comprehensive framework to address information from a variety of domains ranging from fine arts and education to cognitive neuroscience applications in advanced health technologies. Examples from education and health tech will be used to illustrate our proposed framework.
A Hierarchy Of Engagement for Virtual Worlds
Paul R. Messinger (http://www.business.ualberta.ca/pmessinger/) is Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Alberta School of Business and IBM Faculty Fellow in the Centre for Advanced Studies program at the IBM Toronto Laboratory. He has recently served as Principle Investigator of the Research Alliance “Harnessing the Web-Interaction Cycle for Canadian Competitiveness” for the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Director of the University of Alberta School of Retailing, and Director of the Canadian Institute of Retailing and Services. Paul’s research focuses on e-commerce, 3D mediated virtual worlds, service science, emerging retail formats, dynamic pricing, and recommendation systems; his publication outlets include Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Journal of Business Research, and Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services.
To help conceptualize how virtual worlds enable enhanced forms of communications to consumers, we introduce a conceptual framework, which we call a hierarchy of engagement in advertising communications. Virtual worlds facilitate deeper levels of engagement in this hierarchy, and, in this presentation, we describe, from a practical standpoint, how to manage the traditional elements of advertising campaigns—message, media, timing, intensity, and budget—in the context of virtual worlds to help achieve deeper levels of engagement, which can lead to greater brand recall and loyalty. To assist with selection of virtual worlds in which to conduct communication campaigns, we have developed a typology of virtual worlds, which we illustrate with descriptions of some extant virtual worlds. We conclude with a description of needed future work to harness virtual worlds for customer engagement.
Using Virtual Worlds for Distributed Meetings
Kelly Lyons is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Before that, she was the Program Director of the IBM Toronto Lab Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS), in which capacity she has collaborated on research projects in the areas of data management, collaboration, distance education, privacy, social computing, and services science. Her current research interests include services science, social computing, data management, and business intelligence, focusing on technologies, work practices, and business models that support and mediate human-to-human interactions in services. She holds a cross-appointment with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, is a member of the University of Toronto’s Knowledge Media Design Institute, is a member of the Board of Management of the Centre for Communication and Information Technology (CCIT), a division of OCE, Inc, is an IBM Faculty Fellow, a Member-at-Large of the ACM Council, and an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University and at York University. She is very interested in promoting Women in Technology initiatives and has given several presentations to young people and teachers on this topic.
With the increase in globalization, an increasing number of companies conduct business across distance. Companies are distributed across geographic boundaries and time zones, and many individual knowledge workers are working from home or, otherwise, telecommute. Companies are choosing to save money by reducing the number of meetings involving travel and are further motivated by a desire to reduce their carbon footprints. With more and more teams and work groups geographically distributed with few opportunities to meet face-to-face, there is an increasing reliance on technology to mediate and support meetings that must take place over distance. Past research has identified several issues with and shortcomings of current technology that supports distributed meetings. In this talk, we summarize those issues and then describe the result of interviews with 23 corporate users of virtual worlds that shows how the use of virtual worlds for distributed meetings may overcome some of the problems associated with other kinds of technologies used to support meetings over distance.
Modular Synthetic Training Research Evaluation and Extrapolation Tool (mSTREET)
Bill Kapralos is an Assistant Professor in the Game Development and Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Bill received his Ph.D from York University where he investigated the development of sound synthesis techniques inspired by image synthesis and optics-based methods to model the acoustics of an environment in an efficient manner for dynamic virtual environment/reality applications. His current research interests include: real-time acoustical modeling and 3D (spatial) sound generation for virtual environments and video games, multi-modal virtual environments/reality, the perception of auditory events, and serious games (videogames whose primary purpose is education and training) and more specifically, examining the factors that lead to a maximum transfer of knowledge and retention. He is currently involved in a variety of serious games initiatives including those for the training of accountants, community health nurses, critical care providers, orthopedic and cardiac surgeons. He has held various teaching appointments at several institutions including York University and the University of Toronto. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies (Computer Science and Engineering), York University. Bill has chaired the ACM FuturePlay International Conference on the Future of Game Design and Technology since 2007.
Dr. Kapralos is a researcher with the GRAND NCE.
mSTREET is a serious game 3D platform, for delivering virtual training and research environments in a variety of investigative and direct response settings. mSTREET provides a “framework” for developing specific application modules designed to emulate the functional and behavioral processes in various disciplines. Trainees and educators in the supported fields can use the software to easily construct “scenarios” that can be played out in real-time, in the safe and controlled environment of a virtual 3D world. Scenarios are structured around rigid protocol scripts that require adherence to time- or sequence-sensitive action protocols, or they can be unstructured, requiring satisfactory real-time response to emerging events and information. Trainee responses can take the form of immediate, direct action in real-time, or the issuance of recommendations for further action by a third party. Recommendations can be automatically incorporated into the scenario followed by time-accelerated projection of the scenario into the future to ascertain the effects of the recommendations at various later stages and points in time. Instructors can test trainees using the same scenarios with fixed scoring criteria, and use the resulting scores to generate a grade. Finally, non-playing characters are directed by AI routines, or can be table-driven according to rule sets.
BPM Virtual Worlds for Human Workflows
Paul Pacholski is an IT Specialist with the IBM Software Group, focusing on technical sales enablement for WebSphere Integration Developer. He presents and demonstrates WebSphere Integration Developer at conferences and customer briefings. He is also the author of various WebSphere Process Integration articles, such as Using the Common Event Infrastructure.
Automation of human workflows requires understanding human interactions patterns and then formalizing them as choreographed processes. This poses many challenges. The resulting process models are typically incomplete and inaccurate. It is difficult to capture exactly what people actually do to perform complex multi-role tasks. It is even harder to formalize natural human workflows into automated choreographed human workflows. Real human workflows are agile by nature. However because real human workflows relay on human judgment and flexibility when encountering unexpected circumstances, this agility is often lost in automated human workflows. Finally, natural human workflows are also able to adjust to business driven changes faster than automated workflows.
Simulation-Based Training in Virtual Worlds
Eleni Stroulia is a Professor and NSERC/iCORE Industrial Research Chair on Service Systems Management (w. support from IBM) with the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. She holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research addresses industrially relevant software-engineering problems with automated methods, based on artificial-intelligence techniques. Her team has produced automated methods for migrating legacy interfaces to web-based front ends, and for analyzing and supporting the design evolution of object-oriented software. More recently, she has been working on the development, composition, run-time monitoring and adaptation of service-oriented applications, and on examining the role of web 2.0 tools and virtual worlds in offering innovative health-care services. She has served as program-committee member for several Canadian and international conferences and workshops; she was the program co-chair for the Canadian AI in 2001, WCRE in 2003 and 2004, CASCON 2006 and ICPC 2007. She serves on the editorial board of the Computational Intelligence Journal and on the NSERC Discovery Grant adjudication committee 330 (2006-2008). She is a member of ACM, and IEEE.
Dr. Stroulia is a network investigator with the GRAND NCE.
Services are an increasingly important part of the world economy. However, our understanding of how to systematically innovate in service delivery lags substantially in comparison to innovation in manufacturing and technology. A prerequisite to such systematic study of service-delivery processes is their “formalization” through modeling in software. In this paper, we adopt the service blueprinting methodology to develop a conceptual framework and a software modeling and simulation environment (based on web services and virtual worlds) of complex mixed- delivery service processes, i.e., processes with a substantial amount of activities performed by people interacting with people and/or with the environment and software. We illustrate our environment with the modeling of a scenario from the health-sciences domain.
Categoriesacademia CASCON CityOfEdmonton computer science distributed meetings Gov2.0 GRAND NCE hierarchy of engagement mentoring OpenData research Second Life semantics serious games Simulation-based Training Smart Condo software-engineering education software engineering teaching UCOSP Uncategorized Virtual Worlds web web services women
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