Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New tool aims to revolutionise scheduling meetings

11.04.2008
Advanced-thinking scientists are looking beyond the internet at platforms in cyberspace in order to discover new ways of connecting people for work-based projects.

An international EU-funded initiative aims to deliver new systems that can support a new generation of 'knowledge workers'.

The aim is to combine all the existing tools used for work-based communications, eg the internet, email, calendars, project schedulers, SMS and more to provide a single, more targeted way of scheduling meetings with international collaborators.

Computer scientists at the University of Leicester are working together with universities, corporate research centres and SMEs from six countries in the EU-funded project, inContext.

They aim to develop technology that goes beyond current internet-based collaboration techniques and meet the requirements of dynamic, multiform team working environments. Such environments arise in the new kinds of organizational structures and work interaction patterns that require highly dynamic forms of collaboration: teams bridge company boundaries, its members move around, people use mobile devices and work on many things at the same time, and so on.

Dr Stephan Reiff-Marganiec, lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Leicester and site leader of inContext, explains:

"Imagine a very common situation: a project in a large company needs to hold a meeting to make decisions on the next steps ahead. The meeting requires the attendance of the project's key people - all busy visiting customers around the world - as well as people with specific skills (say, a web designer). In order to get in touch with all these people, find out about their availability, choose a convenient time when they can all attend or make themselves represented, and select the web designer, a secretary will certainly be busy for the best part of several days..."

"The inContext project is developing a platform and techniques that make use of service-oriented computing to integrate existing tools (such as email systems, calendars, project schedulers) into a coherent system that can be used on any device, anywhere in the world, to make collaborative work more productive."

So far, the project has concentrated on the development of a Pervasive Collaboration Service Architecture (PCSA) that allows users to connect from a PC, a mobile phone or a PDA to the system and request services.

The system automatically decides which services to offer based on the context of the requesting user and others involved in the activity: where are they? what are they doing? what have they done in similar situations before?

Making such decisions is not easy: it involves methods and techniques that support data mining, the gathering and modelling of context information, and reasoning about models in order to derive new facts. The automation of the decision-making process involves sophisticated algorithms and methods.

Many scientific results have by now been produced, and the viability of the PCSA has been demonstrated through a prototype meeting scheduler.

Dr Reiff-Marganiec says "when secretaries tell the system that a meeting is required, it will automatically collect names of people who can represent those that cannot attend, find experts in specific areas, and suggest alternative times for the meeting. It will even send invitations to people on the device that they use: email, instant messages or SMS to a mobile phone."

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk
http://www.cs.le.ac.uk/

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists 'film' a quantum measurement

26.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Melting properties determine the biological functions of the cuticular hydrocarbon layer of ants

26.02.2020 | Interdisciplinary Research

Lights, camera, action... the super-fast world of droplet dynamics

26.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>