Thursday, March 5, 2015

Paper: Evidence that virtual worlds improve business process elicitation










Our paper "Virtual Business Role-play: Leveraging Familiar Environments to Prime Stakeholder Memory during Process Elicitation," has been accepted for CaISE 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden.  This paper is a product of an Honours thesis by my student Joel Harman, in collaboration with Stefanie Rinderle-Ma (Uni. Vienna), Daniel Johnson (QUT) and Udo Kannengiesser (Metasonic GmbH).  

The paper is stored here at QUT eprints, contact me on r.brown@qut.edu.au if you want a pdf copy.

Abstract. Business process models have traditionally been an effective way of examining business practices to identify areas for improvement. While common information gathering approaches are generally efficacious, they can be quite time consuming and have the risk of developing inaccuracies when information is forgotten or incorrectly interpreted by analysts. In this study, the potential of a role-playing approach for process elicitation and specification has been examined. This method allows stakeholders to enter a virtual world and role-play actions as they would in reality. As actions are completed, a model is automatically developed, removing the need for stakeholders to learn and understand a modelling grammar. Empirical data obtained in this study suggests that this approach may not only improve both the number of individual process task steps remembered and the correctness of task ordering, but also provide a reduction in the time required for stakeholders to model a process view.

Not only is this is a great achievement by Joel, CaISE is a very competitive conference, but the preliminary evidence is very encouraging.  Virtual worlds do indeed work well as a process elicitation tool, especially, we believe, for naive stakeholders.

Ross

Thursday, February 12, 2015

CFP: VINCI 2015 : The 8th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction

VINCI 2015 : The 8th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction

http://vinci-conf.org/

<< Call For Papers >>

The 8th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction (VINCI15) will be held during August 24-26 in Tokyo, Japan. VINCI15 aims to provide an international forum for researchers and industrial practitioners to discuss the state of the art in visual communication theories, designs, and applications. Papers can be submitted as long papers, short papers and posters.
All accepted papers will be published by ACM Press and made available in the ACM Digital Library. Selected papers will be published in special issues of appropriate journals including Journal of Visualization (JoV).

1. Papers and Posters
Authors are invited to submit original and unpublished research and practical applications in all areas of visual communication and interaction. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

Area 1: Visualization methodologies
Information visualization, Graph drawing and visualization, Cognitive aspects of visual information comprehension, Visual metaphors and symbols, Usability or empirical study of new visual metaphors, Design theory in the digital age, Aesthetics in visual communication and digital media, Interaction methods (touch-based, haptic, vision-based, multi-modality, Big Data, Visual languages, Diagrams, Art + Science

Area 2: Visualization applications
Visual Analytics, Sketching, Graphical user interface design, Software visualization, Visual approaches to knowledge discovery, Visualization on mobile devices, Animation, Game design, Biological visualizations

Area 3: Visual design and art
Interaction design, Interactive art, Infographie and data-driven art, Visual perception and cognition, Multimedia, Virtual actors, Interactive storytelling, Augmented reality and its applications, Virtual reality and its applications, Computational (or digital) aesthetics, Wearable computers, Ubiquitous / responsive environments, Entertainment technology

2. Workshops and Tutorials
VINCI15 is also soliciting proposals for full-day and half-day workshops and tutorials on topics that address areas of interest to the community. Proposals should be a maximum of 2 pages. In particular, workshop proposals should include:

* A brief description of the specific issues that the workshop will address, the reasons why the workshop is of interest in these times, the main research areas involved.
* Contact information of the workshop chairs, their competence in the proposed topic(s) and previous experience in chairing scientific events.
* A tentative list of Program Committee members.
* A draft of the Call for Papers  It is possible to extend the symposium one day if many workshops or tutorials are proposed.

while tutorial proposals should include a CV of the proposer, a dradt of the tutorial content and evidence of the possibility of attracting audience to the tutorial.

<< Important dates >>
Submission of workshop/tutorial proposals: April 1, 2015
Notification of proposal acceptance: April 5, 2015
Submission of long/short papers: April 10, 2015
Notification of paper acceptance: June 10, 2015
Submission of posters: June 5, 2015
Notification of poster acceptance: June 15, 2015
Camera-ready copy due: June 25, 2015

<< Committees >>

General Chair
 Takayuki Itoh, Ochanomizu University, JAPAN
Program Chairs
 Paolo Bottoni, Sapienza University of Rome, ITALY
 Shigeo Takahashi, University of Tokyo, JAPAN
Local Arrangement Chairs
 Kazuo Misue, University of Tsukuba, JAPAN
 Yuriko Takeshima, Tohoku University, JAPAN
Publicity Chair
 Tomoko Kajiyama, Aoyama Gakuin University, JAPAN

Program Committee
 Tomasz Bednarz, CSIRO
 Robert P. Biuk-Aghai, University of Macau
 Paul Bourke, The University of Western Australia
 Stephen Brooks, Dalhousie University
 Ross Brown, Queensland University of Technology
 Michael Burch, University of Stuttgart
 Antonio Camurri, University of Genoa
 Li Chen, Tsinghua Unversity
 Gennaro Costagliola, Universita di Salerno
 Phil Cox, Dalhousie University
 Alberto Del Bimbo, Universita degli Studi di Firenze
 Kate Dunn, University of Sydney
 Liang Gou, IBM Research - Almaden
 Masahito Hirakawa, Shimane University
 Xavier Ho, University of Sydney / CSIRO
 Seok-Hee Hong, University of Sydney
 Hiroshi Hosobe, Hosei University
 Weidong Huang, University of Tasmania
 Xiaodi Huang, Charles Sturt University
 Masahiko Itoh, The University of Tokyo
 Andreas Kerren, Linnaeus University
 Karsten Klein, Monash University
 Jun Kong, North Dakota State University
 Yina Li, Nankai University
 Chun-Cheng Lin, National Chiao Tung University
 Zhanping Liu, Kentucky State University
 Aidong Lu, UNC Charlotte
 John Mcghee, The University of New South Wales
 Kazuo Misue,  University of Tsukuba
 Chris Muelder, University of California at Davis
 Quang Vinh Nguyen, University of Western Sydney
 Yoshihiro Okada, Kyushu University
 Marc Olano, University of Maryland
 Semi Ryu, Virginia Commonwealth University
 Raimondo Schettini, Universita degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
 Kamran Sedig, University of Western Ontario
 Guanglei Song, Twitter
 Arcot Sowmya, University of New South Wales
 Changming Sun, CSIRO
 Guodao Sun, Zhejiang University of Techonology
 Gualtiero Volpe, InfoMus-DIST-University of Genoa
 Zhiyong Wang, The University of Sydney
 Sai-Keung Wong, The National Chiao Tung University
 Hsiang-Yun Wu, The University of Tokyo
 Yu-Bin Yang, Nanjing University
 Kang Zhang, University of Texas at Dallas
 Ye Zhao, Kent State University
 Hong Zhou, Shenzhen University
 Jianlong Zhou, National ICT Australia

Saturday, February 7, 2015

CFP: TAProViz 2015 : 4th International Workshop on Theory and Application of Visualizations and Human-centric Aspects in Processes

TAProViz'15

4th International Workshop on Theory and Application of Visualizations and Human-centric Aspects in Processes, Innsbruck, Austria - 31 August 2015

http://www.wst.univie.ac.at/topics/taproviz15/

In conjunction with the 12th International Conference on Business Process Management BPM2015 - http://bpm2015.q-e.at/ at Innsbruck, Austria.

========================
Call for Papers
========================


Visualizations can make the structure and dependencies between elements in processes accessible in order to support users who need to analyze process models and their instances.
However, effectively visualizing processes in a user-friendly way is often a big challenge, especially for complex process models which can consist of hundreds of process components (e.g., process activities, data flows, and resources) and thousands of running process instances in different execution states.

Many challenges remain to be addressed within the broad area of process visualization, human interaction and user led design such as: scalability, human-computer interaction, cognitive aspects, applicability of different approaches, collaboration, process evolution, run-time requirements of process instances and applications, user-engagement etc.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
* Visual Metaphors in Processes
* Visual Design and Aesthetics for Processes
* Visualization of Dynamic Data in Processes
* Change Visualization for Processes
* Interface and Interaction Techniques for Process Visualization
* Visualization Techniques for Collaboration and Distributed Processes
* Visualization of Large-scale Processes
* Cognition and Perception in Process Visualization
* Evaluation and User Studies of Process Visualization
* Evaluation Methods for Human Aspects in PAIS
* Visual Modeling Languages
* Analysis Techniques and Visualization for Processes
* Process Visualization of Large Screens
* Mobile Process Visualization
* Visualization Tools and Systems for Processes
* Visualization Techniques for Processes
* Process Visualization and Sonification
* Virtual World Process Visualization
* Immersive Process Modeling Approaches
* Human Computer Interaction Design Applied to Process Systems
* 3D Process Visualization Approaches
* Human-centric aspects in business process management
* User-centered design for BPM
* User Interface design for Processes

========================
Format of the Workshop
========================

The half day workshop will comprise accepted papers and tool evaluations. Papers should be submitted in advance and will be reviewed by at least three members of the program committee.

This year will also include a new innovation in the programme. Part of the workshop time (depending on the number of prototype submissions) will be set aside for focus group assessments of tools. We will be requesting tool report authors, successful workshop paper authors and panel members attending BPM, to assist in the assessment of demonstration visualization techniques and software. This evaluation process will be a service to attendees, as these heuristic assessments can be written up later as separate papers, or by the workshop chairs as an aggregated workshop outcome. Such evaluations will be an exciting addition to the workshop, as people experienced in Information Visualization, BPM, HCI and related fields, will provide detailed feedback on your prototypes. The evaluation approach is largely in the hands of the tool report writers, but at a minimum, should involve direct interaction with your software and some form of validation via a questionnaire.

All accepted papers will appear in the workshop proceedings published by Springer in the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP) series. There will be a single LNBIP volume dedicated to the proceedings of all BPM workshops. As this volume will appear after the conference, there will be informal proceedings during the workshop. At least one author for each accepted paper should register for the workshop and present the paper.

========================
Important Dates
========================

* Deadline for workshop paper submissions: 29 May 2015
* Notification of Acceptance: 29 June 2015
* Camera-ready version: 20 July 2015
* TAProViz Workshop: 31 August 2015



========================
Paper Submission
========================

Prospective authors are invited to submit papers for presentation in any of the areas listed above.


Three types of submissions are possible:

* (1) full papers (12 pages long) reporting mature research results
* (2) position papers reporting research that may be in preliminary stage that has not yet been evaluated
* (3) tool reports, to be evaluated at the workshop


Position papers and tool reports should be no longer than 6 pages. Tool reports should include a brief evaluation plan as an appendix, for the evaluation session at the workshop on the day.

Papers must be in English and must present original research contributions not concurrently submitted elsewhere. Papers should be submitted in the LNBIP format. The title page must contain a short abstract, a classification of the topics covered, preferably using the list of topics above, and an indication of the submission category (regular paper/position paper/tool report).

All accepted workshop papers will be published by Springer as a post-workshop proceedings volume in the series Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP). Hard copies of these proceedings will be shipped to all registered participants approximately four months after the workshops, while preliminary proceedings will be distributed during the workshop.

Submitted papers will be evaluated, in a double blind manner, on the basis of significance, originality, technical quality, and exposition. Papers should clearly establish their research contribution and the relation to the theory and application of process visualization.

========================
Registration
========================
Accepted papers imply that at least one of the authors will register for BPM2015 and present the paper at the TAProViz workshop.

Further workshop information is available from the website: http://www.wst.univie.ac.at/topics/taproviz15/



Hope to see you at TAProViz'15!

Thanks and best regards,

Ross Brown
Simone Kriglstein
Stefanie Rinderle-Ma

TAProViz Organising Committee

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Presence and Memory: Immersive Virtual Reality Effects on Cued Recall

#Title#
Presence and Memory: Immersive Virtual Reality Effects on Cued Recall

#Authors#
Jakki Bailey, Jeremy N. Bailenson, Andrea Stevenson Won, June Flora and K. Carrie Armel

#Venue#
Stanford Tech Report - only Preliminary Results

#DOI#
http://vhil.stanford.edu/pubs/2012/bailey-ispr-presence-memory.pdf

#Abstract#
Presence, the psychological experience of “being there,” is an important construct to consider when investigating the impact of mediated experiences on cognition. Though several studies have investigated the influence of presence on the memory of virtual environments (i.e. recalling virtual objects), few have tested how presence impacts memory on subsequent tasks in the physical world. Thirty-three male and female college students were exposed to a pro-environmental message in an immersive virtual environment. After the virtual reality treatment, they completed a memory task in the physical world regarding pro-environmental principles. Results showed a significant negative association between levels of reported presence in the virtual world and the number of correct water conservation examples remembered in the physical world. These findings suggest that media technology that induces presence can influence an individual’s ability to remember information in the physical world. Possible theoretical explanations of how presence may negatively impact cognition are presented.

#Comments#

Here they seek to relate a specific component of VW to memory, viz., presence or subjective levels of being there, with memory recall in cueing experiments.

They use a nVisor SX111 HMD (NVIS, Reston, VA) with a resolution of 2056 x 1024 and a refresh rate of 120 frames per second to perform the work, framerate is very high compared to Oculus, which may improve presence?  Need to keep this in mind.

Experiment context is that the task involved an environmental narrative, so emotional resonance with such a concept could be a factor here as well.  Does it work the same with other more humdrum narratives?

They also look at free recall and cued recall, so the memory tests are of a different type in each case to cover possibly differing memory processes.

Useful presence scale for assessing level of presence: "A five- item scaled was adapted from presence scales used in previous studies (Bailenson and Yee, 2007; Ahn & Bailenson, 2011; Nowak & Biocca, 2003)."

Note they get a NEGATIVE correlation with memory and presence (n=33).  This needs to be considered for my experiments.  It would be interesting to see if a comparison with desktop levels of presence will map to my other results with Unity and Metasonic?!?!?

Negative correlation is potentially explained by:

1. Vivid inputs from VW could drain cognitive capacity to remember items.
2. Arousal - high levels of emotion - limit memory tasks.
3. People who report high levels of presence actually remember things using different processes, and so are actually a different subject group, so could be a confounding factor that needs to be controlled.
4. Only correlational experiment, no details on causation, so needs further work.

An interesting result, bring out many research questions to answer on the relationship of VW elements with cognitive processes.

#ImportantRefs#

Lin, Duh, Parker, Abi-Rached, & Furness, 2002
Mania & Chalmers, 2001
Dinh, Walker, Song, Kobayashi, and Hodges 1999 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: Virtually True: Children’s Acquisition of False Memories in Virtual Reality

#Title#
Virtually True: Children’s Acquisition of False Memories in Virtual Reality

#Authors#
KATHRYN Y. SEGOVIA and JEREMY N. BAILENSON

#Venue#
Journal of Media Psychology, 12:371–393, 2009

#DOI#
DOI: 10.1080/15213260903287267

#Abstract#
Previous work on human memory has shown that prompting participants with false events and self-relevant information via different types of media such as narratives, edited 2-dimensional images, and mental imagery creates false memories. This study tested a new form of media for studying false memory formation: Immersive Virtual Environment Technology (IVET). Using this tool, we examined how memory was affected by viewing dynamic simulations of avatars performing novel actions. In the study, 55 preschool and elementary children were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 memory prompt conditions (idle, mental imagery, IVET simulation of another child, or IVET simulation of self). Each child was questioned 3 different times: once before the memory prompt, once immediately after the memory prompt, and once approximately 5 days after the memory prompt. Results showed that preschool children were equally likely to develop false memories regardless of memory prompt condition. But, for elementary children, the mental imagery and IVET self conditions caused significantly more false memories than the idle condition. Implications regarding the use of digital media in courtroom settings, clinical therapy settings, entertainment, and other applications are discussed.

#Comments#

Interesting, another acronym - Immersive Virtual Environment Technology (IVET).  I don't like it, prefer 3D virtual worlds.  But I guess the use of immersive is pertinent here.

Note here that experiments were performed with children, not adults.  They state that the vulnerability of preschool children to suggestive influences is very high, so may not apply to adults.

They also bring up the source monitoring judgement as an experimental task; viz. the identification of sources of memories, and how it is actually poorly managed on the part of the brain.

They also state that narratives are commonly used to test false memories.  Are these analogous to workflows, and the place of false memories in elicitation?!?!?

Conjecture: Is the imposition of a process a form of false memory imputation over the actuality of the work processes in an enterprise?  Or, for any elicitation process for that matter?  Thus the more real the stimuli, the more likely to get the truth?  Possible research question here.

They note that narrative information previously used in experiments is not that rich.  The media richness theory suggests a greater effect from IVETs.

Interesting passage:

"In another set of studies, college students heard simple action statements and in some conditions either performed or imagined the action as well (Goff & Roediger, 1998). In a second session, participants imagined performing actions (some of which came from the first session and some of which were new) either one, three, or five times. In the third session, participants were asked to identify actions only if they had occurred in the first session and, if identified, to tell whether the action statement had been carried out, imagined, or merely heard. The main finding was that increasing the number of imaginings during the second session caused participants to later remember that they had performed an action during the first session when in fact the participant had not."

Note the influence of imagination over the actual memory of a performed event.  This seems to hold across familiar and non-familiar actions - relevant to knowledge elicitation.  If you get people to imagine badly, they will report badly.

They also note the power of imaging past actions; very close and personal stimuli and feedback interactions in the person's head.  May be part of a feedback loop.

Another key factor here:


"We believe that the manipulation explored by Strange and colleagues (2008) is important and would like to offer a complementary hypothesis to explain the reported effect. We propose that personalized photographs were more powerful stimuli because they fulfilled the personal focus criterion in- volved in media richness. The personal focus involved in the media richness criteria is influential in the memory process because it causes humans to self-reference; people encode more attributes when they are engaged in self-referent processing than other types of processing (Symons & Johnson, 1997). The greater the amount of information encoded the more similar the memory becomes to a memory of a physical world event, and the greater the likelihood that a source monitoring error will occur."

This is the key here to me, not regarding false memories, but regarding actual memories.  Such an idea lends further weight to the fact that elicitation is enhanced by personal recollection, but may be further confounded if the personal recollection has edits introduced.  So, we have a mechanism here for the noise involved in recollection, especially that which is false, not just knocked out due to functional problems, such as random memory lapses.

They note that use of media may provide a low-cognitive organisation environment, compared to abstract representations, such as text.  This may lead, in fact, to more inaccuracy, as errors are amplified by the nature of the immersion involved.

Their summation indicates that children are affected by false narratives, even in a passive viewing, non-interactive manner, with the IVET.  This indicates a predictable effect on people of experiencing false stories in IVETs, and leads to the conclusion that such environments should be used with caution, but that they hold promise in enabling better recall, if the stimuli are accurate.

#ImportantRefs#

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: The Effect of Interactivity on Learning Physical Actions in Virtual Reality

#Title#
The Effect of Interactivity on Learning Physical Actions in Virtual Reality

#Authors#
Jeremy Bailenson, Kayur Patel, Alexia Nielsen, Ruzena Bajscy, Sang-Hack Jung & Gregorij Kurillo

#Venue#
Media Psychology, Volume 11, Issue 3, 2008

#DOI#

#Abstract#
Virtual reality (VR) offers new possibilities for learning, specifically for training individuals to perform physical movements such as physical therapy and exercise. The current article examines two aspects of VR that uniquely contribute to media interactivity: the ability to capture and review physical behaviour and the ability to see one's avatar rendered in real time from third person points of view. In two studies, we utilised a state-of-the-art, image-based tele-immersive system, capable of tracking and rendering many degrees of freedom of human motion in real time. In Experiment 1, participants learned better in VR than in a video learning condition according to self-report measures, and the cause of the advantage was seeing one's avatar stereoscopically in the third person. In Experiment 2, we added a virtual mirror in the learning environment to further leverage the ability to see oneself from novel angles in real time. Participants learned better in VR than in video according to objective performance measures. Implications for learning via interactive digital media are discussed.

#Comments#

The interesting idea here to me is the possibility of understanding how the movements are better encoded due to visual and proprioceptive feedback.  The question then, is this a two way mechanism?  If the same stimuli are presented, will it bring back better memory.  In addition, is it a movement encoding.  Can the encoding be accessed better by an expert.  Here they are novices in training, what happens if the person already knows the moves, but cannot explain them.  Can they explain them better if they have an immersive 3D view of their actions?  No brainer, it should work in this case clearly.  The question is, will it work as well if the visualisation is not the user of the tool at that moment in time.

They use the term "Sea of Cameras," would have thought a forest would be more apt. :-)

Experiment 1 

They rate the VR learning experience more positively.  Found the VR trainer to be more credible.

Experiment 2

VR version of learning system outperformed the video version, with significant results.

Interesting Quote:

"In fact, there is ample research dedicated to the discordance among self report measures and behavioural measures when measuring behaviour in virtual reality (Bailenson et al., 2004, Bailenson,
Swinth, et al., 2005;  Slater, 2005), concluding that neither self-report nor behavioural measures are sufficient, and that only by examining a host of measures can one assess virtual behaviour"

Shows that we need to use repeated versions of both behavioural and subjective to obtain insights into the effectiveness of such VR interfaces.  Need to keep this in mind for future experiments.

The image reproduction methods used in the paper are poor (think Kinect image level) so the quality of the images in the Tai Chi lessons may have had an effects on results.  Also, they had to look forward to compare themselves in the VR case; a cave or HMD might be better in this case due to a universal viewpoint capability.  Using an Oculus might introduce better results due to ego centre being situated in the training space.


#ImportantRefs#

Bailenson, J. N., Aharoni, E., Beall, A. C., Guadagno, R. E., Dimov, A., & Blascovich,
J. (2004). Comparing behavioral and self-report measures of embodied agents’
social presence in immersive virtual environments. Proceedings of the 7th Annual
International Workshop on PRESENCE, October 13–15, Valencia, Spain.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Boast: My Talented Games Project Students!

On Friday the 31st October our games degree had its industry showcase at the QUT Cube.  Gaute Rasmussen from SAE spoke and a great night was had by around 300 people playing the games created by our students.

Photos are available here: http://1drv.ms/1EnRtZ2.

Our students also published their games that week to the web and generated some great outcomes.  At one stage one of the games, "Primitives," was sitting at number 2 on IndieDB!  I counted six of our games on the IndieDB banner, highlighted by the site.  Great stories have ensued of teams being reviewed on Rock Paper Shotgun and other leading blogs, and of course, the regular YouTube playthroughs from our Russian fans.

Matt Ford and I had a ball supervising them this year.  They have been the best we have ever seen in this unit.

But, don't take my word for it, here is a list of the games available at IndieDB, please download and enjoy!

Ross

===========

Get Quest - http://www.indiedb.com/members/boundwolf/downloads/get-quest
Pipe Runners - http://www.indiedb.com/games/pipe-runners/downloads/pipe-runners-13
Pirates vs Robots - http://www.indiedb.com/games/pirates-vs-robots/downloads
Ghost Lord - http://www.indiedb.com/games/ghostly-tales-of-lordly-manor/downloads/ghostly-tales-of-lordly-manor
2199 - http://www.indiedb.com/games/2199-new-world-order/downloads/2199-new-world-order-beta-111
Azuruk - http://www.indiedb.com/games/azuruk/downloads/azuruk-11
MAD - http://www.indiedb.com/games/magnificent-machines-and-devious-devices/downloads/magnificent-machines-and-devious-devices
Apex Genetics - http://www.indiedb.com/games/apex-genetics/downloads/apex-genetics-installer
Robot Wars - http://www.indiedb.com/games/robotwars/downloads
Treasure Raid - http://www.indiedb.com/games/treasure-raid/downloads
Sweet Revenge - http://www.indiedb.com/games/sweet-revenge/downloads/sweet-revenge
Symphony Quest - http://symphonyquest.com/
Primitives - http://www.indiedb.com/games/primitives/downloads
Ignis Uprising - http://www.indiedb.com/games/ignis-uprising/downloads/ignis-uprising