Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kzero Metaverse Analysis Information

Kzero have released their analysis of population and marketing statistics for virtual worlds. This is represented as a Universe Graph. Note the position of Second Life in the 30 plus age bracket. Others are larger, but have a younger demographic.
Possibly suggesting more scope for serious use of the technology, than other fields.

I would argue that this is due to the configurability of SL, and its ability to garner information from other sources on the internet, and produce visualisations as such in situ, as we have shown with business processes at QUT.

BTW, the graph is a nice intuitive visualisation of Age Demographic with Age of World using a Polar Coordinate approach.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

YAWL and Second Life Linked

My intern student from France has been very busy, and has completed his project with me at QUT. We now have YAWL and Second Life talking to each other, in a similar way to my earlier work with Half Life Two in previous posts.

I have embedded a video from Youtube of the system in action, titled Clik Goes to Hollywood. What we have done in effect is to facilitate the 3D collaborative visualisation of dynamic business process models. The visualisation has been developed from the 2D YAWL control flow model illustrated at the top of this post, into a 3D animation in Second Life, embedded below as a video. The process model illustrated is drawn from the YAWL4Film project being undertaken by the BPM Research Group at QUT. Clik, the avatar in the animation, is not controlled by a human, but is controlled by the YAWL workflow engine.

More will be revealed as I duly publish some papers...


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

IBM and Linden Lab Interoperability Announcement

Maybe I should have title this one "Beam me up Scotty." Over at the Second Life blog there has been a recent announcement of the ability to teleport out of Second Life, and into Open Sim environments on other servers. Thus a portal technology, developed as an OpenGrid protocol, means that avatars (not real people yet :-) ) can move between different forms of virtual worlds.

Suddenly struck me tonight that this is a change in perspective, with regards to logging into an IT system. Your embodied avatar (your ego centre in these worlds) is able to transfer itself along the Internet. Thus instead of you having a sense of being stationary, and traversing the computer systems you use, now your ego centre (embodied as an avatar) moves to the location of the computer system you are interacting with in a faux spatial transformation.

What has this to do with business processes? This means that instead of dealing with an abstract system with menus, dialogs and such, you actually can map the process system into a 3D space for interaction. My questions are:
  • What does this do to your perception of an information system?
  • Does it make it seem more immediate? - as its controls are mapped to intuitive, spatial and temporal artefacts for you to manipulate.
  • Do you have a greater/lesser sense of control?
  • Does it change your understanding of what the process model is doing?
Lots of research questions here to explore...


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Amazon Dynamic Systems in Second Life

Over at a blog by an Amazon worker Jeff Barr, there is a great article on him visualising Amazon services within SL. Looks like excellent work, and am awaiting the slurl to take me to the live version...

Such visualisations make it a lot easier to understand the Dynamics of the service being investigated. Much easier, as I have said many times before, than using static diagrams to simulate business processes. Plus the collaborative nature of Second Life facilitates interactions with fellow stakeholders in the business.

Stay tuned, QUT will have its own offering in this area soon.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Process Mining Comment by Wil van der Aalst

Having made a comment on the Fujistu visualisations presented in a previous post, I found it interesting to look at the comments by Wil van der Aalst at BPMTrends.

He has spent a long time looking at Process Mining as a research area, his research group has produced an excellent suite of tools for this application called ProM. In particular, the visualisation capabilities of the environment are second to none for the area of event log processing. It makes a number of other commerical tools look quite poor in comparison, and with over 230 plugins, it is easily extensible as well.
It's also open source...

Interesting Blog

Just came across this blog at http://www.dryesha.com/. Israeli researcher looking at various aspects of business and standards within Second Life. His latest an entry is about a Mobile interface to SL.
Useful for being summoned to in world chats, and being contacted by in world business applications. I imagine a graphical representation of SL will be coming soon for this application.