Friday, June 24, 2011

Paper: Human resource behaviour simulation in business processes

Our PhD student Hanwen Guo has been busily working away on simulating human agent behaviours with regards to workflow systems such as YAWL. He has now developed and tested an HTN-based set of agents for testing resource models in virtual worlds. Preliminary results are available in an ISD (Era A) conference paper here, applied to a health care workflow scenario.

Well done Hanwen!



The structure and dynamics of a modern business environment are very hard to model using traditional methods. Such complexity raises challenges to effective business analysis and improvement. The importance of applying business process simulation to ana- lyze and improve business activities has been widely recognized. However, one remaining challenge is the development of approaches to human resource behavior simulation. To ad- dress this problem, we describe a novel simulation approach where intelligent agents are used to simulate human resources by performing allocated work from a workflow manage- ment system. The behavior of the intelligent agents is driven a by state transition mechan- ism called a Hierarchical Task Network (HTN). We demonstrate and validate our simulator via a medical treatment process case study. Analysis of the simulation results shows that the behavior driven by the HTN is consistent with design of the workflow model. We be- lieve these preliminary results support the development of more sophisticated agent-based human resource simulation systems.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

CFP: Cultures in Virtual Worlds

Cultures in virtual worlds
A special issue of the New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia

Guest-edited by Jeremy Hunsinger and Adrienne Massanari

Virtual worlds (VW) embody cultures, their artefacts, and their praxes; these new and old spaces of imagination and transformation allow humans to interact in spatial dimensions. Within these spaces, culture manifests with the creation, representation, and circulation of meaningful experiences. But virtual worlds are not novel in that regard, nor should we make the mistake to assume that they are novel in themselves. Virtual experiences have been around in some respect for hundreds of years, and virtual worlds based in information technology have existed for at least 40 years. The current generation of virtual worlds, with roots over four decades old in studies of virtual reality, computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), sociology, cultural studies, and related topics, provide for rich and occasionally immersive environments where people become enculturated within the world sometimes as richly as the rest of their everyday lives.

We seek research that encounters and investigates cultures in virtual worlds in its plurality and in its richness. To that end, we invite papers covering the breadth of the topic of cultures in and of virtual worlds.

Some possible areas/approaches of inquiry:

1. How culture of virtual worlds affect relationships
2. VW interfaces and culture/s
3. Hidden subcultures/communities in virtual worlds
4. Ages and VW cultures
5. Emic and etic experiences of virtual worlds
6. Producing VW cultures
7. Traditional cultural/critical studies inquiries of VWs
8. Transnational or cosmopolitan cultures in/of VWs

While all forms of scholarship and research are welcome, we prefer theoretically and empirically grounded studies. We seek a Special Issue that exemplifies methodological pluralism and scholarly diversity. The use of visual evidence and representations is also encouraged. We especially seek pieces that investigate virtual worlds that have received little scholarly attention.

Submission guidelines

This special issue is Guest-Edited by Jeremy Hunsinger (Virginia Tech) and Adrienne Massanari (Loyola University Chicago). Queries regarding the Special Issue should be directed to them at and The Guest-Editors welcome contributions from both new researchers and those who are more well-established. Submitted manuscripts will be subject to peer review.

Length of papers will vary as per disciplinary expectations, but we encourage articles of around 7000 words (longer articles may be possible, if warranted). Short discussion papers of around 3000 words on relevant subjects are also welcomed as 'Technical Notes'. Detailed author submission guidelines are available online at

Papers must be submitted via the journal’s online submissions system: Please indicate that your submission is for the Special Issue on Culture in Virtual Worlds.

The special issue will be published in summer 2012.

Important dates:

November 11, 2011 Paper submission deadline
February 10, 2012 Author notification
May 5, 2012 Final copy due
Summer 2012 Publication

Jeremy Hunsinger
Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
Virginia Tech

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Link: We've been blogged at New World Notes

New World Notes, an influential Second Life blog, has our Augmented Reality video listed.

However, he thinks we are from New Zealand, not that I mind too much about being confused with our neighbours. Choice bro'!

I was wondering why my Google Analytics stats were high for this month. ;-)


QUT Games: Slipstream Racing Game

New batch of students generating some great games at QUT as part of our Games Degree.

Slipstream have a fast action-packed racing game available from here, with some very impressive visuals. They have achieved great rankings on IndieDB. Nice work lads!

Check it out.